Pak Army-funded TV drama to depict heroism of Taliban-fighting soldiers

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Islamabad, Jan 17(ANI): Emotive tales of Pakistan's Taliban-fighting soldiers will air on television in an army-funded drama that casts the war on terror in a positive light.

The multimillion-dollar drama will be focused on the heroism of Pakistani soldiers, who fought a key air and ground offensive in the Swat valley in 2009.

Urged by the United States to launch further operations in the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the Pakistan Army wants to show the sacrifices it has already endured in the war on terror.

"The basic purpose is to reveal the deeds of bravery of our soldiers, officers and civilians who are at the front of this war. This drama shows the human face of the war," SAMAA TV quoted Major General Athar Abbas, head of the army's publicity wing, as saying.

"The nation should own these stories of bravery and sacrifice, they should be proud of our sons and daughters of the land who created these true stories with their blood and defended the motherland," he added.

Apart from the stories of eleven "brave Pakistanis" battling an Islamist insurgency that is plaguing Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan, the television drama also depicts the bitter divide between Pakistan's opposing cultures as the moderate middle class fights religious extremism in the country.

In different episodes, the filmmakers also show the victims of Taliban power- one girl is subject to the brutal gang rape by militants, while in another, a young boy is brainwashed into becoming a suicide bomber.

Peppered with special effects, the production was filmed amid rugged verdant hills and forests close to the Swat valley, the scene of major military operations in 2009 to rid the area of rampant militancy.

"We travelled extensively to film this serial. A crew of more than 35 people with trucks of luggage roamed in the forests and hills for months to show the reality," said Khawar Azhar, the show's executive producer.

Television productions are one of the tools adopted by the military's publicity wing to polish its image and boost recruitment and morale at a key juncture, when the army is fighting against the Taliban and religious conservatism is on the rise in the country. (ANI)

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