1. Please tell us briefly about yourself, as where you were born, grew up and studied.
I was born in a small town “Zafarwal” near District Sialkot. But now it is in District Narowal very near to boundary line between India and Pakistan. I opened my eyes in a military cantonment because my father was in army. Infact, my early life revolves around military cantonments and camps like Kharian Cantt, Murree Cantt and Mansor Camp. Then we went to Attock, Lahore, Sialkot, Rawalpindi Cantt and Okara Cantt. My schooling is also from different army schools in these cities.
I came to Lahore in 2004 and got admission in Punjab University for BS (Hons) in Communication Studies. That was my first step towards journalism. After finishing my BS (Hons) in 2008, I also did my M.Phil from the same university in South Asian Studies. I also got published one book in Germany entitled “Considering 26/11 (Mumbai): Media Hypes and Peace Process”. Here is the link. This is entirely based on my M.Phil dissertation.
2. What is your inspiration to join and stay in the journalism?
After my FSC, I was selected in Pakistan Army but I could not join due to some unavoidable reasons. Later on, I joined Punjab University for my undergraduate degree in Journalism. I was much interested in reading newspapers, watching current affair programs, monitoring international talk shows and participating in political debates at college level. So it was my personal interest. After seeing my passion and interest towards journalism, some of my respected teachers also suggested me to opt journalism as my career. But professionally, Fahd Hussein, Naseem Zahra and Late Abbass Athar Shah are really my inspiration. I also like Barkha Dutt, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour and Hala Gorani. Oriana Fallaci is my all time favorite Journalist. She was the best in the field of “Interviewing”
3. You are considered one of the few handsome journalists. Have you ever thought about becoming model or actor?
Frankly speaking, I never thought about it but I have been offered thrice. Tarqi Amin also suggested me to try modeling. By the way, thank you for being generous as you considered me as one of the few handsome journalists.
4. If you were given a chance, would you become a politician or party of any caretaker setup?
It is a tricky question. I think we cannot predict that what is gonna happen at the next step of your life but yes I can give a second thought to it.
5. Who is your favorite TV anchor, columnist and reporter in Pakistan?
My favorite anchors are Fahad Hussein, Sana Bucha, Talat Hussein and Naseem Zahra and my best friend Jawad Ahmed Siddique. My favorite columnists are Late Abbass Athar, Eijaz Haider and interestingly me myself. My favorite reporter s are Riaz Andy and Andersoon Cooper.
6. What is your most favorite book, movie, and travel destination?
I am a wandering soul. I love to travel from seashore to desert. Till the mountains of Himalaya, I would love to go anywhere. I love to go to those places where people usually hesitate to go. I wish to go to Jammu, the city of temples. I am in love with this city since my forefathers belong to this city.
As far as books are concerned, I like to read autobiographies. “Long walk to freedom” by Nelson Mandela, “Mein kamp” by Adolf Hitler are my favorite books. Other than these, I also like “God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy and Kashaf-ul-Majoob by Hazrat Data Ganjh Baksh. My favorite movies are “The Shawshank Redemption”, “Pursuit of Happiness”, ‘Forest Gump”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Perfume”, “Quills” and “Maqbool”.
7. Have you ever exposed any black sheep in media or are they way too powerful to be even mentioned?
I think it is part of this profession. As a journalist, I also faced such circumstances in certain transmissions and talk shows but a good journalist always knows how to tackle black sheep. Shahzeb Murder case is an ideal example, you might have noticed how powerful the accused were, but Media did a fair job. Specially the social media laid the foundation for the due justice.
8. Everybody becomes victim of Cupid sometime in life. What about your first love?
Ahhhhhh!, I think that you would need to arrange another interview for getting this answer. All I can say “kahaan tak sunoo gey..kahaaan tak sunaooon” or you may say, “kisi ko apney amaaal ka hisaab kia daitey, sawaaal saarey galat they jawab kia daitey”
9. Do you think that exclusive interviews in talkshows are appropriate?
If you are doing ethically right, I do not see any problem in exclusive interviews because a media trend get change and if media is following journalistic ethics, then there is not harm to opt new trends.
10. Do you think that channel hopping for the anchors and news casters is a career requirement or greed?
I think it varies from person to person and circumstances to circumstances but in general perspective, it is a career requirement.
11. What are your future plans? Any message for the TPS readers?
I feel that I want to achieve the apex of excellence in the field of journalism. I want to be the most credible and unbiased journalist. Even sky is not limit and the top is always vacant. I want to share one of my favorite quotations here. Bill Watterson says “ God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind that I will never die.”
Message to my readers is only to develop their capacity to understand and analyze the situations and circumstances by themselves and it can only be done if they will increase their level of information, tolerance and determination. Lack of information is the basic problem. The youngsters do not know the real problem. They just read superficially, they do not indulge themselves deeply in to matter that is why they are unable to make their own opinions and decisions. They are just the followers. They should develop their habits of reading, investigating and probing into the real issue. They should make their own decision.