Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF).
Convergence is the essential tool for soft power and cultural diplomacy. The concept covers a diverse range of activities to promote national interests through strengthening relationships and enhancing socio-cultural cooperation among countries. Cultural diplomacy is built upon the culture, identity, and value of the country. In this aspect, civil societies play the most prominent roles. In the 21st century, the world has become a global village. Globalization is the process that stimulates the very notion of cultural assimilation. The concept is also connected with soft power diplomacy vis-à-vis effective policies adopted by a country.
Indonesia and Pakistan both are Muslim countries with enriched civilizational patterns. There are many key areas of joint cooperation between both states, i.e., cuisine, arts, culture, cinema, literature, economic outreach, religious affairs, defence cooperation, and diplomatic ties. The bilateral trade between the two countries has been consistently showing an upward trend. However, there is still a huge untapped potential that must be explored by the relevant authorities.
In this aspect, culture and tourism can play an intrinsic role in enhancing people-to-people contacts. Academic and research collaboration can also pave the way for achieving common aspirations. Indonesia has remained a great ally of Pakistan and also supports the process of acquiring full membership in ASEAN. Due to the prudent policies and innovative projects of His Excellency, President Joko Widodo, Indonesia has emerged as a strong regional player. I believe that there is a huge potential between Indonesia and Pakistan to enhance their regional and global outreach by establishing a joint forum for scholars, experts, artists, students, and policymakers.