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Kashif Hussain: Brave journalist, survivor of bomb blasts, broadcaster, a blogger

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KARACHI: Karachi is an extra ordinary city and its problems are also miraculous. Journalists working in this metro city are extraordinary too. One of the top of list name is Kashif Hussain. A brave media person and an eye witness of Karachi’s ups and downs when the city was burning and declared as a war zone.

Being the eldest son and first child, Syed Kashif Hussain son of Syed Shakir Ali was born at Faizabad colony of the district Khairpur Mir’s, Sindh on May 28, 1980. He got his primary education from the Government Primary School and matriculation from the Government Comprehensive High School, Khairpur in 1995.

Kashif Hussain fetched A plus grades throughout his education from primary to secondary however he secured B grade in his matriculation. He did his intermediate from the Government Superior Science College, Khairpur in year 1998 with flying colours.

In year 1999, Mr Kashif got admission in the Shah Abdul Lateef University, Khairpur where he did his Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Masters of Arts (MA) in Mass Communication with first division.

With an ambition to adopt  journalism as his career to serve the oppressed masses, Kashif Hussain went to Rawalpindi in search of a job where he joined an evening newspaper namely – Daily Atish – Daily Asaas and used to do Khuli Kachehri to raise social issue and public voice for almost one year and was that much stuck and occupied with work assignments couldn’t attend the funeral of his grand father due to work commitment with whom he was so much attached but his dedication to profession and learning zest made him what he is today. He also faced several problems like language barrier in Islamabad and Rawalpindi but he put all his efforts to move-on and improve his ability with time.

Fortunately, Kashif Hussain met the most senior journalist of Islamabad and ex-president of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Mr. C.R Shamsi who handed him a ‘letter’ for the most senior journalist of Karachi named late Abdul Hameed Chapraa sahab, former president of Karachi Press Club and PFUJ and well known strong and bold voice for the rights of journalist in Pakistan.

Kashif Hussain came back to Karachi where he luckily met Abdul Hameed Chapraa at Karachi Press Club and handed him a ‘letter’ of Shamsi sahab, Abdul Hameed Chapraa looked at him for short span and asked press club’s Qayyum Baba to provide tea and food until Kashif gets a proper job. Within few days, Kashif got a job in Daily Kainat newspaper and given responsibilities to cover special events for newspaper’s special pages, conduct interviews and local governments with utmost commitment and dedication.

In year 2002, Kashif Hussain got a job offer from ARY OneWorld (presently ARY News) with responsibilities to cover Sindh Assembly’s sessions, political parties, Sindh government and crime. Syed Kashif Hussain remained associated with ARY News from year 2002 to 2010. This was the time when Karachi was in grip of terrorism.

From Lyari to Kati Phari area, Kashif Hussain reported from every nook and corner of the city particularly on 12th May, 2007 when former Chief Justice announced to visit Karachi and opponents announced to block his entry.

“Because most of the road leading to the airport were closed, the Pakistan International Airline (PIA) had to delay all its flight due to the non-availability of cockpit and cabin crews who were unable to reach the airport in time,” Kashif Hussain recalled.

During the rampage, it was mostly the supporters of Chief Justice who lost their lives. Dozens of supporters were left dead in the massacre. More than 800 political workers were arrested.

Besides, Mr Kashif Hussain covered more than one hundred bomb blasts in the metropolis and fortunately he survived four bomb blasts including Muharram procession blasts, PACC blast and the deadly Karsaz blast on the convoy of former prime minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Kashif sustained minor injuries in Karsaz blast while his cameraman namely Arif Khan lost his life during that deadly attack on Benazir Bhutto Shaheed.

Moreover, Kashif also did year’s long coverage of American journalist Daniel Pearl starting from kidnapping to murder investigation. He also reported on Al Qaeda and Taliban related arrests from Karachi.

During the worst situation of Karachi most of the international media rely on Kashif Hussain information. Kashif Hussain also helped Sky News UK to cover 2010 worst flooding which affected almost 7.2 million people in Sindh province.

In his career as journalist, Kashif has covered four general elections and three local bodies elections. Kashif Hussain is amongst very few journalists who covered 6 Senate elections in the country. He has first-hand knowledge on the core issues of the Sindh province including water issues, distribution of financial resources, National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, Water Accord 1991, population census etc.

Kashif has also conducted high-profile interviews of Pakistan’s politicians including Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, Asif Ali Zaradari, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Pir Pagara, Asfand Yar Wali, Atta ullah Mengal, Rasool Bux Palijo, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Makhdoom Amin Faheem and many well known political movers of Pakistan.

Kashif Hussain also served as President of Association of Television Journalist(ATJ) during the tenure of General Pervaiz Musharaf when he imposed emergency. He played an active role for the restoration of media and jailed for few days as he was among few who rejected dictatorship regime. Afterward during the tenure as Joint Secratery of PFUJ in 2015-17 continued the same. He also remained very proactive in the politics of Karachi Press Club (KPC) and Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ).

In year 2011, Mr Kashif joined Express News as senior political correspondent and worked there for a period of one year. Again in 2012, Kashif joined ARY News as its Chief Reporter at Karachi Bureau till early 2016. Then, he joined Channel 24 as its Bureau Chief for one year.

