Frontline World

Stories By Region: South Asia

February 2010

Pakistan: The Lost Generation
The crisis in Pakistan's schools

FRONTLINE/World reporter David Montero investigates the country's embattled public school system, which is among the worst in the world despite years of U.S. aid. read more

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November 2009

Afghanistan: Fight for the Korengal Valley

This raw, never-before-seen footage from Afghanistan offers an unflinching look at how tough the war has become on the ground and why it's a critical time for U.S. military strategy there. read more

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October 2009

Covering Conflict Zones: A Media Symposium
How to protect yourself, your fixer, and your sources.

This fall, FRONTLINE/World gathered a small panel of journalists and media representatives in New York to share experiences and discuss the challenges of covering conflict zones and repressive regimes. Watch highlights from the discussion and join the conversation online. read more

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September 2009

Afghanistan: A Stolen Election?

Reporter Jason Motlagh spent weeks on the election trail with extraordinary access to some of the country's leading political players, including reformers and brutal warlords. He shares his images and insights with iWitness. read more

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August 2009

Bangladesh: The Blowback of Corruption
Canadian company leaves environmental scar

As a new government cracks down on corruption in Bangladesh, David Montero reports on a Canadian energy company, responsible for two devastating gas explosions in 2005, and implicated in one of the country's largest bribery scandals. read more

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August 2009

Bangladesh: Where Corruption Flows

What happens when a fugitive minister bribed by Siemens and tied to Islamic extremists finally turns himself in? We asked one of Bangladesh's leading investigative reporters about the latest twist in this convoluted corruption trail. read more

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August 2009

ROUGHCUT

West Papua: The Clever One
A peculiar bird's particular talent

I first met artist Mary Jo McConnell at LAX International Airport. We were catching a flight to Bali, where we would try to book passage to the Indonesian province of West Papua, on the western half of the island of New Guinea... read more

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July 2009

ROUGHCUT

Pakistan: Karachi's Invisible Enemy
City potent refuge for Taliban fighters

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reports on the massive displacement of Pakistani civilians fleeing the conflict in the north and how ethnic tensions and violence are ratcheting up in Karachi as the city absorbs thousands of refugees. The report was produced in association with The New York Times. read more

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June 2009

Vietnam: Wheels of Change
A rugged wheelchair for the developing world

In Vietnam, a country with one of the highest percentages of wheelchair riders in the world, a partnership between an American designer and a Vietnamese wheelchair factory is making a difference. read more

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May 2009

Afghanistan: After an Airstrike

Reporter Jason Motlagh describes what happened when a recent U.S. airstrike hit a village in Farah province. The story he pieces together from eyewitness accounts offers some measure of why the U.S. and NATO are reassessing the fight in Afghanistan. read more

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May 2009

Pakistan: A Death in Swat
A journalist's life and mysterious assassination

David Montero investigates the life and death of a journalist, and a friend. The Pakistani reporter became the face of the war for Montero, telling the inside story of the Taliban's rise in Swat Valley and the Army's failures there. read more

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May 2009

Pakistan: Letter from Karachi
A war comes close to home

As a nervous world watches a new branch of the Taliban gain ground, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy reflects on the worsening crisis in Pakistan from her home in Karachi, which the militants now have in their sites. read more

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May 2009

Burma: One Year After the Deadly Storm

On the eve of May 2, 2008, Cyclone Nargis ripped through the Burmese delta killing 100,000 and leaving millions more homeless. A year on, our correspondent in the region, who has made a number of clandestine reporting trips into Burma, takes the measure of recovery in the devastated area and finds tent cities and surprising pockets of renewal. read more

April 2009

Interview With Sharmeen Obaid-Chinnoy

"I believe in telling the truth," says filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy. In this webcam interview, she tells us why she undertook such a dangerous journey in her native Pakistan to document how the Taliban are repressing young girls and recruitIng children to carry out suicide attacks. read more

