By Shoukat Zardari, AWAZ-TV Anchor from Karachi, Pakistan
Today, I want to share different things I see here and discuss some things back at my home. When I got up early in the morning on Monday, I was much concerend and worried about Sindh Province. I started searching news from Pakistan and especially my province. Some people there mourned it as a black day and for some it was the day to show their strength. I would say it was a really busy day for Sindhi media and as a news anchor, I missed the opportunity to cover the history in my home. This was the first time the people of Sindh greeted their own elected representatives with eggs and tomatos. Some even threw shoes at them.
If we go back to history, it is unclear when this practice of expressing anger by showing shoes, tomatos and eggs got started. But for the workers of the major democratic party in Pakistan, this was something new in our hometown. There is a big debate going on in historicallly rich province of pakistan about the local government system and majority of the people think that the provincial assembly has passed a bill which divides the rural and urban population into two different sects. That's why President Zardari's party is losing support in his own hometown.
When I got to the newsroom we had an early morning editorial meeting and I decided to go with reporter Antwan Harris to cover the reduction of hours at area post offices. Postal service in U.S is totally different than Pakistan. In Pakistan government-owned postal service is largerly used by government departments. Fewer citizens benefit from this service as compared to the U.S. Here in U.S., I learned that the government is proposing to cut working hours to save almost $500 million per year. By reducing working hours or closing some offices will not only irritate people of U.S but will cost them more in fuel to find a post office that is open.
It was again a great experience with Antwan and I also interviewd him about his methods of covering public sector issue. I also put some questions to him about the decision of cutting of work hours and coming U.S elections for my show. After returning from the coverage we stopped at an agriculture produce shop and I was amazed to see how were they managing the produce to prevent spoilage. Even that shop was a big learning point because 70% of Pakistan's economy is based on agriculture. We waste most of our produce because of no preservation. I wish if we had a way to teach farmers to not only save our products but support our economy too.
Editor Note: Shoukat Zardari is visiting WRCB for the month of October to learn about U.S. media coverage. He is part of a foreign journalist visitor program supported by the U.S. State Department. WRCB is one of 14 American media organizations hosting a Pakistani journalist. Click here to learn more about Mr. Zardari's visit.