How to be an Ambassador: German Ambassador Martin Kobler takes diplomacy down to the basics
It has been hardly three months since Ambassador Martin Kobler took charge of his duties in Islamabad, the agile diplomat has barged on a roller coaster ride to all over the country forging ties and making new friends.
Much like his predecessor Ms. Inna Lepel, Ambassador Kobler is keener in following the basics of diplomacy with people to people interaction rather than sitting on his desk and engaging with the economic gurus of the business world.
A career diplomat for more than three decades, ambassador Kobler has led various diplomatic missions for United Nations including Libya, Congo, Iraq, Afghanistan and many other countries. His tenures particularly in the Muslim world have helped him understand the cultural and social norms and the sensitivities involved.
Since presenting his credentials to President Mamnoon Hussain on August 10, ambassador Kobler has already visited Karachi, Nowsehra, Rawalpindi, Nathiagali, Gujranwala by train, Lahore, Peshawar, Chitral, Takh-i-bahi.
A haircut from a local barber to the delicious Peshawari barbecue, celebrating Diwali with the Hindu community in Rawalpindi and travelling by train to Gujranwala are a few things unheard of being done by any ambassador.
Ambassador Kobler is setting new standards of mass engagement not a very commonly followed norm in the diplomatic enclave. This also comes in the face of already sensitive security situation particularly in places where ambassador Kobler has already been so far.
Pakistan has a strong presence of German Non-Govermental Organizations working for the welfare of the people directly funded by the German people.
With the given precarious security situation, Ambassador Kobler’s efforts to establish softer image of Germany especially in the remote regions of Pakistan will indirectly help the NGO’s in their operations in particular and their acceptance among the masses in particular.
Ambassador Kobler is among the very few diplomats from the Enclave who have set their foot out to explore and enjoy the community and the breathtaking places Pakistan has to offer.
Ambassador Kobler is demonstrating the classical version of how to be an ambassador- a version far more effective than what is generally followed in present times.