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April 2009

Afghanistan: Law & Order

Last summer, FRONTLINE/World reporter Nadene Ghouri traveled to Kabul to report on the efforts of one of the city's leading police units and its brash leader, General Ali Shah Paktiawal, otherwise known as the James Bond of Kabul. read more

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April 2009

Pakistan: Children of the Taliban
Recruiting and intimidating the next generation

FRONTLINE/World correspondent Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy takes a dangerous journey through her native Pakistan to investigate a militant branch of the Taliban that is recruiting young boys and challenging government rule. read more

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March 2009

Bangladesh: The Mystery of a Mutiny

David Montero is no stranger to Bangladesh -- he lived and reported there between 2004 and 2005. But he had only been back in the country for a few hours when a full-scale mutiny by a branch of the Army brought the already chaotic capital of Dhaka to the verge of civil war. read more

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March 2009

Bangladesh: The Mystery of a Mutiny

David Montero is no stranger to Bangladesh -- he lived and reported there between 2004 and 2005. But he had only been back in the country for a few hours earlier this week when a full-scale mutiny by a branch of the Army brought the already chaotic capital of Dhaka to the verge of civil war. read more

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February 2009

Afghanistan: A Hard Fight

As President Obama announced this week that the U.S is sending 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, we spoke with reporter Jason Motlagh, who has just returned from spending two months with U.S troops in several troubled Afghan provinces along the Pakistan border. read more

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November 2008

Afghanistan: A Cry for Help
Living in a patriarchy

Photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair has been documenting the plight of women in Afghanistan since 2003. Social and domestic abuse and the tradition among Afghan men to take child brides has caused increasing numbers of women to take their own lives. Most resort to self-immolation and those who survive suffer horrific injuries. These are some of their stories. read more

October 2008

ROUGHCUT

Sri Lanka: A Terrorist in the Family
inside the life of a female suicide bomber

Filmmaker Beate Arnestad moved to Sri Lanka in 2002 and saw that an entire generation was growing up surrounded by violence. Her resulting film "My Daughter the Terrorist," recut and excerpted here, goes inside the special Tamil Tigers' suicide division and is believed to be the first time any suicide bomber has spoken on film about their training and motivations. read more

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September 2008

ROUGHCUT

Burma: Inside the Saffron Revolution
After the uprising, what comes next?

On the one-year anniversary of Burma's September uprising, when hundreds of thousands of monks protested for change, the country's military junta continues to wage war against its own people and the crisis there has slipped back into obscurity. Our correspondent inside Burma reports on what comes next for the pro-democracy movement there. read more

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July 2008

Burma: After the Storm
A reporter's video diary

Capturing recent, dramatic footage inside Burma, our correspondent shares his video diary and talks about the mood among dissidents there. read more

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June 2008

India: Design Like You Give a Damn
Building sustainable communities, not trophy homes.

FRONTLINE/World reporter Singeli Agnew travels to Tamil Nadu, India, to see the work of Architects for Humanity, a nonprofit that links local communities in need with a network of architects excited to help. read more

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May 2008

India: The Cost of Yellowcake
Mining uranium on tribal lands

The Indian government has been mining low-grade uranium on tribal lands for decades, but it plans to expand production so that nuclear power will eventually meet a quarter of India's energy needs. The risks of pursuing that policy made international headlines in 2006 when a uranium waste pipeline burst in the east of the country, creating a devastating spill. FRONTLINE/World Fellow Sonia Narang reports on how the mines are affecting the health and traditions of villagers, and forcing thousands off their lands. read more

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February 2008

Pakistan: State of Emergency
Battling a new generation of Taliban

In a joint project between FRONTLINE/World and the Christian Science Monitor, David Montero investigates a mysterious Taliban cleric who has been waging war against the Pakistani government in the mountainous former tourist haven of Swat Valley. Montero also reports from the capital, where President Pervez Musharraf is battling moderates who demand that he restore democracy and step down. read more

