Hammad Siddiqi

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Hammad Siddiqi (born July 29, 1979) is a U.S.A based Pakistani economist, banker and social commentator. He is the only son of former Pakistani politician Shahid Aziz Siddiqi and educationist and social worker Shabana Siddiqi. He is the brother of Beenish Mahmood who is a jewellery designer for Tiffany & Co.[citation needed]

In 1996, he was named in the 100 Best Young Cricketers in Pakistan, which included future stars like Shahid Afridi, Hasan Raza, Bazid Khan and Faisal Iqbal, and was invited to a camp for fast bowlers supervised by former Test bowler Sarfraz Nawaz the same year. Despite showing early promise, he did not continue with Cricket. Siddiqi is part of the new generation of creative and thought provoking Karachiites and was classmates with comedians Kumail Nanjiani, Saad haroon and film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinay.

Born in Karachi, he received a bachelors degree in International Relations and Economics from the University of Cincinnati and a Masters in Developmental Economics from the Ohio State University. He also received a Masters Degree and wrote his doctoral thesis in Urban Planning and Development from the London School of Economics. Hammad Siddiqi served on the campaign staff for Governor George W. Bush during the 2000 Presidential elections.

Hammad Siddiqi joined Citigroup as a Management Trainee in 2003. He is an active contributor to various print and electronic publications on varied subjects from Economics to International Relations, Sports and Social Activism, as well as Literature and Cinema. He has recurring columns in a variety of different print and electronic publications including the Cincinnati Enquirer, The New York Times, Dawn, The News International, Chowk.com and many more. He writes and comments using a variety of different pseudonyms.

He was a regular contributor to the now defunct broadsheet The Star (Pakistan) which was Pakistan's most popular evening newspaper. He was brought on the staff by editor Kamal Majidulla as his protégé. During his time writing for "The Star" Siddiqi published a number of controversial and hard hitting articles on censorship in Pakistan, the rise of parallel judiciaries (in the wake of the Mukhtaran Mai tragedy) and the rising popularity of chemical drugs like ecstasy and acid. After the article "Ecstasy in Karachi" was published in March 2005, he received numerous death threats from Karachi's powerful drug mafia. He also wrote for the weekend edition of "Star" in the absence of Asif Noorani and interviewed stylist Tariq Amin and architect Shanaz Ismail.

In 2005 Siddiqi was involved in the development of a current affairs talk show "Straight Talk" with friend and co-host Rameez Loan. The premise of the program revolved on the conflict between the liberal views of Siddiqi and ultra-orthodox ones of Loan. The show was set to be aired on AAJ TV and produced by Kalid Soorti, however due to disagreements between Siddiqi and the producers regarding censorship, the effort did not bear fruition except one pilot episode.

He is a vociferous advocate of the Partition of the sub-continent, an event on which he commented in Public Affairs Magazine in 2003;

Most of us Pakistanis are proud of our country. Yes, the educated and honest among us realise the shortcomings of our young nation, and do not hesitate to criticise its current failings. But at the same time, we realise that these are the growing pains of an adolescent nation, not yet sixty years old.([1][dead link])

In 2005 he attempted to make a foray into grass roots politics with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi however he has since discontinued his support for that organization for unspecified reasons.

External links[edit]

www.chowk.com/writers/2088