Ibtehaj Khurram

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Ibtehaj Khurram is a well-known TV anchor, host and analyst from Pakistan particularly known for his sophisticated and polished style and articulate presentations, independent views and bold analyses of current affairs and other subjects.

Career[edit]

Currently based in Canada, Khurram gained fame and wealth in the early nineties for some of his presentations on Pakistan Television, the then only TV channel of Pakistan. His programmes on current affairs produced by Pakistan Television, Karachi Centre were very popular because of his smooth tackling and bold stance on controversial issues. TV Times in its August 1994 issue complimented him by saying that “Dr. Khurram…has the wit of Anwar Maqsood, the energy of Naeem Bokhari and his own strong individual style… and is brimming with confidence and has mega talent.".[1] While Women’s Own Magazine in its main feature Women's Own Man published Khurram's interview and praised him by saying, “…The first thing you notice about Dr. Ibtehaj Khurram is his grace and his voice which has range, gentleness and polish. An eloquent speaker, Ibtehaj has a presence on the screen when he comperes a show.".[2]

His 13 episodes program “Gird-O-Pesh”, produced by Shabbir Channa in 1990 was the first ever presentation on environmental issues of Pakistan by the media that created huge awareness on environmental issues within the public and government circles. His other notable programs include, Face to Face, produced by Athar Viqar Azeem, University Challenge and Pas-e-Parda both produced by Tajdaar Adil besides numerous current affairs talk shows. He also anchored various live coverages of events of national and international importance from Pakistan TV including the marathon coverage of 1997 National Assembly Elections from Pakistan Television, Islamabad with Naveed Shehzad along with fellow anchors Naeem Bukhari & Qurat-ul-Ain Ali and Mustansar Tarar & Aliya Rasheed.

With the launch of NTM, the first private TV programming venture in the early nineties, Khurram hosted a very popular series “Chotay Baray Loug” in 1994 for this venture. The show was based on one on one interviews of self made persons who achieved eminent position through hard work and unrelenting struggle, despite living in poverty and misery in their early lives. Hakim Saeed, Alamgir, Zia Shahid of Khabrain, Younus Dalia, Senior Executive VP of Habib Bank, S. A. Alvi, Creator of Dentonic Powder, and Iqbal Qureshi, Chairman State Life Insurance Corp. were among the personalities interviewed in this program. At that time it was speculated that with this program Khurram became the highest paid TV show host in Pakistan as he was paid four to five times more than what Pakistan TV used to pay to its popular hosts and anchors during those days.

In recognition of his outstanding services in creating awareness on environmental and population planning issues in Pakistan, in 1991, he was invited by the USIS under the Distinguished Visitors Program to study the projects and programs by various NGOs in United States in the areas of environment and population planning. Khurram also served as the Vice Chair of Women, Youth & Environment Committee of the largest NGO in Pakistan, Family Planning Association of Pakistan[3] and later as member of its Board of Governors. In 1996, he was awarded the Common Wealth Award for his outstanding services in the areas of population planning, women empowerment and environment through the platform of Family Planning Association of Pakistan an affiliate of International Planned Parenthood Federation.[4]

A physician by qualification, he received postgraduate training at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and Civil Hospital Karachi but later in late 80s, he switched career to join pharmaceutical industry and since then he has held senior marketing and medical positions in various multinational pharmaceutical companies in both Pakistan and Canada. He was the Head of Marketing at Hoechst Marion Roussel Pakistan (now Aventis Pakistan), when he moved to Canada in 1997 to join AstraZeneca Canada (4th largest MNC pharma in Canada)as a Medical Marketing Manager. He left AstraZeneca in 2005 while working as the Commercialization Team Leader to join a Canadian Company, Meridian Pharma as a Director for the developing markets.

Khurram's journalistic career began in 2003, when he assumed the responsibility of honorary Chief Editor of a community publication Paaras, the largest circulated bilingual (Urdu & English) family magazine published from Canada for the South Asians in North America. His current affairs analysis and articles on other subjects published in the Paaras Magazine have been widely appreciated by the readers. He frequently appears on Canadian TV channel SSTV as a senior analyst on political and international affairs.

References[edit]

  1. ^ TV TIMES, August 1994, Vol: 11, No. 4, page: 62-63 by Faesalle
  2. ^ Women’s Own, JUNE 1994, Vol. 8, No. 6 Page 132-136 by Kaleem Ahsan
  3. ^ http://www.fpapak.org/
  4. ^ http://www.ippf.org/en/