You are one of the top influential people of Pakistan with both national and international following. Growing up, who influenced you the most in your life? Growing up, my mother continues to be my role model. A doctor by profession, I grew up seeing her multitasking between her professional and personal life -managing to strike just the right balance always. My mother was and continues to be my biggest inspiration in both my professional and personal life-the way she has made a name for herself in her profession, the way she has raised me and my siblings so wonderfully all these years. She was always there for me when I needed her help or guidance; my mom is my superhero-she is the perfect embodiment of everything I want to be later on in my life! You are a barrister and a talk show host of two current affairs programmes. At the same time, you are well connected in the fashion and social scene of the country. How have you managed to keep such a diverse and versatile group of acquaintances and connections? It is extremely important for any professional or any person to create a balance in their lives. As a person, I have varied interests and love meeting new people. Interacting with different types of people and maintaining a diverse network of acquaintances/friends always gives me a fresh perspective! It has also helped me be a more creative, innovative and productive professional too. I think it’s time we debunk the myth that to be an intellectual talk show host, you must only interact with a certain type of individuals. Knowing people from different walks of life has also helped me break free from the monotony of my routine life. Personally, I think everyone must have diversified friendships -if not anything it gives you a better world view! You are a style icon yourself and one of the most well-dressed TV hosts. What is your fashion/style comfort level? What do you have in mind while dressing up of selecting clothes? Where do you think most anchors and hosts go wrong when dressing up for camera? Fashion has always been a lifestyle choice for me— it’s a way I express myself to others. I have never followed trending fashion styles religiously but I do give attention to what I wear. From power dressing to effortless casual, my fashion style varies according to my mood and the occasion. On TV, I always make a conscious effort to be formally dressed and prefer sticking to solid colours and matching separates-I focus more on my style rather than my fashion sense …for me ‘less is always more’ and style is a way in which you say who you are, without speaking. I am not a big fan of flamboyant and loud dressing on television and I try and stick with a basic, simple but classy style generally. Rest I think, to each their own-fashion sense/style is something personal so people can wear whatever they like. From talking about national issues affecting the common man in Pakistan to broadening the debate by highlighting issues of global importance, how do you manage to strike a balance between the tone, quality and delivery of two completely different talk shows? As a talk show host, I have always been picky and choosy about the work I have done. I take pride in the fact that I have written the concept of both my talks shows, so I am quite invested in all that goes in my programmes; from its content to its presentation to the message it conveys to audience! I have always enjoyed discussing current events-my quest to stay abreast with last social/political developments and my legal background/training at the Bar has definitely helped me in my TV career-the stress on building my oratory skills in bar school really went a long way in sharpening my public speaking skills as a talk show host. Among different topics that you have shed light upon during your programmes, which do you feel the most strongly about and which of these shows did you enjoy doing the most? Rights of Differently Abled Persons, Women Breaking Stereotypes in Pakistan, Parental/Child Abandonment are issues I have always felt strongly about. After conducting show on these issues, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that despite the litany of rights violations we usually hear of in such cases, women and vulnerable segments in our society have definitely come a long way. Contrary to popular belief, they have won some important victories for themselves in recent years. In terms of shows I had fun recording, were shows I did with fashion designers including Rana Noman on how fashion impacts society, and then this show I did with Jack Silvanus and Dr Nauman Naseer on changing health/fitness trends in our society today-I’m a health freak so this show was definitely insightful in terms of getting my facts right on general well-being. What are the most pressing challenges faced by women in Pakistan’s media industry? What kind of hurdles have you faced, in making a name for yourself in this industry as a woman? It isn’t easy being a woman in media or any other profession anywhere in the world. I would say there is general pressure on a wide variety of issues. First & foremost is the painful salary gap between female and male individuals, everyone knows it’s true and yet we are still stuck with this injustice. Yet woman must always work twice as hard to be seen as credible as their male colleagues. I recall in my early days I was refused a show because I looked too young to be talking about challenges such as domestic violence, divorce, etc. Yet I believe these challenges produce real stars because women are tenacious and determined. That is why you have several fantastic female anchors and reporters worthy of admiration. We know you from ‘Qanoon Bolta Hai’ and ‘The Society.’ Tell us something personal about yourself which we don’t know? I am glad that I am a principled and secure person, I have always believed that we do need the opinions of others to feel validated or to have self-worth. I believe the most empowering thing a woman can do is be happy with herself…it is to love herself unconditionally and unapologetically! We need to learn to accept our flaws and imperfections. That’s something I strongly advocate for always! Also off screen, contrary to popular belief-I am a no-makeup person. I know we all live in a Golden Era of makeup but I feel more comfortable without makeup-going out without the need to hide your real face beneath layers of makeup always gives you a deeper sense of self-confidence! What advice would you give to your youth fan base, especially who are doubtful of their career prospects? Patience and perseverance is the key to success. Real life is poles apart from reel life, so don’t think if the main character of a certain movie becomes a millionaire within two years of their career, you will too! A bit of planning goes a long way however. Explore your interests, do what makes you happy, but give it your best always! If you want to be the best, you have to do things others aren’t willing to do!