When the media industry in Pakistan was thriving in its initial stages, yet women hardly forayed into the fairly-nascent field of profession, a name rose against all odds to achieve an unfathomable pinnacle of success in news-reading. Her proficiency in Urdu language, the grace with which she presented news on TV, coupled with utmost charisma and a strong screen presence acted as driving forces that propelled her in becoming a household name - a name that lives on in people’s hearts even after almost a decade of parting ways from the television. Ishrat Fatima Saqib is undoubtedly a star that needs no introduction.
Her name brings back a torrent of memories; of her time with the state-owned Pakistan Television (PTV) during the 1980s. Ishrat carved her distinct niche as a poised lady presenting news with elegance personified in every part of her being. Her 35 years of services to the news industry mirror the unflinching dedication and resolve she possesses. Furthermore, Ishrat is regarded as a major source of inspiration for aspiring news presenters who are desirous of making it big in the industry.
Venturing into the industry accidentally while she was still in school, Ishrat Fatima started her journey with Radio Pakistan when she hosted her own show ‘Khel aur Khiladi’. Having great command over Urdu and holding incredible public speaking skills from the very start, Ishrat Fatima had gone to audition for the weather segment that, during the time, used to play in the background on audio. Her fate, however, had bigger things in store when she decided to audition as a prospective news reader as well. Because of her innate talent, she got selected immediately. Since then there has been no turning back for her.
During a short interview with The News, Ishrat opened up about her line of work and laid stress on the tremendous amount of effort, time and energy she puts in it.
“It requires a lot of work on my part. I read news multiple times prior to presenting it on-screen and verify that it does not have an error. You see, I try to do my job with utmost sincerity. I feel hugely responsible for the information I have with me that I need to impart to the people.”
Ishrat Fatima is associated nowadays with Radio Pakistan where she also presents news on the Facebook Live bulletin segment. Bulletins helmed by her receive the most number of views which is a testament to the fact that she has a vast fan following even today.
Ishrat, commenting on the state of media in the country at present, opined, “It seems like all TV channels today are engaged in this notorious race of breaking news first. This race affects the credibility and quality of news adversely.”
“However, I believe, news as a career option has always been a very respectable profession for women. I would like to see more and more young girls forge ahead in the field,” she added.
Recipient of Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, Nigar and Musawwer awards along with various other honorary accolades, Ishrat Fatima is an asset that the entire nation should seek immense pride in. However, even the highest civil award like Pride of Performance cannot remunerate for Ishrat’s ceaseless hard work that she has been investing throughout her life.
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