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December 2007

On the Edge of the Crescent
Muslim minorities in Southeast Asia

Photographer Ryan Anson documents the grievances shared by Muslim minorities in the Philippines and southern Thailand. read more

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November 2007

ROUGHCUT

Cambodia: Care and Comfort
Cambodia: Care and Comfort

Cambodia has the highest rate of AIDS in Asia. But in recent years Buddhist monks have taken up the cause of caring for AIDS patients and trying to prevent the spread of the disease through education. read more

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November 2007

India: A Second Opinion
Does Ayurvedic medicine work?

FRONTLINE/World correspondent T.R. Reid explores the ancient Indian health care system of Ayurveda to see if there is a better way than artificial joint replacement to treat his injured shoulder. read more

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September 2007

ROUGHCUT

Pakistan: Disappeared
One woman's search arouses a nation

Amina Masood Janjua was an ordinary Pakistani housewife, proud of her country and loyal to its military. But all that changed in July 2005, when her husband never came home. David Montero reports on how her campaign to find her husband sparked national protests challenging Pakistan's feared intelligence agency, the ISI, and led to events that would severely test Musharraf's power. read more

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August 2007

North Korea: In Black and White

Photographer Dong Lin has visited North Korea several times in recent years trying to glimpse life in this secretive state. As North and South Korea plan for a rare summit this Fall, we offer a black-and-white portrait of the North, taken surreptitiously and under constant watch, in a country long known for its isolation and paranoia. read more

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August 2007

ROUGHCUT

Thailand: Women for Peace
Offering solace to victims of conflict

It's a conflict that may be one of the least known in the world, but since 2004 more than 2,000 people have been killed in southern Thailand where Muslim insurgents have been fighting for a separate state. Aaron Goodman reports from the region on a group of women offering solace to both Buddhists and Muslims caught up in the violence. read more

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July 2007

Kashmir: A Troubled Paradise

In a vivid FlashPoint slide show, Getty photojournalist Ami Vitale presents a portrait of "a magnificent but cursed landscape." Her images of Kashmir, taken over a period of five years, reveal the beauty and the violence in a place claimed by both Pakistan and India. read more

June 2007

ROUGHCUT

Cambodia: The Silk Grandmothers
Weaving a new life from a lost art

Cambodian silk making is a traditional art that has been passed down through generations from mother to daughter. But when Japanese craftsman and businessman Kikuo Morimoto found that the practice was in danger of disappearing after decades of violence in the country, it became his life's mission to revive the lost art. read more

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June 2007

Indonesia: After the Wave
A search for justice

On December 24, 2004, the Indonesian province of Aceh was hit by the massive tsunami that killed 170,000 people and devastated villages and towns. In the wake of the catastrophe, the Indonesian army and local separatist rebels ended their decades-long war, which took 15,000 lives. In After the Wave, FRONTLINE/World correspondent Orlando de Guzman travels to Aceh to explore the prospects for continued peace read more

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June 2007

ROUGHCUT

India: A New Life
Getting children off the streets

"A child on the street is what we call a roofless and rootless kid," says Father Thomas Koshy. For the past 17 years, the Salesian priest has been working in southern India providing education, shelter, and better opportunities to India's growing number of street children. As this report shows, many quickly become addicted to life on the street and find it hard to leave. read more

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June 2007

ROUGHCUT

Nepal: A Girl's Life
Making room to read

While trekking in Nepal in 1998, American John Wood saw that many children couldn't afford to go to school and that schools in the poorest rural areas had a chronic shortage of books. It was a transformational experience for Wood that spurred him to start a literacy program called Room to Read. This week's Rough Cut tells the story of Wood's nonprofit that now helps to educate millions of children in the developing world and visits some of the Nepalese communities his program has helped. read more

