Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PBS Frontline/World "Pakistan Under Siege"


PBS stations aired a new Frontline/World “Pakistan Under Siege” May 26, 2009, narrated by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Much of the first forty minutes dealt with the struggle with the Taliban in Peshawar and the Swat Valley, which used to be called the “Switzerland of the East”. Girls are interviewed and they say they don’t like wearing burqas, and boys are forced to memorize the Koran in madrassas and don’t learn academic subjects. Boys are persuaded to join the Taliban by claims that the government has hurt their families. Sometimes boys are given surnames that mean “martyr.” The entire society seems based on social and religious control.

The WETA link is this. The WGBH link is here.

David Montero reports on the death of a journalist, in a second short segment called “A Death in Swat”. One could compare this to the film “Journalists Killed in the Line of Duty”, review here.

Obaid-Chinoy, in “Letter from Karachi”, reports on the struggle in the coastal city of Karachi, with 14 million people. There is a Mafia-like struggle between the Taliban and Pakistani intelligence.

Both of the concluding short segment vides can be viewed at the main Frontline/World site here.

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