S. EHTISHAM ALI
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By AZAM ALI
Jan 10 - 16, 2005
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SYED EHTISHAM ALI

 

 

is currently working as a Director Press Liaison to Inspector General Police Sindh (IGP) where he is assigned to keep a perfect relation between national and international print and electronic mediamen and Sindh Police which has an identical reputation. At the one hand, he has to be eyes and ears of Sindh Police at the other hand he has to be a perfect mediaman on providing immediate and correct information on required time. His job is very sensitive as a single sentence from his office before media people could effect any major incident investigation or could mislead the media which could bring long-term damaged to the already fragile reputation of the Sindh Police. Syed Ehtisham Ali was born in Lukhnow (India) in 1943 where he got his early education. After independence, he arrived in Karachi and completed his education from Karachi University. He started his professional carrier from Radio Pakistan Karachi and Pakistan Television, later he joined an international advertising agency Lintas as a copywriter, producer and commercial artist. He won international prizes for creating the best commercials of Muslim Commercial Bank and United Bank Limited, and for a commercial of a cigarette firm. After working in some other advertising agencies, the Sindh Government took his services as a Research Officer and Film Producer in 1975 when Sindh Government's activities were filmed and released in all cinema houses. Ehtisham produced several documentary films for the government. He also worked as Public Relation Officer (PRO) with several provincial ministries of Sindh. His longest posting for 10 years was as PRO to the Commissioner Karachi Division which at that time was one of the powerful office in the Karachi Division. He also remained as PRO to the Chief Secretary Sindh.

PAGE: Police Department has its identical reputation. What do you feel when you face sharp criticism from general public or media people?

EHTISHAM ALI: The fact never be forgotten that every person is responsible and answerable to his own character. I am performing my duties I review and correct myself rather than pointing out others faults. I am here to built Sindh Police image, this is my duty, I do it according to its requirement with best of my capabilities. In our society no one is perfect but we do criticize on others but never tolerate criticism on ourselves. Yes there are many allegations on Police but the policing system we have now is better than we had in past. As long as corruption allegation is concerned, yes I agree there are some black sheeps but they are in many other departments too. "You go to any busy roundabout signal and watch how many people unnecessary violate the law and feel happy. Does police force them to violate the traffic rules. So just blaming the police would not be justified".

PAGE: Press in Karachi stated to be aggressive, don't you feel uncomfortable facing them?

EHTISHAM ALI: I have my own credibility and reputation, apart from this I believe in truth and handle every press man according to its required manners. "There is never any problem with me facing them."

PAGE: When you joined Information Department you saw the press now after 30 years, what difference did you find?

EHTISHAM ALI: Media was very responsible those days. Now a large number of newspapers in entire country not performing according to required responsibility. There are many responsible journalists and newspapers but many others don't. Media badly needs to change its role in order to get back to previous prestige.

 

 

PAGE: What difference do you find after introduction of TV channels?

EHTISHAM ALI: Change has come but still PTV is on top of them. Credibility is the first thing which brings PTV on top of other local channels. We are trying to copy others style in order to attract viewers but instead of going ahead we were are going back. Still PTV entertainment programs could be seen with our family members. Even India tried to copy PTV's dramas but could not do accordingly. "We were are copying others but going nowhere. I think the time will come that viewers would return to PTV after taking a round of all TV channels."

PAGE: Are you satisfied with your present work?

EHTISHAM ALI: I am basically a dynamic, result-oriented and creative person. I am working here but I don't find chances to show my creativity. After many years of working as PRO and Director Press Liaison etc, I might change my mind and start creative works as present period there is a large requirement in many fields including media.

PAGE: There is an allegation on police department that newspapers don't get required and correct information on time, would you say something?

EHTISHAM ALI: Credible newspapers and newsmen both in print and electronic media get correct information on time. As long as allegation is concerned number of people who have joined the press for some other purposes don't want information for publication but for vested interests. So allegations are there and there are reasons behind too.