November 18, 2018

Pakistan Army spokesman blasts Homeland series

The spokesperson for the Pakistan Army has spoken strongly against the popular American Showtime series ‘Homeland’ whose latest season depicts Pakistan in a CIA-centred thriller. “>The News, reported Friday morning that Bajwa was answering a question when his opinion emerged:
“The Homeland series was nothing but slanderous and insulting to Pakistan[is] who are a great diverse nation and have rendered great sacrifices for peace and welfare of the world. An emotional General Bajwa said that he had personally lifted dead bodies of his comrades who had sacrificed their lives battling extremists.”

They quoted him as saying: “What was shown in Homeland has pained me personally and it has pained all of us as a nation as what was shown is not what we are. The Homeland series was a big lie because it failed to show real Pakistan, it showed Pakistan as if it were part of Afghanistan. It harmed relations between people and it (Homeland) went out of its way to harm Pakistan and its image.”

Bajwa’s comments came at a time when the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was in the UK for a three-day visit. He had meetings at 10 Downing with Prime Minister David Cameron and National Security Advisor Sir Kim Darroch. He visited the military academy at Sandhurst. On his trip he has spoken widely about Pakistan’s strategy on tackling terrorism.

The ISPR has been increasing portraying a ‘softer’ “>musical tribute to honour their lives.

Mixed reaction
Homeland has been a popular series in Pakistan. While Showtime does not air here, people acquire the series mostly by downloading it. Reaction has been mixed, but not absolute as Bajwa indicated. Take this opinion from Zein Basravi, a Pakistani who works at Al Jazeera in Doha as news editor and has reported from Pakistan: “Homeland is highly entertaining and highly offensive at the same time, which is sort of what its like to be Pakistani. But it's also done a good job of holding a mirror up to some of the ugliest attributes of America and Pakistan and their messed up relationship. In any case, it's just a TV show and shouldn't influence global discourse. But if I were going to take offense at anything, perhaps the most offensive thing about it was that someone was able to order a fresh orange juice at the Islamabad airport. The biggest slap in the face for all Pakistanis is portraying the islamabad airport as a nice place.”

Of course, there are Pakistani viewers who are tired of certain depictions of Pakistan, such as the ones shown in Homeland. Writer Bina Shah, who is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and the author of 'A Season For Martyrs',