Pakistan After Bin Laden


Uploaded by vice on 10.08.2012

Transcript:
[INTRO PLAYING]
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: We're in Islamabad,
the capital of Pakistan.
We're just two hours south of Abbottabad, where Osama bin
Laden was killed recently.
And we wanted to see what life was like here post Osama bin
Laden, how people are reacting to the fact that he was living
here for five years.
[ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]
PRESIDENT OBAMA (OFFSCREEN): Tonight, I can report to the
American people and to the world that the United States
has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,
the leader of al-Qaeda and the terrorist who's responsible
for the murder of thousands of innocent
men, women, and children.
And on nights like this one, we can say to those families
who have lost loved ones to al-Qaeda's terror,
justice has been done.
[CHEERS AND SCREAMING]
[CHANTING USA]
[CHEERS AND SCREAMING]
[CHANTING USA, USA, USA]
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: So we're on our way to Abbottabad right now.
We're about 70 kilometers away.
And it's an army place.
The town itself, military
garrisons, a huge army presence.
It's considered to be the safest city in Pakistan, which
is the irony of the fact that bin Laden was found there.
What we've been told is that the house itself, bin Laden's
compound, there is a perimeter of army guys around it.
So we're going to try to get as close as we can to it.

We'll see how much success we have.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: So the police stopped us, and
they turned us around.
So we're going to try a different route.
Go around the block and see if we can access the compound
from another way.
So we're walking around the back side now.
See how far we can get.
Probably not very far because there's guys with guns
not far from us.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: So this is kind of ridiculous.
After bin Laden was killed, the compound was apparently
open for a few days.
The journalists were showing up, and people were picnicking
around there.
And now there's a perimeter of cops and army so you can't
even get close to the house.
We still managed to steal some shots anyway.
But we wanted to find the guy who actually broke the story.
His name is Abrar Rasheed.
He lives in Abbottabad.
And he works for a Pakistani Network, Geo Television.
So you were basically one of the first
reporters on the scene?
ABRAR RASHEED: Yeah.
I was the first reporter who was at the scene.
And I am the first person who broke that story at that
particular night.
Although I didn't know who was the high-value target until
and unless the President Obama claimed next morning.
It was morning time Pakistan that Osama bin Laden was
killed in Abbottabad.
SUROOSH ALVI: So since I've arrived in Pakistan, I've
heard a lot of people say that it was highly unlikely that
bin Laden lived in that house in this town.
What is your view on that?
ABRAR RASHEED: To tell you frankly, still I am unable to
believe that Osama bin Laden was here in the first place.
Like so many other Pakistanis, it's very hard for me to
believe that he was here.
And especially the people of Abbottabad.
I mean, if you go around and interview a common man on the
street, and if you go around and interview certain
officials, you know, businessmen, traders, or
journalists, nobody would tell you that he believes that
Osama bin Laden was here living in Abbottabad, which is
a garrison town.
And his compound was hardly a kilometer away from Pakistan's
military academy.
And I'm sure his family members were there, but Osama
bin Laden wasn't there.
I think it's a very mysterious kind of circumstances.
And unfortunately, government of Pakistan, and Pakistani
military authorities have added more into this mystery.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: Zarar Amjad, there's an 11-year-old boy who
lived across the street from the bin Laden compound.
He was the boy who played cricket.
And when his ball would go across over the wall into the
compound, they wouldn't give him the ball back, but a man
would give him 50 rupees.
After May 2 when bin Laden was killed, he
became a bit of a celebrity.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

Can you tell me about living across from the house?
Did you see the people that lived inside?
ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

MALE SPEAKER: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

MALE SPEAKER: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: Thank you.
MALE SPEAKER: Thank you.
MALE SPEAKER: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
ZARAR AMJAD: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: He was saying, for five years I lived across
the street from this house.
I played with the kids in the compound.
I went into the house.
He said the kids spoke different languages.
They spoke Arabic or Pashto.
He saw one guy, Uncle Nadeem, who was the guy who took care
of the wives in the compound.
He would get all the supplies.
He said he never saw a tall man that looked
like Osama bin Laden.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: We're on the campus of
Ayub Medical College.
We're going to walk around and try and find some students,
see if they'll talk to us, give us some dirt.
See if they're believing the hype, or if they think it's a
conspiracy like everyone else in this country.







[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: If bin Laden lived here, and Pakistan knew,
then Pakistan is a rogue state.
If bin Laden lived here, and Pakistan didn't know, then
Pakistan's a failed state.
You know that's one way to look at it.
The average Pakistani would probably not agree because
most people are saying, how do we even know for
sure that he was here?
Where is the proof?
Where was the body?
And when you go to Abbottabad and you see the house where he
lived, it's like really?
He lived in there?
That house Is a piece of shit.
It doesn't change history.
In the annals of history, Osama bin Laden died in
Abbottabad on May 2, 2011.
And that's fine.
Ultimately, bin Laden was dead.
That's all that matters.
But that's just bin Laden.
This country as a whole is having some serious
problems right now.
Since May 2, the number of drone attacks have escalated.
There seems to be something happening every day.
And also the response from the Taliban has increased.
There are suicide bombers attacking everywhere, all over
the country.
We are back in Peshawar.
And we are on our way to a bomb site, a suicide bomb
attacked the police station.
Every day there's something that's happening in Peshawar.
The terrorists are definitely stirring up the pot.
[SIRENS SOUNDING]