In 2017, Kashif Hussain once again joined ARY News as Deputy Bureau Chief and remained associated with the organization till November 2019. In March 2020, Kashif was offered position of Media Consultant at the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Secretariat Bilawal House, Media Cell, which he accepted and is working their till date.

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Muhammad Mushtaq Ibrahim Soomro – An urban town planner, architect, expert in building laws, a historian

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KARACHI: Born into a prominent agriculturist and business family on June 5, 1972, Muhammad Mushtaq Ibrahim Soomro hails from Shah Panjo Sultan, a small village in Mehar taluka, district Dadu. Mushtaq’s father, Muhammad Ibrahim Soomro was a senior bureaucrat who served the Sindh Government for decades. He has three brothers and two sisters, all highly educated and well settled.

Mushtaq received his primary education from the renowned NJV School. He completed his matriculation with A-grade from Abbasi Academy, Bahadurabad, affiliated with the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK) in 1987.

He then moved to Hyderabad, where he completed his intermediate education with another A-grade from the prestigious Public School Hyderabad under the Board of Intermediate Education Hyderabad in 1989. He was a bright student known for his active participation in extracurricular activities, Mushtaq won several awards for his writing skills.

With a vision to pursue a distinctive career, Mushtaq secured admission to Pakistan’s premier engineering university, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) in 1996, once again achieving 2nd position.

Upon completing his university education, he was offered a lecturer position at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro. Simultaneously, Mushtaq cleared a competitive selection process and joined the then Karachi Building Control Authority as Assistant Controller of Buildings (BS-17) in 1998, an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Local Government and Housing Town Planning Department.

Initially posted at Circle D, Mushtaq later served in the Design Section and gained field experience in building rules and regulations for five years. In 2003, he was appointed officiating deputy director. In 2011, with the formation of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Mushtaq served as Deputy Director in various regions, including Larkana. He held positions such as Deputy Director Gulshan Town-I, Deputy Director Saddar Town-II, and Deputy Director Gulshan Town-II.

Finally promoted to BS-18 in 2014, Mushtaq served as Regional Director for the Larkana Region and Deputy Director (Coordination), SBCA HQ, Karachi. During this period, he also pursued and completed his semesters of Masters in Regional & City Planning from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET), pending thesis submission due to official commitments.

In 2019, he was promoted to BS-19 and firstly posted as Director of Research and Regulations. Recognised for his integrity and dedication, Mushtaq has held multiple roles in BS-19, including Director Administration, Maintenance, Research and Regulations, Procurement, Finance and Accounts and Licensing and Records.

In October 2022, owing to his expertise in legal matters, building bylaws, and urban town planning, his services were retained by the Local Government and Housing Town Planning Department, Government of Sindh, where he undertook several special assignments.

Following a brief stint, Having Diploma in Leadership & Management and Finance & Accounts, Mushtaq Soomro returned to SBCA in September 2023 as Director Administration and Finance, HQ, and Regional Director for the Hyderabad Region. Presently, he is performing duties as Transition Officer (industries) in the SBCA, assisting in formulating rules and regulations for the industrial sector alongside his primary role as Director Administration and Finance having office at SBCA HQ Karachi.

Mushtaq has had an impressive array of service credentials at SBCA, including serving as SBCA’s Focal Person and liaison officer for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for many years. He has been member of the committee notified for the draft Service regulations of SBCA. He has also been the Coordinator and Head of the SBCA Reforms Committee, instrumental in introducing the stage-wise ‘Single Window (paper-less) Facility’ for online processing of construction permits under the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Programme.

Mushtaq has also been a Member of the Standing Committee on Karachi Building and Town Planning Regulations (KB&TPR) and has played a pivotal role as Focal Person and Member of the team of technical draftsmen for the legislation and framework of the newly formed Sindh Master Plan Authority. His contributions also include technical drafting of the Sindh High Density Development Board Rules and serving as the Focal Person for the National Coordination Committee on Housing, Construction, and Development (NCCHCD) / Prime Minister’s Naya Pakistan Housing & Development Authority.

Additionally, he has chaired the Committee on One Window Operations at Khairpur Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) in alignment with the SBCO / KB&TPR, based on proposals from the Investment Department, Government of Sindh. He has been also member of the technical committee assigned the task to prepare energy conservation building code of Pakistan by National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority.

Additionally, he has been key member of the committee who drafted the Regional building and town planning regulations for the other regions of SBCA except Karachi. He is also visiting faculty member at Pakistan Institute of Management. In the face of challenges, Mushtaq has proven to be an impediment for the old guard with his unwavering commitment to excellence. Despite facing continuous pressures and defamation attempts, he has consistently demonstrated steadfast dedication in carrying out his official duties.

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Imtiaz Ali Abro – A fine administrator, a topper, legal and financial fellow, FPSC qualifier

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KARACHI: While opening his eyes in the financially stable and a prominent family of Mehar Town of District Dadu, Imtiaz Ali Abro son of Mumtaz Ali was born on January 30, 1978.

