PakHungama: While working in media azad hai how free you fell the media is?
Hifsah: The name of the show was a rhetorical question and not a statement. Media has become the most flourishing industry in Pakistan. As it is the most scrutinized profession today not only in Pakistan but all over the world, it would be incorrect to say it is free and independent. Journalism here is neither controlled nor is it truly independent. Some journalists are smart enough to do things freely in a controlled environment. They are rebelling in the imposed norms and fighting against commercialization of news with honesty and holding true to their values and judgments. The day is not far when journalism would truly be free in this country.
PakHungama: You worked for a youth-based NGO StepUP Pakistan from 2012 to 2014 working directly with its Chairman, the youth prodigy Ali Moeen Nawazish how motivated you find the youth of Pakistan?
Hifsah: Working for StepUP had been a wonderful experience. The work involved communication directly with the youth under its various projects. I feel that the youth of Pakistan is highly talented, motivated and aware. The only problem is that there are no avenues or opportunities for them. There is a huge void for the youth to express themselves and you see the social media filling that void for them. The youth has started many platforms on their own and it’s working out pretty good. And here is to hoping that the Pakistani youth won’t disappoint the following generation.
PakHungama: while working with Sharjeel Inam Memonl for media policies, plans and agendas for party members pa, as well as being responsible for devising press statements and relaying the go government’s stance to be taken in the electronic as well as print media how was your experience with the government system?
Hifsah: It is perceived that government organizations are not efficient enough. This is not entirely true, as I have had a first-hand experience working in it. There is funding and there is vision but it lacks human resource. There are such talented people out there but it’s only in government organizations that you see people who don’t want to work. There is no supervision from the top and one can blame the political influences. It was an enlightening experience as it is not everyday that you get to work in power corridors of Sindh.
PakHungama: You co-founded the Aasha Youth League, the brain child of Aasha Alliance – an anti-sexual harassment NGO how this idea hits your mind?
Hifsah: I owe it to my mentor Fouzia Saeed as the anti-sexual harassment bill in 2010 would not have been possible without her. We were asked to take her mission forward and help in the implementation of the bill. It was great going to universities and colleges and making students and the management aware of the working of the bill.
PakHungama: One thing you want to change in Media?
Hifza: I would like it when the women in media are respected for their work and not just for their physical appearances. No matter how hard I tried to be seen as more more than an eye-candy, people would merely look at your looks first.
PakHungama: Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy k platform c creating as much an environment of peace between India and Pakistan as possible as well as the South Asian Free Media Association. How hopeful are you in this context ?
Hifsah: I am hopeful that people-to-people connections and relations would bring in this region one day. People want peace in both the countries, it’s the states that want conflict. I believe that in today’s world diplomacy and conflict-resolution is needed and there is no place for war. Transnational groups like PIPFPD and SAFMA are doing a good job at maintaining relations between the people in both countries.
PakHungama: After studing International Relations why have you selected Journalism?
Hifsah: I always wanted to be a diplomat and which is why I took up international relations as not only a subject of interest but as passion. I wanted to write for a newspaper for a year before my masters and it so happened that I started falling under the spell of journalism. I wanted to be a war correspondent. You see both the areas are very closely related. I want to work on Islamism and its roots but I also enjoy being a journalist, both for print and TV. One day when my book on Islamism and Middle East is published, I will be both an IR academic and a veteran journalist.
PakHungama: what are your plans in future?
Hifsah: No matter how much I plan for decades, I am afraid it never works out like that. I am quite unpredictable and I never fail to amaze myself. Although, I do look forward to making it big someday, that’s as much of a plan for me for now.
PakHungama: what is the most important asset of your life?
Hifza: My most important asset is my courage and being able to be kind. These are two things that I hold super close to myself, be it for work or my personal life.
PakHungama: any of your wish you want to accomplish which is not yet attained?
Hifza: I wish to be more focused and determined. I get obsessed with things and aims very easy.
PakHungama: Whom do u aspire as your role model in the field?
Hifsah: There are quite a few journalists that are inspiring, especially in Pakistan. I really don’t think I can name them since every journalist is doing his or her job differently. In terms of TV, you can’t become someone else, you really have to adapt your own style and aura under the paradigms of ethics and values. Its better to just know the dos and don’ts of journalism. I aspire to be my own role model one day.
PakHungama: You have worked both in electronic and print media which do you found more interesting?
Hifsah: In terms of effect, TV is pretty impactful but in terms of upholding journalistic values its far more ethical. Although, its important to note that there are different kinds of influences affecting both the mediums. Personally, print is more exciting since I have looked up to international journalists on the field. TV is a whole different experience, the nature of work is different. It would be great if TV uses its impact to its full potential here in Pakistan and bridge the gap between the audience of TV and print.
PakHungama: any message for the youth of Pakistan?
Hifsah: Always believe in yourself. There is nobody out there to help you, its only you who can help yourself. I’ve seen the younger ones with lesser hope and optimism. Hope is an important feeling as it is the mother of all other emotions and feelings. Never lose help in yourself or the world.
Courtesy : Encyclomedia PR & PakHungama.Com