By Mudassir Raja
He is a well-known face of the television and media in Pakistan. He carries the reputation of a brave and risk-taking journalist in his country.
Iqrar Ul Hassan, a television presenter and journalist, spearheads a TV programme called Sar-e-Aam that is aired on ARY News. The show is famous for exposing corrupt and unauthentic products and public services such as fake spiritual healers (amils), poorly manufactured products disguised under famous company names.
The general idea of the programme is to show the public whatever is happening so that they are aware of those guilty of the crimes.
The famous personality of the Pakistani broadcast media was recently in Qatar for a visit with his family. His presence in Doha spurred the Pakistani community to set up a meet-up with him and discuss different social issues in their country.
Iqrar met with the Pakistani community in Marsa Malaz Kempinski where he was staying. The meet-up was attended by the expatriates in large numbers mostly comprising of young boys and girls.
The event actually turned into a question and answer session with the media presenter as the young people pushed him for his views on different social and political issues in Pakistan.
Iqrar, a young and dynamic journalist, patiently elaborated upon different issues in response to many searching questions from the youth in attendance. “As a media person, our job is to highlight social issues and problems. We work to raise awareness among the public. Media cannot provide solutions to different problems. It is the duty of the concerned authorities to take notes of the media reports and address the highlighted social issues.”
The TV anchor agreed with the opinion of the youth regarding the unsavoury picture of the media in Pakistan. “The media is also a part of the larger sociality. It reflects the society. There are serious issues in the media industry that need to be addressed. However, I am convinced that the Pakistani media has a promising future. With the passage of time, it will become more effective and constructive in its approach towards different issues.
“Why I say that the future of media is bright is that it is very vibrant. Now, we have started getting really trained and educated journalists in the field of film, TV and radio. Initially, the broadcast media had to accommodate people with less professional background and experience.”
In response to a question on the role and impact of the media on the society in general, Iqrar said: “Well, personally, I believe we cannot and we should not try to change something. Media can only highlight different issues and raise more and more awareness.
“Though I see there has not been much positive effect on the society. I have experienced that generally people tend to be involved in illegal or immoral activities despite they are exposed and prosecuted. I think I cannot bring about major change. But, what I believe is to continue with little effort that I can make as an individual and professional.”
Regarding his experience in Qatar, he said: “I am here with my family for a visit. I got advantage of the facility of on arrival visa. This is a beautiful place to visit. People told me that it would be very hot here but I find it quite tolerable, especially with the facilities available here. I loved visiting Souq Waqif and Katara.
“I can see from whatever I have heard about Qatar that the country is all set to gain a lot from the FIFA World Cup 2022 that it is going to host. The event can be a game changer for the whole region.”
Muhammad Irfan, a longtime resident of Qatar, said that he had arranged the job for a man who was victim to social injustice in Sindh by some feudal lords. He said that he learnt about the man after his story was highlighted by Iqrar in his programme. “It was very nice and informative to be with Iqrar. We should appreciate what he has been doing to raise awareness regarding different social ills in our country.”
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