Journalists Wrestle with Complex Pakistan-U.S. Relationship

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HONOLULU (April 18, 2011) — Thirteen journalists from Pakistan and America are currently visiting each other’s countries as part of the East-West Center’s inaugural Pakistan-U.S. Journalists Exchange.
At the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, the journalists participated in focused discussions on the complex U.S.-Pakistan relationship and issues facing the media in both countries. The Pakistani participants then travelled to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Columbia, Missouri, while the Americans visited Islamabad and Lahore, Pakistan.
They will meet again in Honolulu to exchange notes and impressions, and will participate in a public panel discussion on U.S. engagement in Pakistan on April 21.
The participants in the fellowship are:
Pakistan:

  • Syed Wiqas Ahmad , Khyber TV Channel, Peshawar
  • Amir Latif Arain , Online News Network, Karachi
  • Malik Arshad Aziz , Daily Aaj , Peshawar
  • Muhammad Ejaz Khan , Geo TV/ The News International , Quetta
  • Muhammad Aftab Qureshi , Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad
  • Henna Saeed , Dawn News TV, Lahore
  • Mehmal Sarfraz , Daily Times , and Joint Secretary of South Asian Women in Media, Lahore
  • Kamal Siddiqi , The Express Tribune , Karachi

United States:

  • Christopher Beam , Slate Magazine, Washington, DC
  • Karen Fragala -Smith , Newsweek Magazine, New York City
  • Gina Kim , The Sacramento Bee , Sacramento, California
  • Eric Owles , The New York Times , New York City
  • Bigad Shaban , WVUE-TV (Fox affiliate), New Orleans, Louisiana

Program supported by State Department grant
The Pakistan-U.S. Journalists’ Exchange is supported by a U.S. State Department grant of $178,677 intended to help address the gaps in understanding between Pakistan and the U.S. by engaging media as public opinion leaders in both countries.
The Center has also received a separate State Department grant of $65,928to support the inclusion of journalists from Pakistan in several other EWC journalism fellowships. The goal of the grant is to strengthen mutual understanding, public democracy, and strategic communication by supporting the development of a fair and ethical media sector in Pakistan.
The projects are being conducted in partnership with a network of Pakistani institutions.
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The EAST-WEST CENTER promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.