Mushahid Hussain Sayed,
Yuli Ismartono [time 22:51]
12th February, 2007
Yuli Ismartono: Senator Hussain, thank you for being with us today. Let me ask you first about your interesting background. How did you get to jump from journalism to politics?
Mushahid Hussain: Well, before I became a journalist I was an academic, teaching at a university. Each time it seems that I would be thrown out, that something goes wrong, I switch professions. And I switch jobs. I was a teacher and I got thrown out. I had nothing to else to do so I started writing and I became a journalist. After being a journalist, I worked for a newspaper as a syndicated columnist, but I became bored about the whole thing, so I thought that it may be time to influence policy directives. So I jumped into the fray, joined politics, which is of course something very interesting and challenging, sometimes more than journalism.
YI: So you joined a political party?
Mushahid Hussain: Yes, I did. And the political party I joined was then the opposition. In Third World countries like Pakistan, you never know when a party in the opposition will ever come back to power or not. But I thought it was worth a try. After all, it's only one life. You got to take risks and challenges.
YI: So you get elected to parliament?
Mushahid Hussain: Yes, I got elected to parliament in 1997. First of all I carried out media campaign on the opposition, then after the elections the party came to power and I got elected to parliament.
YI: And you were re-elected in 2002
Mushahid Hussain: Yes, I was.
YI: You were also a government spokesman.
Mushahid Hussain: Yes, I was the spokesman from 1997to 1999 for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It was a very crucial period because we were going nuclear then and we were celebrating 60 years of Pakistani independence. So it was a peak year. We were also having problems with India. It was a very interesting period.