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Pakistan army turns to war movies to counter jehad

The films are described as re-enactments of real clashes in the military campaign in northwest Pak.

Written by Agencies | Islamabad |
February 14, 2011 9:24:32 pm

After a night of fighting off a Taliban attack on his remote outpost,the Pakistani soldier lies wounded,with one of the attackers crawling on top of him. He grabs the assailant by the neck,but cannot prevent him from firing seven shots into his chest.

The death of the soldier is the climax of “Glorious Resolve,” one of several slickly produced,action-packed films produced by the army to rally Pakistanis against Islamist extremists and counter their propaganda videos.

Aired on private and public TV stations,the films are described as re-enactments of real clashes in the military campaign in northwest Pakistan,which began in earnest in 2009.

“The basic purpose is to highlight the true stories of those valiant heroes of Pakistan,” said Brigadier Azmat Ali,executive producer of the series. “And also to let the people know what kind of atrocities they had come across and ultimately how we are guarding against further extremism that is coming on to us.”

Although more than 2,000 soldiers have been killed in the fighting in the South Waziristan tribal region,some critics say the army is still not doing enough. However,that campaign and others has been praised by the United States,which is fighting a related insurgency just across the frontier in Afghanistan.

The 20-minute film begins with an insurgent giving a pep talk to his men around a campfire as they prepare to attack the outpost.

He speaks in Urdu,using phrases similar to those on the militants’ videos: “This unholy army has taken over our land,has made checkpoints on our roads and is frisking our women. “It fights for the white man,it fights for dollars. We don’t want peace,we need the blessing of Allah.”

The attack is then shown in blistering close-up. The insurgents fire rockets,then slowly advance. Blood from a slain insurgent splatters the camera lens.

“We are extremely outnumbered,” a Pakistani officer shouts into a radio. “God willing we will not let anybody get away. We will make you proud,sir.”

The film attempts to subtly undercut the appeal to religion by suggesting the insurgent chief is in it for money.

As his men die under a hail of army bullets,he is shown on the phone demanding “more dollars” from his paymaster.

The battle ends with the army killing some insurgents and repelling the rest.

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