An award-winning NBC News producer, Mushtaq Yusufzai, has detailed his personal experience as the father of two boys who were inside the Army Public School in Peshawar when it came under Taliban attack Tuesday. He was confronted with two challenges: caring for his family, and covering the story. “It was the most difficult day of my career.”
Yusufzai has covered Pakistan for NBC News, working from his base in Peshawar. His sons, Jibran, 8 (pictured), and Daniyal, 13, were unhurt in the attack. But Yusufzai didn’t know that for hours, as he tried to get answers on their fate–and provide NBC News with on-the-ground reporting:
For five hours we had no idea where my sons were and couldn’t speak to them. I had to console my wife who was weeping on the telephone. But I’m a journalist, too, so I was calling to learn about my kids and on the other hand had to inform my colleagues and the desk about developments.
Yusufzai, who has covered war, outbreaks of disease, and refugees, has regularly spoken to people about horrific topics. But he hasn’t quite come to terms with talking to his sons about the attack on their school. “Sometimes when I realize what would have happened to my sons, my mind stops functioning,” he writes. “Yesterday was a very horrible day.”