Shamoon Abbasi has been an integral part of the television and film industry in Pakistan. As an actor, director, writer, and producer, he has seen the highs and lows of the media industry in his more than a two-decade-old career. Known for his temper when an injustice is being committed, and standing for those who have been wronged, Shamoon Abbasi decided to go where no one (from the industry) has gone before. He was recently appointed the president of the Sindh chapter of Insaf Sports and Culture Wing (ISCW) and his main objective is to ease things for the media fraternity, his fraternity. The News Tribe interviewed the veteran actor and asked him about the reasons that pulled him into politics and how he plans to make things better for his colleagues.
TNT: What was the main reason that pulled you into politics in the first place?
Abbasi: Quite honestly, I am not part of the political side of the party. With the help of the ruling party, my mission is to create and introduce strategies that can help the media industry interact with the government and be heard which makes me more of a technocrat than a politician.
TNT: With the PTI in power, how hopeful are you that things will get better financially for our TV and the film industry?
Abbasi: The financial hurdles that are being registered from the summits around Pakistan, the target is to make a transparent and clear balance between the media industry and the government. The Cultural and Sports Development department ISCW is very active in creating a better path for people involved in the business. That’s why the prime minister and Shahzaman Alam have decided to work on summits that can come up with the latest mechanism to make this work together.
TNT: Any update on the English News channel for the Islamic world in collaboration with Turkey and Malaysia, the one PM announced last year?
Abbasi: The collaboration is still active, but as we know that the government has many projects in hand to deal with the foreign world in terms of creating a swift relation with it. In the future, dedicated departments will be trained and made to handle these propositions as we move ahead from here. Training is an essential element for a substantial outcome and the project will only be a massive success if it goes through the proper channel.
TNT: Being a filmmaker who is now part of the ruling party, what will be the first three issues you would like to solve?
Abbasi: The first three issues aren’t just going to be my decision. I have to collectively put forward a national resolve. There are 56 points that I plan to resolve in the coming year InshaAllah, however, some of the points that we might be taking up at the moment include:
- Financial managements – in terms of agreements, legal bodies that can resolve matters in the light of the law instead of individual fights
- To empower the digital media in terms of OTT platforms, collaborating with the world with our content and services
- Bring back safe and secure environments for music concerts, cultural events, sports events, etc, keeping in mind the current Covid-19 limitations and involve cinema houses in participating in various film festivals and so on
This will bring back the economical foundation of the industry and government.
TNT: Any plans for technology collaboration or artist exchange with any other country?
Abbasi: Our OTT platforms need to be empowered and encouraged to make our content important in Pakistan. It’s a collaboration with the art and digital media that needs to be combined and we can reach out to the world through that. Television is the only medium running and making its mark but there is a sheer need of adding some more genres to expand its horizon.