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Documentary portrays plight of Afghan DPs

August 06, 2005

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 5: Dar Pa Dar, a Pushto documentary directed, scripted and shot by Anthropologist Samar Minallah to highlight the dark lives of Afghan women refugees in Pakistani camps after 9/11 was screened here on Wednesday at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

Produced without any financial assistance from donor agencies Dar Pa Dar is the third documentary produced by Ms Minallah which mainly deals with sufferings of Afghan women living in Sheen Dand camp near Kohat.

The documentary not only exposes the double standards of the powerful western media which avoided showing the world the plight of the Afghan society after the destruction caused by the indiscriminate US airstrikes but also the inability of the Muslim media to tell the truth about the power game, which is still on in the war-ravaged country.

Ms Minallah said she dealt with the subject from a “social and not political perspective”. However, she did not hide from viewers the tales of woos written on every face she had captured through her video camera. Behind the ordeal of every character in the documentary, the hands of capitalist world which used religion, mullahs and Taliban and later carried out carpet bombings in the name of “reconstruction” and “democracy” are evident.

She said the donors only wanted to highlight those aspects of Afghan society, which suited their interests that was why she did not beg for any financial assistance.

She said the destruction of Afghanistan caused by the US airstrikes in the post 9/11 era was seldom captured by the Western media, that followed only the stories having the so-called human interest and that could be placed on front pages of newspapers.

She said the US shouldn’t have the right to make people of another society think the way it itself thought. She said an Afghan women, who loved Islam might be a terrorist for the US but she was pious for her society.

The documentary depicts how Afghan women are living in an abject poverty without their male guardians in the Pakistani camps. In their interviews, majority of women preferred deaths over their lives, as where they live there is no light even after 25 years.

A majority of Afghan DPs are so poor that they cannot take the bodies of their relatives to Afghanistan and instead bury them in Pakistan. The Afghan women said the horrors of the mass killings by the US army still haunted them and they would never forgive the US and accept it as being their liberator.— Our Reporter