Is Hollywood Portraying Pakistan as a Terrorist State?

Is Hollywood Portraying Pakistan as a Terrorist State

Being a UN member, Pakistan fosters peace-promoting movements and plays a notable role, through the OIC, in sustainable peace regulation among Islamic nations. Through hosting Summit Conferences and encouraging Political Peace sessions, and being the center for COMSTECH (Scientific and Technological cooperation of OIC) and ICCIA (The Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture).

Among troop contributions to the UN, Pakistan is one of the largest contributors, with over 200,000 men and women sent on 46 UN missions. Currently, more than 4,000 Pakistanis are serving in 8 peace operations. The country’s foremost interests include peace and sustainability in Jammu and Kashmir, a number of measures to ensure peace have been taken.

However, Pakistan is itself battling with peacekeeping internally. On January 13, in a Mosque, 100 people died and 57 were injured by a suicide bomber in Peshawar. The lives of minorities are also at stake; in September 2013, All Saints Church was suicide bombed, resulting in the killing of the Christian minority in Pakistan. A faction of TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan) named Jamaat ul Ahrar claimed the responsibility.

On July 31, 200 people were injured and 40 died due to suicide bombings at the JUI-F (Jamiat Ulema e Fazl) rally. ISIS-K (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan), a militant organization, claimed its responsibility, JUI-F are democracy supporters, as stated in an explanation by militants. Due to political disturbances and penurious economic circumstances, the government is impotent in establishing peaceful conditions.

The Western narrative regarding Pakistan is influenced by Islamophobia. The incident of 9/11, terrorist activities, and the claim of militant organisations as islamists account for the ‘terrorist’ label. Osama bin Laden was captured by US naval forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It has been difficult to resist terrorist activities, along with socio-political instability in the country. The frame of terrorism persists, and Pakistan is being visualized as a center for planning terrorist attacks in films.

The cinematic dimension plays a crucial role in shaping public perceptions, telling stories, and affecting opinions on geo-political matters. It aided in the defamation of the country and the devaluation of the green passport. Currently, the green passport holds the 104th position on the Guide Passport Ranking Index. The internal struggle of Pakistan to counter terrorism is veiled under the imaginary structure portrayed in films.

In Ghosted (2023), featuring Chris Evans and Ana de Armas, anti-US governmental activities in KPK have been shown. Films named “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Act of Valor” delineated Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorists, representing that the country is nurturing extremist operations. In continuation, television series like Homeland (2011) and Ms. Marvel (2022) filmed the same narrative.

Such representations not only oversimplify socio-political measures but also contribute to the disapproval of an entire nation and its people. As such, cinematic pieces are for entertainment purposes; however, they leave a great impact on viewers’ perceptions. The creative masterpieces are the recognition of filmmakers, but unfortunately, they come up with real-world repercussions. Not only alluding to one individual but the whole nation as a stereotype makes a shift in the country’s reflection.

On the contrary, through the lens of the Pakistani YouTube industry, the country is enriched with cultural diversities, a mix of landscapes, and varied cuisines. Diverse regions provide opportunities for snowboarding, desert riding, paragliding, and scuba diving at Charna Island. International tourists are being influenced by the adventures in Pakistan; a great number of tourists come to the country and leave with a fine impact. Additionally, as more tourists share their positive encounters, it helps challenge and dispel negative stereotypes, attracting others to explore the diverse and welcoming aspects of the country.