On Nov 08.2013, Steve Cannane interviewed me about Wounds of Waziristan on Australia’s national primetime show:
Full article HERE. Nov 01.2013:
These stories show immense human suffering that we, as Americans, need to acknowledge and be sensitive to if we hope to effectively combat terrorism. By ignoring the deaths of these civilians, we tacitly imply that their lives are worth nothing, that they are less human than American citizens.
Full interview HERE. Oct 29.2013:
Your film begins with President Obama’s description—that he’s “haunted” by the loss of civilian lives. What moved you to make that that description a guiding motif in the film?
A couple of things. I’ve been trying to think about the ways we can talk about drones beyond the legal reports. So what are the ways that we can think about what it means to experience life under drones. Another aspect is that yes, Obama said he is haunted by loss of civilian life, but that nevertheless we need to continue with our war. I thought that was interesting because there’s a whole literature within academia and in fiction about ghosts and haunting and what that means. If you think about Toni Morrison’s Beloved. The sociologist Avery Gordon has an excellent book on this called Ghostly Matters. Being haunted is about not being able to go on as if you were not being haunted. Even horror films are about this.
Oct 25.2013, a discussion with Michel Martin: Do Pakistanis Support Drone Attacks?
TAHIR: I think the people that are actually under attack are not the people in Islamabad and are not the liberal class. The first line of people that are actually under attack are the people in the tribal areas. And there the issue again gets very, very complicated and I think it’s – it’s not critical thinking to think that because political parties are using this issue that it is therefore a sham issue. I mean, it’s true, various political parties have used this issue for their own political ends, but that doesn’t negate the fact that actually people are being killed.
On Oct 22.2013, I had the pleasure of briefly discussing the situation in Waziristan as well as the documentary:
“I wasn’t scared of drones before,” Nabeela, an 8-year-old whose grandmother, Mamana Bibi, was killed by a 2012 drone strike, says in the report. “But now when they fly overhead I wonder, ‘Will I be next?'”
Nabeela is not alone.
A new documentary, “Wounds of Waziristan,” reveals the story of drones as told by the people who live under them.
PG: Is there a political solution possible in Waziristan?
MT: The U.S. has to leave, but they also have to stop funding the Pakistani establishment, and they have to start taking the Pakistan civilian government seriously. The tribal areas also need to be incorporated into Pakistan. How this is done is up to them, but the services of the state need to be extended to that area. There is a whole range of socio-political issues, which need to be resolved. They will require money and also will among political leaders, but this is impossible as long as the United States continues its meddling, occupation, and funding of the Pakistani political establishment.
PG: What do Americans most need to understand about the drones in Pakistan?
With Wounds of Waziristan, Tahir tries to foreground the people who materially experience loss and absence — not as abstract body counts, but as the absence of a brother or a niece or a wife. “Haunting is the insistence by the dead that they be acknowledged, that the social conditions that brought about their demise be made known and rectified. So, haunting is about unfinished business. And, it’s thoroughly social and political. This film focuses on the people who live in Waziristan and who live among loss. Material conditions, whether it’s the rubble after a drone attack or the grave of one’s kin, persist in reminding the living of what they have lost,” she explains.
Full piece here.