SEOUL (June 23, 2012) —Veteran NPR correspondent Julie McCarthy told a gripping account of reporting in Pakistan to a packed audience Saturday at an East-West Center International Media Conference session at which foreign correspondents shared tales of getting the tough stories.
“Pakistan is a hugely problematic state to cover,” said McCarthy, NPR’s South Asia correspondent, who has spent three and half years there. “It’s not Iraq. It’s not Afghanistan. It is its own beast.”
The most serious danger for journalists there is the secret state, known as the “deep state” in Pakistan, she said. Journalists have to deal with a myriad of intelligence agents who could be either enemies or allies of the militants — a microcosm of the biggest problem that McCarthy said looms over the country: “Whose side is Pakistan fighting for?”