Hunza crisis: confirming unconfirmed reports

Waqas Rafique June 09, 2010

Here in Hunza, I find myself surrounded with stories and not just a few - many of them. The real test seems to be making a decision about which story to explore. Sometimes while out in the thick of things, a bizarre series of events can lead one astray.

Just this morning, I saw alerts running on leading news channels that suggested that authorities in Hunza had decided to blow up the spillway at the Attabad lake so that the lake could be drained.

There was a temptation of course, to call up the newsroom and provide them details of this report as news channels with so-called credible reputations were running the story.

Instead, I called up the District Administration who informed me that this was nothing but mischief and misinformation. How on earth could explosives be used to blow up the spillway? The impact would definitely disturb the debris of the lake and no one would be able to predict how the water would behave.

Not surprisingly, this unfounded report invited criticism on the way media organisations behave at times. The administration officials thanked me for making the effort to verify the report with them, and when I called up my newsroom at Express News and Express 24/7, the confusion was cleared.

This incident does however serve as a reminder that journalists can never forget their responsibility of reporting accurately on the stories they cover.

Waqas Rafique is a journalist and anchor at Express 24/7.

Waqas Rafique An Islamabad based journalist who was a former employee of Express News. He tweets @waqasrafique (
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


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