Having already got it approved, I started work on the mayor story. Raja Khurram Nawaz’s number was easy enough to find, I got it from his facebook page. He immediately agreed to grant me the interview. After finalizing the date with him, I planned some basic questions. A classmate recommended a call recording app so I wouldn’t miss anything. The interview was pretty smooth. However, I had great difficulty reaching the other candidate. After trying and failing to get his number from various people, I finally got it from PMLN’s website. He took four days to respond, my 14th February deadline looming dangerously closer every day. His secretary once told me “wo tou pura din ghar hi nahi atay”. It was the mobile number that worked in the end, at 9 pm on the 11th of February. It turned out in one of our beat meetings that he is a family friend of a fellow Islamabad reporter. Shows how you need to talk about your story to others. So after two days of constant correspondence via email with the editor, my first story got published along with a co-authored explainer.


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