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May 2007

ROUGHCUT

China: The New Wave
Filmmakers reveal society's dark side

Reporter Joshua Fisher takes a cinematic journey to China where he meets with the country's new wave of independent filmmakers. Known as the "Sixth Generation," the group flouts censorship to tell gritty contemporary stories about the country's rapid modernization and the millions of migrants living at its margins. read more

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April 2007

ROUGHCUT

India: The Missing Girls
A society out of balance

In 2006, when my wife and I traveled to India to live and work, the one issue that kept grabbing our attention was northern India's deep cultural preference for sons over daughters. The desire for sons can be so great, that some families, after having a girl or two, will abort female fetuses until they bear a son. The practice is called female feticide or sex selection. read more

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April 2007

ROUGHCUT

Mongolia: Land Without Fences
A nomad's hard choice

Half of Mongolia's two million population still practice the ancient tradition of nomadic herding. Families have kept these herds -- mostly goats, sheep, and horses -- for generations, and parents often bequeath hundreds of animals to their children. Through my study-abroad program, I found myself living and working with such families, experiencing their grueling lives for a few weeks at a time. read more

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April 2007

Afghanistan: The Other War
Is NATO winning the battle?

As President Bush pledges another $10 billion to stabilize and rebuild Afghanistan, and a spring offensive is expected against a resurgent Taliban, FRONTLINE/World correspondent Sam Kiley reports from the frontlines of the conflict, where dual battles are being fought to win the trust of the Afghan people and combat the extremists living among them. read more

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December 2006

ROUGHCUT

Pakistan: This Is Your Wife
Invitation to an arranged marriage

In this week's "Rough Cut," we travel to Pakistan to celebrate a wedding. Reporter Kim Perry first met the Asghars, a well-to-do Pakistani-American family living in California, in late 2005. When family matriarch Robina Asghar told Perry that her eldest son Tabriz was about to marry in Pakistan to a woman he barely knew, she invited Perry along. What follows is an affectionate portrait of a young man caught between his parents' cultural expectations and his own sense of himself as a 21st century American. read more

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December 2006

ROUGHCUT

Nepal: Caught in the People's War
A journey into an uncertain future

Before a peace deal was reached this November, FRONTLINE/World reporter Aaron Goodman traveled to Nepal to see what was tearing the country apart. He also wanted to know how journalists were able to report about the conflict after the government virtually shut down the media in 2005. Goodman follows Guna Raj Luitel, a Nepalese reporter, who has made it his mission to cover all sides of the conflict for his newspaper the Kantipur Daily. read more

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October 2006

Burma: State of Fear
A regime at war with its own people

FRONTLINE/World reporter Evan Williams travels undercover to Burma to expose the violence and repression carried out by Burma's government against its own people. Williams, who was banned from the country for reporting on the democracy movement 10 years ago, meets secretly with the dissidents still pushing for change, and gathers evidence of the atrocities and slave labor that is helping keep the regime in power. read more

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October 2006

China Diaries: Part 1 and Part 2
Life on the road in western China

When filmmaker Brent E. Huffman took a six-month assigment in remotest western China, he knew it would be no ordinary adventure. There with his Chinese-born producer wife, Xiaoli, to film endangered wildlife and minority cultures, Huffman kept a diary and captured images of the beauty of China's last untouched wilderness as well as some of the most polluted, decimated landscapes on the planet. read more

July 2006

ROUGHCUT

India: A Pound of Flesh
Selling kidneys to survive

In this week's Rough Cut, Samantha Grant heads to Chennai in southern India to explore the illicit kidney trade. Traveling between India's high-tech center of Bangalore and the slums to the south, Grant spoke to government officials, doctors, kidney brokers and donors to try to find out why so many people are still getting paid to give up their kidneys even though a law was passed 12 years ago to heavily regulate the practice. read more

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February 2006

ROUGHCUT

Pakistan: Cold Comfort
A battle for hearts and minds in the quake zone

In this week's Rough Cut, FRONTLINE/World reporter Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy travels to the center of the quake zone, where she talks with survivors and takes us into the makeshift hospitals and Islamic relief camps. Amid the already heated politics of the region, she finds a mix of medicine and religious ideology being dispensed. read more