Mr Imtiaz received his early education from the Government Primary Main School, Mehar while he received secondary education from the Government High School Mehar, both with scholarship and clinched A1 grade from BISE Hyderabad.

He passed his intermediate from the Government Degree College, Khairpur Nathan Shah, affiliated with the Board of Intermediate Education Hyderabad in 1996. He grabbed A-grade in the intermediate examination.

Imtiaz Ali Abro remained outstanding student in the school, as well as, in the college who always took active part in the extra-curricular activities, remained Captain of High School Team and also won debate and writing competitions in the school and college.

While finishing his college education, Mr Abro got admission in the most prestigious institution – Chandka Medical College – Larkana, the home district two former premiers Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, to be a doctor however he quit the MBBS degree in the second year.

Then, he moved to Karachi, the port city, where he got admission in the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) from where completed CA Foundation.

With an ambition to do something different in life, Imtiaz Ali Abro appeared in the entry test of province’s premier education institution – University of Sindh – and clinched 1st position. He did his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance in 2003 by securing the highest GPA 3.82 out of 4.

Immediate after completing his MBA degree, Imtiaz Abro started his telecommunication business in Karachi & Dadu . In the meantime, he also completed his LLB and LLM from city’s top university – University of Karachi – by securing First Class.

In 2005, Imtiaz Abro appeared in departmental commission of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and qualified for the post of Assistant Audit Officer. He served the federal government for four and a half years.

In 2009, Imtiaz also appeared in the most competitive examination held by the Sindh Public Service Commission (SPSC) that he qualified with flying colours. He joined the most prestigious post of Assistant Commissioner (BS-17) in Sindh Government.

Firstly, Imtiaz was posted as Assistant Commissioner Daharki, district Ghotki. He also served as Assistant Commissioner Naushero Feroze, Pithoro (Umarkot) Karachi Nazimabad and SITE area. He also served as Assistant Commissioner Landhi for more than three years. In 2015, he grabbed first position in AC-I and AC-II examination.

In 2017, Mr Abro was promoted to BS-18 and was posted as Deputy Director, Education and Literacy Department. He also served as Project Director Automation, Board of Revenue.

Imtiaz had also worked as Senior Director (Operations) in the Sindh Food Authority (SFA) where he served with utmost commitment for one and a half years. Then, he was posted as Additional Deputy Commissioner, Karachi’s Central district where he remained posted for four months.

He also served Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) as Senior Director at different portfolios and Financial Advisor for more than two years. He had also served as Deputy Commissioner, district Sujawal for some eleven months. He also briefly worked as Director Commerce and Industries in Government of Sindh.

Presently, Imtiaz Ali Abro is working as Director, Anti-Corruption Establishment, Sindh where he is working tirelessly to root out the menace of financial embezzlement from the government departments.

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Zahid Hussain Mirani – A lawyer, an investigator, a cricketer, a debater

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KARACHI: Zahid Hussain Mirani son of Gulzar Ahmed Mirani was born at Garhi Yasin, a town of district Shikarpur on January 25, 1978. His father was a contractor. Zahid Mirani has two brothers and a sister.

Mr Zahid received his early education from the Government Primary School, Habib Mungrani while he got secondary education from the Government Shah Abdul Latif High School, Shikarpur, affiliated with the Board of Secondary Education Sukkur with flying colours in 1993.

He passed his intermediate from the Government C&S Degree College, Shikarpur, affiliated with the Board of Intermediate Education Sukkur in 1995. Yet again, he secured good grades.

Mr Mirani was an extraordinary student in his school as well as in the college. He took active part in debate competitions and loved to play cricket.

While finishing his college education, Zahid Hussain got admission in Sindh’s prominent educational institution – University of Sindh – from where he completed his Bachelors of Science (B.Sc) and Masters of Science (M.Sc) in Physiology in 2000.

Mr Mirani also did his LLB from Haji Maula Bux Law College, Shikarpur which was affiliated with Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur in 2006. He became member of the Sindh Bar Council in 2008 and started practicing in lower and upper courts. He received a good repute being as the most competent lawyer.

In 2011, Zahid Hussain Mirani appeared and qualified the Departmental Commission of the Anti-Corruption Department, a provincial watchdog, and became Sub-Inspector (BPS-14).

Firstly, he was posted as Sub-Inspector at Deputy Director Karachi office in October 2011. He went to Police Training Center Shahdadpur for the police training.

While returning from the one year training, Mr Mirani was posted as Circle Officer, district Jamshoro. He was then posted in the office of Deputy Director South Zone Karachi.

Mirani had also served as Circle Officer Thatta, Sujawal, Tharparkar and Umerkot districts where he unearthed and investigated several cases of financial misappropriations.

In 2017, Zahid Hussain Mirani was promoted to the post of Inspector (BS-16) and remained posted in the office of Deputy Director Mirpurkhas and Director’s office at Karachi. He had also served as Circle Officer Karachi Souh and East districts.

In 2024, Zahid Mirani was promoted to the post of Assistant Director (BS-17) and posted at the Directorate of Anti-Corruption Establishment where he is serving till date.

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