Pakistan – journey through a land of contrasts | DW Documentary


Pakistan, the “Land of the Pure” in Urdu, remains a paradox. Known as a bastion of radical Islam, the country is striving to become a modern state. This documentary examines the undercurrents threatening the stability of this nuclear-armed nation.

The conflict with India – Pakistan’s regional rival with its own nuclear arsenal is ever-present. Up in the Himalayas, at an altitude of 6,000 meters, a bizarre sort of war is being waged. A thousand Pakistani soldiers are vying with 3,000 of their Indian counterparts for control of the Siachen Glacier, the biggest reserve of fresh water in the region. More than 70 percent of the combined populations of India and Pakistan depend on this water supply. Any change to its status could be disastrous.

The filmmakers joined Pakistani Special Forces to create an exclusive report. It examines Pakistan’s geo-politically strategic position, wedged as it is between India to the East, Iran and Afghanistan to the West and China to the North. The country has long served as a bulwark for the United States: firstly against the Soviet Bloc and later against the Taliban in the War in Afghanistan. Yet clerics like Mullah Abdul Aziz, who led a shootout against the army at a radical mosque, remain extremely popular. This documentary profiles the cleric and reports on the two million Christians in Pakistan, who live in fear of being charged with blasphemy.

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