NEW YORK, Dec 20 (APP):Amna Nawaz, an award-winning correspondent for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), on Thursday became the first Pakistani-American and Muslim journalist to moderate a US presidential debate which took place in Los Angeles, California.
Ms Nawaz, 40, a senior correspondent for the PBS news programme “NewsHour”, along with Judy Woodruff, the programme’s anchor and managing editor, the channel’s White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, and Politico chief political correspondent Tim Alberta, co-moderate the sixth Democratic primary debate held at Loyola Marymount University .
During the lively debate, Former Vice President Joe Biden questioned Amna Nawaz over her correct pronunciation of “Afghanistan”.
Amna Nawaz had asked Biden about a recent Washington Post report showing that US officials misled the public about how badly the war in Afghanistan was going. The candidate, who’s currently a front-runner in the contest for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, interjected mid-question.
“Afghanistan, you said?” Biden asked, using American pronunciation.
“Yes, sir. Afghanistan,” Nawaz responded, sticking to her pronunciation.
Once Amna Nawaz confirmed she said what he thought she did, Biden went into an answer about his track record of opposing increased US military intervention in Afghanistan and seeking a political settlement in a bid to end the long running war.
During the one and half-hour long debate, the seven Democratic presidential hopefuls said that to win the 2020 election, the party’s nominee must bolster the economy, provide citizenship to undocumented people, eliminate student loan debt and provide relief for working families.
They sparred over healthcare policy and campaign financing, but also spoke on the challenge of uniting a politically divided nation.
Prior to joining the NewsHour, Amna was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s digital coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, reporting from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey and the broader region.
She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian-America platform, built to elevate the voices of America’s fastest-growing population.
Amana is the daughter of Shuja Nawaz, a former Pakistan Television (PTV) journalist and currently a Distinguished Fellow, South Asia Center, at Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think-tank.