CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I am a stranger today in beautiful and calm Charleston, W.Va., but I am not a newcomer in the journalism field. I am a senior correspondent at the Daily Dawn, a leading English newspaper in Pakistan, and I have more than 17 years of journalism experience.
The unique feature and privilege of the Dawn newspaper is that the father of our nation Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was its founder. It's an honor not enjoyed by any other newspaper in Pakistan.
My work at Dawn is the reason I was selected for a remarkable U.S.-Pakistan Partnership exchange program for journalists arranged by the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State with a prime goal of increasing the mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and Pakistan.
It's a great honor for me to be a participant, along with 19 other media fellows of my home country who have also been attached with newspapers in other U.S. cities. And it's definitely also an opportunity to explore modern techniques in the field of journalism to further improve my working capability at home.
I will spend about three weeks with the people of The Charleston Gazette, and I will try my best to meet their professional expectations. My attachment with the Gazette also gives me a unique privilege, as I am its first Pakistani journalist.
In Pakistan, I have been working at Dawn Media Group in the Attock of Islamabad Region since 2000. In that time, I had also worked with Dawn News, the first English private television channel of Pakistan, as a reporter from 2007 to 2009. Earlier, I started my journalism career in 1995 as a staff correspondent at the English daily The Frontier Post. Later, I joined the Urdu language newspaper Daily Din from 1997 to 2000 as bureau chief, Attock district.
I am proud to have more than 18 years of rich journalism experience in print and electronic media. I hold a master's degree in mass communication, and I have attended many media related workshops/trainings organized by the British High Commission in Pakistan and other media organizations from time to time, which improved my working ability.
I have written many articles on issues including human rights, crime, politics, good governance, environment, health, education, current and legal affairs in a very responsible manner by following media ethics and discipline.
However, my true interest is to write exclusive investigative reports to alert the masses about the real facts of issues and to expose wrongdoings of the public departments and government functionaries.
Despite my experiences, I, as a media student, am still very ambitious to learn more and improve my professional skills, and my presence here aims toward that objective.
So, I need your prayers to accomplish my task successfully and the collaboration of local communities and the people of Charleston.