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January 2006

ROUGHCUT

India: Calcutta Calling
American girls explore their roots

What happens when three teenage girls living in Minnesota decide to visit the land of their birth? All three were adopted as infants from an orphanage in Calcutta, India. In this week's Rough Cut video, Sasha Khokha follows the girls back to South Asia, as they explore their roots, with curiosity and trepidation. read more

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July 2005

ROUGHCUT

Seeds of Suicide
India's desperate farmers

Suicide by pesticide: It's an epidemic in India, where farmers try to keep up with the latest pest-resistant seeds only to find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of pesticides that don't work, drought and debt. Since 1997, more than 25,000 farmers have committed suicide, many drinking the chemical that was supposed to make their crops more, not less, productive. read more

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July 2005

ROUGHCUT

Cursed by the Gods
Rebuilding lives after the tsunami

FRONTLINE/World reporter Jonathan Jones and producer Krista Mahr journey to Sri Lanka's eastern coast, one of the most ravaged areas, to see how people are coping with twin disasters: the tsunami and a civil war that has wracked the country for decades. read more

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June 2004

India: The Sex Workers
A tale of two cities

FRONTLINE/World producer Raney Aronson reports from the coming epicenter of the AIDS epidemic as sex workers and their clients struggle to contain the crisis. In cities rife with sex trafficking, where as many as 60 percent of the people are infected with HIV, can their fight help keep the disease from exploding? read more

March 2004

Pakistan: On a Razor's Edge
A journey home at a time of hope and crisis

Follow FRONTLINE/World reporter and producer Sharmeen Obaid to her native Pakistan as she investigates the clashes between President Pervez Musharraf, a key U.S. ally, and the increasingly powerful Islamic fundamentalists who oppose him. Obaid visits the scene of the most recent assassination attempt on Musharraf, meets with key military leaders and interviews a clandestine jihadi fighting a holy war in neighboring Kashmir. read more

June 2003

India: Starring Osama Bin Laden
A folk opera with a disturbing twist

On a journey to India, a FRONTLINE/World crew comes across Osama bin Laden -- not the terrorist mastermind, but rather an actor starring in a popular community theater production torn from the headlines. Days later, after a four-hour-long portrayal of bin Laden before an enthusiastic, packed house in Calcutta, the actor turns to ask our reporter: "What did you think of my performance?" read more

May 2003

Nepal: Dreams of Chomolongma
Sherpa women scale Mount Everest

Fifty years after the first successful ascent of Mount Everest, five young Sherpa women struggle to make history by summitting the peak whose name in Nepali is Chomolongma, which means "Mother Goddess of the Universe." FRONTLINE/World climbs with the team as they confront storms, sickness, fear and the obstacles facing women in traditional Sherpa culture. read more

October 2002

India: Hole in the Wall
Opening the door to cyberspace

An Indian scientist embeds a high-speed computer in a wall bordering a slum, turns it on, and watches what happens as children begin to teach themselves to use the machine. read more

May 2002

Sri Lanka: Living in Terror
A journey to a tropical island besieged by suicide bombers

The day after video journalist Joe Rubin landed in Sri Lanka, a suicide bomber attempted to kill the prime minister. The assassination attempt failed but six civilians were killed. Arriving at the scene, Rubin realized that he was standing in a sea of body parts. It was the beginning of a six-week journey exploring how an island paradise had become a killing ground. read more

May 2002

Bhutan: The Last Place
Television arrives in a Buddhist kingdom

FRONTLINE/World explores the impact of television on a remote Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. After centuries of self-imposed isolation, Bhutan legalized TV in 1999 -- the last country in the world to do so. Follow Rinzy Dorji, the local "cable guy," as he hooks up "an electronic invasion." read more


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