Approaching Pakistan – Multimedia Resources

Approaching Pakistan – Multimedia Resources

Few countries today are in the international spotlight more than Pakistan. Home to the world’s second-largest population of Muslims, and the Islamic world’s sole nuclear power, Pakistan lies in a strategically important and dangerous neighborhood. It shares an ill-defined border with an unstable Afghanistan – a border along which al-Qaeda and their Taliban allies seek refuge. Pakistani civilians are victims of terrorism while the world continues to raise serious questions about Pakistani support for Muslim terrorist groups. Despite all of this, elements of Pakistani society are thriving, as private and free media outlets grow and Pakistani authors writing in English enjoy a wide and global readership.

Looking back – a historical review

Historian Dennis Kux guides the listener through Pakistan’s history in a segment that features rare archival audio clips from Pakistan’s founder and contemporaneous newsreels reporting on major events in Pakistan’s history beginning with its independence from Britain in 1947. (Total time: 28:39 minutes.)

Themes include: partition and the birth of Pakistan; Jinnah’s conceptualization of Pakistan as a homeland for Muslims but not an Islamic state; the 1971 birth of Bangladesh; Bhutto’s nuclear ambitions; Zia’s Islamization; the Afghan-USSR war and US-Pakistan relations post 9/11; the rule of law and the lawyers’ movement; and the growing Talibanization of the country most recently.

We hear from Pakistani and American officials in an in-depth radio oral history that examines the Pakistani-US relationship throughout the Afghan-Soviet war of the 1980’s, ending with an investigation of the souring of the Pakistani-US alliance in the aftermath of the defeat of the USSR. (Total time: 48:28 minutes.)

Themes include: US support for mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan; debates within the United States government about supporting extremists; and the aftermath of the war and the cooling of US-Pakistan relations as Islamabad pursued its atomic ambitions. Guests include: Former CIA Station Chief Milton Bearden; Former Chief of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence Hamid Gul; Former Foreign Service Officer Ed McWilliams; Former Ambassador Robert Oakley; Former Assistant Secretary of State Robin Raphel; Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Teresita Schaffer; Former US Representative Stephen Solarz; and, Former US Representative Charlie Wilson.

A look at contemporary Pakistan

We watch Pakistani and American policy makers as they debate and define the relationship between the two countries. (Total time: 22:54 minutes.)

Themes include: terrorist groups in Pakistan; how to improve US-Pakistan relations; economic challenges in Pakistan; democracy in Pakistan; Indian-Pakistan relations; and nuclear proliferation. The feature is divided into three segments: Economic and political challenges; Improving US-Pakistan relations; and Extremism and counter-terrorism.

We hear from a variety of Pakistanis – people living in the rural areas bordering Afghanistan, cosmopolitan denizens of Islamabad and Lahore, university students from Islamabad talking about their hopes and fears for the future of their country. (Total time: 11:27 minutes.)

Themes include: Pakistan’s nuclear program; the educational system; and Pakistani impressions of the US and treatment of Muslims. This feature comes from our program Terror, Tribes, and the Taliban (February 2009): hearing from Pakistani civilians living in/officials responsible for FATA; hearing from student at university in Islamabad and Aitzaz Ahsan about US drone strikes, and hearing from professional/middle class Pakistanis in downtown Islamabad and Asma Jahangir in Lahore on spreading radicalism.

We sit down for an exclusive interview with Zubair Iqbal, an IMF expert, to explain the underlying weaknesses of Pakistan’s economy. (Total time: 21:06 minutes.)

Themes include: the history of Pakistani economic development (or lack thereof); the status quo actors in the Pakistani economy; the need for broad-based development and its links to other problems in Pakistan (political instability, extremism); and the role of foreign aid.

A lens on culture

We watch an interview with Pakistani-American musician Salman Ahmad, who discusses confronting conservative religious leaders about the role of music in Islam. (Total time: 29:24 minutes.)

Themes include: racial profiling in the US; the relationship between Islam and art/music; and young Americans’ “thirst” for knowledge of Islam and Muslims.

We listen to Haroon Bacha, a Pakistani musician from Peshawar who has resettled in Brooklyn after being forced from his home by the Taliban. (Total time: 7:09 minutes.)

Themes include: Pashtun identity; Taliban pressure on locals; the use of art and music by the Taliban for their own purposes.

We record an exclusive interview with Pakistani author Kamila Shamsie, whose newest novel, Burnt Shadows, was published in April 2009. (Total time: 15:36 minutes.)

Themes include: the role of the author in tumultuous times; the Pakistani literary scene; cooperation and relationships between American and Pakistani authors; the proper role of the US government in providing aid to Pakistan.


Links

Links to Pakistan’s founding documents/resolutions:

Bibliography

Visit us on Scribd, to read our bibliography.

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