I had a chance to meet well-known Pakistani journalist Sohail Warraich recently during his visit to Silicon Valley. He was here to record an interview with successful Pakistani-American entrepreneur Osman Rashid, founder of Chegg and Kno.
Sohail Warraich is a senior journalist and political analyst as well as a popular host of "Ek Din Geo K Sath" aired on Geo TV. Warraich's show features interviews with top politicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs, entertainers, sportsmen and other personalities and celebrities. He often points out contradictions and hypocrisies in the lives of his guests on his show by asking them: "Kia yeh khula tazad naheen" (Is it not an obvious contradiction)? Warraich is known to be close to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who is currently in jail for owning overseas assets beyond means. He wrote Nawaz Sharif's hagiography "Ghaddar Kaun". Warraich believes the rise of Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party have been enabled by the strong support of the military andImran Khan's popularity with Pakistan's rising middle class.
L to R: Sohail Warraich, Misbah Azam, Riaz Haq
Osman Rashid is the son of a Pakistani diplomat. He was born in London and raised in Islamabad. He came to the United States from Pakistan in 1990s to study electrical engineering at University of Minnesota and earned a BSEE there. He is a successful serial entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.
Osman Rashid invited me and a few other Pakistani-American friends to meet Warraich over dinner at his Los Altos home. In response to my question about about the current state of affairs in Pakistan, Warraich shared his insights below:
1. Pakistan's middle class is rising and increasingly asserting itself in politics.
2. Pakistani military is the most dominant force in the country. It enjoys broad support among the middle class Pakistanis.
4. Middle class support for the military will eventually fade and there will eventually be conflict between the two. It could lead to significant political changes in the country.
5. The situation of the people of Thar is improving with the development of coal mining and construction of power plants. There are better roads and growing employment opportunities for the locals. Warraich has visited Thar multiple times recently and found that the media reports of hunger and poverty and lack of health care are highly exaggerated. Such reports could be politically motivated to defame Pakistan People's Party (PPP).