KARACHI: A Pakistani film-maker’s documentary about the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bomb Disposal Unit was honoured with a win at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony in New York on Tuesday night.

Asad Faruqi’s Armed with Faith received an Emmy in the category for Outstanding Politics and Government Documentary. Co-directed with Geeta Gandbhir, the film follows the dangerous struggle undertaken by the men of the bomb disposal unit to protect Pakistan against the Taliban and Al Qaeda militants.

Co-directors and cinematographers Faruqi and Gandbhir were present at the 40th edition of the ceremony to accept their award. In his acceptance speech, Faruqi talked about his experiences in watching films about the war in Afghanistan, but rarely from a Pakistani perspective. “It was always that I was on the other side of the lens and not represented, which is one of the reasons why we went out and ventured and wanted to tell the story of this incredible bomb disposal squad whose determination to save humanity was very inspiring and it was a story I felt had to be shared.”

Six-time Emmy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, also co-producer of Armed with Faith, congratulated Faruqi on her Facebook page: “Asad Faruqi came to work with me many many moons ago as a photographer at The Citizens Archive of Pakistan he was passionate and eager to learn and the best kind of student! In 2009 we smuggled ourselves into Swat, in 2012 we worked on Saving Face in 2015 on a Girl in the River .... and countless projects in between and after ... today he won his first Emmy as a director ... I cannot be more proud of who he is and what he’s accomplished!”

Haya Fatima, part of the Armed with Faith team, told Images of Dawn.com, “When you see up close how people like Abdur Rahim and Tiger Bhai [two members of the squad] spent their lives just essentially giving away all the hours of the day inside the residential quarters of a police station, having little to no contact with their family members despite living in the same city. They also know the responsibility they bear; these are people who aren’t paid their worth but continue on the path because they want to be honest workers doing what’s right for their country.”

An Emmy Award is an American award that recognises excellence in the television industry. The Emmy is named after “immy”, an informal term for the image orthicon tube that was common in early television cameras.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2019