This visit happened in March, 1962. Does anyone want to speculate when we might next send FLOTUS on a goodwill tour of Pakistan?
The film is interesting in a 'wow, how the world has changed!' sort of way. Jacqueline Kennedy's itinerary included places where the USG does not dare to have a presence today, or if it does, it does so only in the most minimal way and with the utmost security countermeasures.
|At the Khyber Pass, where NATO convoys now fear to go|
|Riding a camel on Clifton beach in Karachi|
|Arriving in Peshawar|
That last photo is rather stunning to me. An open car? When was the last time the USG let anyone travel down a street in Peshawar outside of a convoy of heavily armored vehicles? It's as if 1962 was not just a different century, but a whole different world.
The visit was the subject of a 15-minute film produced by the U.S. Information Service (Invitation to Pakistan, March 1962), something unremarkable at the time, but which itself now has the feeling of a vanished era.
Given that USIS was folded into the State Department back in 1999, I expect there are few active members of the U.S. Foreign Service today who have any memory of when there was an independent government agency that did public diplomacy and broadcasting. If you don't remember it, or would like to refresh your memory, see this swan song commemorative booklet USIS published before it closed up shop.
In its last year of operation, USIS had 190 posts in 142 countries, an annual budget of $1 billion and change, and employed - even after a staffing reduction in 1997 - 6,352 employees, of whom 904 were Foreign Service personnel, 2,521 were locally engaged staff overseas, and 2,927 were Civil Service employees in the United States. How does that compare to the resources of the R Bureau today? Badly, I know.
In the film, Jacqueline Kennedy, accompanied by her sister, Princess Lee Radziwill [I recall seeing the Princess in the news way back when I was a kid, although I never did understand exactly what Kingdom she was the Princess of] visits Pakistani President Mohammad Ayub Khan and United States Ambassador to Pakistan Walter P. McConaughy, attends a horse and cattle show in Lahore, delivers gifts to children's hospitals, does fun stuff in Karachi, drives to the Khyber Pass, delivers remarks, and even provides a little voice-over.
The film is narrated by the Canadian-American actor Raymond Massey (1896 – 1983), a distinguished sort of guy who was then at the peak of a long film career. That's another indicator of how high a bar USIS set. Do we get actors of similar stature to do the voice work on our PD products today?