‘Firaaq’: When the suppressed resort to terrorism

Published: July 15, 2012

Since the year 2004, Pakistan has seen its North-West tribal agencies recurrently get bombed by American drones. After a total of around 300 drone strikes, about 3000 people have lost their lives. Though the United States proudly claims these attacks to be instrumental in eradicating the terrorist activities in the region, drone strikes still invite the debate as to whether they actually serve this purpose and this purpose only.

More so, a wide majority of Pakistanis─ the tribal population included─ question the casual use of Pakistani air-space by the American military.

Though people complain that these attacks ridicule the sovereignty of Pakistan, there has been a lot said about Pakistani offices’ own involvement in letting the US do as it pleases. The casualties that climax as a result of drones are also something that remains a point of interest. While some organisations hold that the drones only target and kill militants, certain studies, such as the one published by Daniel L Byman of Brookings Institution, reflect the view that for every Taliban or al Qaeda leader killed by drones, “ten or so” civilians also die as collateral damage.

This short film, entitled “Firaaq” (separation, anxiety or a keen desire for something) was made for a multimedia competition held in Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, where it won the award for best film.

The film neither delves into the details, nor does it intend to pass judgments.

It simply tells the story of an individual, Salman Wazir, from Wana of South Waziristan Agency, and the transformation his life undergoes after his father, a school teacher in the area, is killed in a drone strike, only to be later labelled as a terrorist by the media of his own country.

The film hopes to shed some light on the psychological trauma the innocent victims of the attacks have to face. How the young population feels that the freedom of choice has been taken away from them. How they feel betrayed by their own country when no one stands up for their loss and instead labels the victims as terrorists. It reflects upon the feelings the victim’s family goes through when the injustice against their deceased loved one goes unrecognised.

Firaaq stars Fahmeed Khakwani as the teacher, and the narrator of the story; while the protagonist is played by Zeeshan Rashid.

Both are students of Ayub Medical College. The film was shot in Abbottabad and its surrounding locales. No copyright infringement is intended by the background score, and proper credits have been given at the end.

Read more by Asif here or follow him on Twitter @asifnz

Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz

A medical student based in Abbottabad who writes for US and The News. He tweets @twitter.com/asifnz

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ayesha Pervez

    Very talented individual you are Asif. Congratulations on directing such a marvelous short film.Recommend

  • blue

    This is the ugliest truth..a shame for Pakistan and the whole world.
    but good effort by you and your friends..Recommend

  • Fawad Saleem

    the truth we know but, they (govt. and USA) don’t care.Recommend

  • Pollack

    Americans will continue the drone attacks until Pakistan government takes its responsibility of maintaining law and order and preventing terrorists from using this place as a base to attack Afghanistan. No movie can change this basic fact. Unfortunate that some innocent people may get killed but this is war.Recommend

  • saad

    U have done a great job… I thought u are a gud writer but now u made a great film on this drone issue. Keep it up bud :)Recommend

  • MT

    The quality of the narration and the plot itself is rather cliched. Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/britpak Mohammed Abbasi

    excellent – sharing widelyRecommend

  • zaeema

    excellent effort suny (asif)….too good despite being the first one by you…may this contribute, to whatever extent, to solve this issue.Recommend

  • Ali tanoli

    when we say american Drones why we forget who allowed and getting money PK ARMY.Recommend

  • Humaira

    excellent work sunny….its so nice to know that people with feelings for this country still exist……….Recommend

  • sajjad haider khaqan sayal

    our laws, rules and regulation are so weak so we can’t stop America, our government should become serious and take some action on these type of issues, don’t leave these or close these type of cases just by giving name “terrorism” Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/bites85 Zeeshan Shafquat

    With a limited number of resources, you created such a brilliant short film. I wonder what artistic marvel you would create if given endless resources. Bravo!Recommend

  • Fasih

    loved the video, love the story. you took such a controversial topic and presented in a very intelligent way, bravo, very nice work AsifRecommend

  • zatmar khan

    it was a masterpiece,i would say,not just a video but an actual depiction,which very handsomely and nicely opens one’s eyes,good job done lad,keep up highRecommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/12706/firaaq-when-the-suppressed-resort-to-terrorism/#comments zatmar khan

    a masterpiece,i would say,which very nicely and swiftly opens one’s eyes,marvellous work lad,keep up highRecommend

  • http://1210 zatmar khan

    very nice,it was a mission accomplished nicely and swiftly,keep up high,good work ladRecommend

  • Supercilious

    Nicely made, but doesn’t provide many details or comment on the drone strikes! Anyway, good one!Recommend

  • sunny malik

    impressive effort made !! keep it up…Recommend

  • sunny malik

    it was made for the competition at college and time limit was only 8 mins, it already exceeded 2 mins so they people were out of time !!Recommend

  • The Critic

    Good to watch! Recommend