SUROOSH ALVI: Yesterday, the Pakistani Taliban, the TTP,
they sent a suicide bomber in to the CID.
It's the crime and investigation department.
This happened yesterday morning.
Eight people died.
And they were avenging May 2, Osama bin Laden assassination.
They pulled out two police officers from the basement who
were still alive.
And they're looking for bodies and trying to clear the
wreckage right now.
ABRAR RASHEED: Since 9/11, at least 35,000 people lost their
lives in this so-called war against terror.
And being American ally in this war, 5,300 military
personnel lost their life.
$68 billion to $69 billion, Pakistan suffered this loss.
And against that amount, Pakistan got $20 billion, out
of which I think $13 billion were paid to the Pakistan
military and $7-8 billion to the civilian government.
Pakistan has sacrificed a lot, and in return,
what we have got?
Humiliation, taunts, and demands of do more, do more.
Americans and the Western world should realize
Pakistan's sacrifices.
And now they should be aware of another thing, that there
are very, very strong anti-American
sentiments in Pakistan.
Not only in the general public, not only in the common
masses, but now even in the media.
Even no political leaders, even the popular political
parties can't publicly praise America anymore.
Because they know that they can face the backlash.

SUROOSH ALVI: There's another smaller bomb site.
A convoy of cars from the US consulate drove by
here a few days ago.
And there was a car situated right here.
It exploded when the Americans drove by.
It was a Taliban attack.
And yet another example of how the Osama bin Laden
assassination has affected this country.
Now we have to try and track down someone from the Taliban,
get on the phone with these fucking assholes and find out
what they're thinking.
I'd been trying to interview the Taliban for over six
months but had no luck in tracking them down.
On this trip I met two journalists
for the tribal areas.
The kind of guys that the Taliban call after a suicide
bomb to claim responsibility.
I wrote down some questions for them to ask on my behalf.
Well, I would love to get on the phone with the Taliban.
Can we try to call them and see if we could speak to them?
RAFITULLAH ORAKZAI: We can see.
We'll check if there is any possibility.
SUROOSH ALVI: OK.
Thank you very much.

We were trying to call the spokesperson for the Taliban
on the land line from the office.
We were getting a busy signal.
Then two minutes after that, the other guy's cell phone
rings, and it's him.
[PHONE RINGING]
DILAWAR WAZIR: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

TALIBAN SPOKESPERSON: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

DILAWAR WAZIR: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

TALIBAN SPOKESPERSON: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

DILAWAR WAZIR: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

TALIBAN SPOKESPERSON: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: According to the spokesperson for the Pakistani
Taliban, their party line is that they're only after
government institutions.
But the reality is very different.
In the communities, people have been terrorized,
kidnapped, and killed by the Taliban.
And because the army and the police have failed to help
these people, a lot of them have formed their own militias
called lashkars.
And they've taken matters into their own hands.

I'm standing outside of Faheem Khan's place.
He's the head of the lashkar, which is a militia that
protects the neighborhood, the village, and the
people that live here.
We're right on the edge of the Khyber tribal agency.
And these guys had to pick up arms when the government and
the police failed to beat the Taliban down.
He's agreed to meet us.
He normally doesn't do interviews with anyone.
So we're going to go in.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: Assalamu alaikum.
Assalamu alaikum.
FAHEEM KHAN: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

FAHEEM KHAN: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

LASHKAR MEMBER: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: They basically are saying, we don't want to
live the life that the Taliban wants to force on us.
And they're protecting themselves, and they're doing
a good job.
I like them.
They're a good vibe.
[SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
FAHEEM KHAN: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
SUROOSH ALVI: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]
Pakistan is in a very, very critical time
period right now.
Probably the most dangerous and unstable time in its short
history as a country.
As we saw, you have the lashkars, who've picked up
arms and are fighting the Taliban.
Then there's the Taliban and the 30 splinter groups within
it, who are attacking police stations and government
offices with suicide bombers and bomb blasts
all over the country.
And then there's the Americans who are sending in drone
planes to target the militants in the tribal areas.
This multi-front battle is playing out in real time in
the media which has exploded in Pakistan
in the last 10 years.
Right now there's almost 70 TV channels.
And 26 of them broadcast news 24 hours a day.
It feels like the entire population of the country are
news junkies with a morbid fascination for all the bad
events happening in Pakistan right now.

The first time we came to this region was in 2006 when we
shot a documentary called The Gun Markets of Pakistan in a
town called Dara Adamkhel.
At the time, it was the largest illegal gun
market in the world.
[GUNSHOTS]
SUROOSH ALVI: It was one of the very first things that
Vice ever filmed.
We tried to go back when we filmed the follow-up to it
called The Taliban in Pakistan, but it was
impossible at that time.
Just four kilometers that way is the gun market where we
filmed four years ago.
That area has been taken over by the Taliban.
So before we left the country on this trip, we wanted to
give it another try to see what the impact of the Taliban
has been on this town.
Taliban are still coming in.
They're still fighting them.
But my driver, Muhammad Khan, he's from there originally.
So he is going to get us in.
We're going to do a quick drive-by and see what it looks
like in there.
[MUSIC PLAYING]
SUROOSH ALVI: We're going into the Dara Adamkhel bazaar.
So let's see what we find.

A bomb blast there?
MALE SPEAKER: Yes.

SUROOSH ALVI: It's very, very different than it used to be.
A few shops open and garbage strewn everywhere.
80% of the shops are closed.
MALE SPEAKER: [SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE]

SUROOSH ALVI: It's creepy and spooky here.
So we're going to get the hell out of this town.
This is the end of six years of covering this place.
And, you know, it's a microcosm of
Pakistan as a whole.
You could take any place in the city, in Karachi, Lahore,
Islamabad, Peshawar, or you could take the Dara Adamkhel
market, and you see the decline.
And this is a small example of the
disintegration of this country.
And I hope that it's going to hit bottom soon, because after
that the only place to go is up.
It's pretty bleak.
[PUNK MUSIC PLAYING]