Filmmakers from Taliban-hit Pakistan dream of stamping out militancy

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Islamabad, Nov 16 (ANI): Filmmakers from Pakistan's Taliban-hit northwest are dreaming of making movies that will stamp out militancy and restore their culture of a bygone era.

Pashtun actors, who come from an area known as a Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold infamous for religious seminaries that recruit young men into "holy war", say they are promoting the benign side of their heritage.

Director Ajab Gul, who is clad in traditional white shalwar kameez and topi prayer cap, says he uses cinema to promote pride in his warrior culture and provide an outlet for young men at risk of being lured by militant mullahs.

"The young generation is illiterate and unemployed and having a lot of problems. They need to be involved," the News quoted the 45-year-old former actor as saying.

"If you do not entertain and pay attention to the youth they will end up into terrorism," he stated.

His team, who work in Pakistan's cultural capital Lahore because of a lack of studios in the northwest, say they are trying to return Pashto film to its chaste roots while giving their own take on the community's social problems.

Filmmakers brush aside fears of Islamist attacks, but working with ageing equipment and desperate to keep their loss-hit industry alive, they admit the sector is in financial crisis. (ANI)

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