So, the royal stay has ended and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have departed from Pakistan. For last 5 days, my Instagram has been flooded with images from their trip, commentary on what she wore and how she followed in footsteps of Princess Diana with her wardrobe choices, who dressed the couple and where can one buy their knockoffs, how a few ministers walked out from the royal reception because they weren’t happy with the seating, so on and so forth.
I observed, waiting for someone to talk about what the visit means for Pakistan, but I am still waiting. So here I am, doing the talk that I have been wanting to hear.
This is the first royal visit from England to Pakistan since 2006. That alone needs to be celebrated, not because we need acknowledgement as a state but it’s a sign that the world is not only opening their doors but also coming to ours to strengthen their ties with us. This can be translated to both economic and social benefits for Pakistan, in short and long term.
Also, the visit puts out a positive narrative about what Pakistan is all about – from Maheen Khan’s fashion to Shehzad Roy’s Zindagi Trust, it has all made international news. Media from all over the world, including Germany, followed the royal visit and it has helped share inspirational stories and opportunities originating from Pakistan.
Furthermore, there was talk about melting glaciers and impact of climate change in Pakistan. In the same breath, there was a mention of President Khan’s Billion tree initiative. The visit to Shaukat Khanum, a game of cricket, meeting children struggling with cancer, arriving in a hand painted rickshaw…there have been so many stories, each one with a feel good narrative.
And this is what we need right now more than anything – a positive narrative. Which will in turn, hopefully, open doors to opportunities, trade agreements, collaboration for educational programs, joint R&D ventures, increased trade investment, boost in tourism numbers, and more.
The visit was also an acknowledgement of faith in President Khan’s leadership, and for that, we all owe him a standing ovation.
To a stronger, prosperous and tolerant Pakistan ❤