Mishal Husain – The Matrix Database

Mishal Husain and her grandfather Syed Shahid Hamid, one of the most significant military and political figures in the history of Pakistan

The Matrix Project is an effort to document personal factors that undermine powerful journalists’ claims of objectivity and impartiality. Are factors such as an elite education, establishment connections, personal wealth and interests in rival fields compatible with journalistic integrity? 

This page looks at BBC newsreader Mishal Husain. For more information on the database click here.

Education

Learn about the significance of a private/Oxbridge education here

Mishal Husain attended the independent Cobham Hall girls’ boarding school in Kent (source)

Mishal Husain studied law at Cambridge University (source)

Revolving Door

Learn about the significance of the Revolving Door here

Mishal Husain has no significant experience working in rival fields to the media

“Establishment” Connections

Learn about the significance of Establishment Connections here

Primary

Mishal Husain’s mother is a former producer for Pakistan Television Corporation (source)

Mishal Husain is married to Meekal Hashmi, “a high-flying lawyer who works as general counsel for Old Mutual Asset Managers” (source)

Mishal Husain’s grandfather, Syed Shahid Hamid, was Private Secretary to Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, the last Commander-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, was an influential player in the division of India and Pakistan, and retired as a major general in the Pakistan Army (source)

He is described by The Independent as “one of the most important military and political figures in the early years of Pakistan”. Their obituary is worth quoting at length:

As a ‘Syed’ (Hamid’s) lineage stretched back to the family of the Prophet Mohamed and he established that one of his ancestors was a close adviser to Tamerlane, the conqueror of the world in the 14th century…

“…as a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1948, (Hamid) set up the now famous Inter Services Intelligence from a small office in Karachi. The ISI is Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency and virtually ran the Afghan war against the Soviet invaders. In 1951, at the age of 41, he became the youngest general in the Pakistan army – a record that is still unbeaten. During the 1958 martial law imposed by General Ayub Khan, Shahid Hamid was the adjutant-general of the army. Retiring in 1964, he went into business but was summoned back to public life in 1978 by President Zia ul-Haq, under whom he served as a federal cabinet minister for three years.

Secondary

None

Salary/Indications of Wealth

Learn about the significance of journalists with an unusual level of wealth here

Mishal Husain placed 20th on the BBC’s 2020/21 salary list with an annual take-home of £275,000-£279,999 (source)

As a point of reference, the Office for National Statistics list the average UK salary for 2021 as £26,193

Complaints / apologies / controversies

Learn about the significance of complaints/apologies here

Somewhat unusually, for a highly-paid BBC presenter, we could not find any significant complaints, apologies or controversies involving Mishal Husain.

Summary

Mishal Husain was privately educated then attended Cambridge University. She is married to a “high-flying” lawyer, her mother was a TV producer and her grandfather was one of the most significant military and political figures in the history of Pakistan. She earns more than 10 times the average UK salary.

Impartial? Independent? Holding the powerful to account?

Learn more about the Matrix Project here.

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