Meaning ‘East’ in Urdu language, daily Mashriq is among the leading newspapers distributed in Pakistan’s conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan in the northwest.
The newspaper was launched in 1963 by Inayat Ullah Khan. The newspaper was taken over and ‘nationalised’ by the military regime of General Ayub Khan in 1964 after he set up the National Press Trust (NPT) to manage nationalized independent newspapers to discourage free and independent journalism in the country. The NPT relaunched the paper from Peshawar in 1967, another edition the same year from Karachi and another edition from Quetta in 1972. The newspaper remained in government hands until the government of Benazir Bhutto abolished the NPT in 1994 and privatised all newspapers run by it, including Mashriq. Since then it is in the hands of its current owners.
The daily’s large circulation and popularity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa makes it influential among the policy and decision-makers. It tends to support state policies on international affairs including those on regional states like Afghanistan, India and Iran and also manages to do a balancing act by focusing on political, economic and civic issues faced by its target public audiences.
Local (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
Paid Content (PKR 20)
Media Companies / Groups
The group is not registered as company with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan and MOM Pakistan found no certified document to look into ownership structure. The ownership, is therefore, not based on shares, but rather on the information provided in the print-line published at the back of the newspaper. Syed Ayaz Ali Shah of the Badshah Family is indicated as the owner.
Affiliated Interests Founder
was a journalist himself. He served daily Kohistan as managing director. He, along with several other colleagues, quit the daily after developing differences with shareholders and decided to launch Mashriq newspaper in 1963.
Affiliated Interests Ceo
took charge of Mashriq newspaper in 1996 with no previous experience in journalism as his ageing father and owner, Syed Tajmir Shah, fell sick before his death. Badshah did not disappoint his father making the newspaper stronger and one of the largest circulated dailies in the province.
Badshah did not take long to expand the media group by launching the English-language daily The Statesman in 2002 from Peshawar to capture space that iconic daily The Frontier Post vacated in 2000 when publication of a ‘blasphemous letter’ in 1999 resulted in a months-long ban on it and a financial crisis that forced key staff members to quit it to join The Statesman.
The family of Badshah is well known in the business community and power corridors in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His uncle, late Syed Phool Badshah, was founder of ‘Karimi Industries’ and set up ‘Sarhad Bank – first private bank in the province. His father also successfully established construction firm Karcon in partnership with late brother Phool Badshah.
Ayaz Badshah mainly focuses on the family’s businesses in media industry.
On 14 August 2016, Badshah launched Mashriq TV channel in Pashto language – the second regional language TV after Khyber News. Pashto is the dominant language in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
is the editor-in-chief of Mashriq Group of Newspapers. See details above.
Affiliated Interests other important people
the cousin of Syed Ayaz Badshah, the chief editor of Mashriq. He was the minister for health in the cabinet of former chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan during 2008-13 period.
He is the son of late parliamentarian and businessman Syed Zafar Ali Shah. Zahir is also son-in-law of Syed Tajmir Shah, the father of Chief Editor Syed Ayaz Badshah. Zahir Shah is more active in politics. He played a key role in keeping Pakistan People’s Party of late Benazir Bhutto relevant in Peshawar and remained provincial president of the party to steer the left-of-center party out of leadership crisis after powerful leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao developed differences with central leadership and quit the party in 2012.
Strong family bonds kept these cousins and brothers united despite the fact that their elders distributed businesses among their sons in their life time giving Zahir Shah control over construction firm ‘Karcon’.
is the printer of the newspaper. He is the brother of Syed Ayaz Badshah and one of three shareholders in the group. His name is printed on the newspaper’s print-line – a legal requirement from regulatory authority to mention names of ‘printer,’ editor and printing press on print-line of the newspaper. In Mashriq’s case, the print-line appears in bottom of back page. He ran a restaurant at one time but it was closed down after it failed to turn a profit. Like his cousin Syed Zahir Shah who was active in national football body, Shah is a keen supporter of cricket in Peshawar, leading its district-level body to promote the sports in his city.
is the chief News Editor. He is one of the longest serving employees of the newspaper. Irshad is solely responsible for bringing out different editions of the newspaper and remains loyal as he joined the daily in 1989 with two short intervals to leave the newspaper. Irshad’s brothers are also in journalism serving in other media outlets. He implements the owner’s policy to keep balance between readership’s needs for information and business from the government as well as private sector.
Daily Mashriq, Bilal Town,
Grand Trunk Road, Peshawar
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
An information request was sent to the media outlet on 11 January 2019 through a courier company and by email as well. No response was received from the outlet. A reminder was sent on 1 February 2019 through a courier company and on 4 February 2019 by email also. Again, there was no response from the newspaper. A right-to-know request was submitted on 12 February 2019 with Information Commission of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to seek details of advertisement released to the newspaper during 2018. The Information Commission directed the relevant government authority to share the details under Right-to-Know law of the province. No details were shared despite the provincial Information Commission’s directive. A complaint under the law was lodged with Commissioner Information, government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 5 March 2019 for non-compliance with the law by the authorities concerned. The commissioner again directed the concerned authority to share details under the law and no details were received by 03 May 2019.
An Interview was conducted with Mashriq newspaper’s chief news editor Muhammad Irshad on 18 February 2019 about the newspaper’s history and its ownership structure.