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Week of 8.8.08

Dinner With the President

When Pakistani filmmaker Sabiha Sumar chose to make a film about democracy in her country, she didn't just request a traditional interview with the Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, she insisted on a formal dinner. To her surprise, Musharaf -- who is facing impeachment charges after running Pakistan for nearly nine years -- agreed. Sumar spent the evening grilling Musharraf about the state of affairs in their sharply polarized culture.

Sumar's documentary "Dinner With the President," includes candid interviews with a wide range of Pakistanis, from religious fundamentalists to partiers on a Pakistani beach.

This week, NOW's David Brancaccio talks with Sumar about the film, about America's cultural and political relationship with Pakistan, and about Musharraf's desire to democratize his nation while functioning as its dictator.

Is Pakistan the biggest security threat in the world? As the crisis facing Musharraf deepens, a filmmaker shares her rare insider's view of a troubled leader in a troubled country.


Related Links:

Jazbah.org: Sabiha Sumar: Working for the Arts and Women's Rights

Newshour: Politics of Pakistan

Vidhi Films: Dinner with the President

Why Democracy?: Dinner with the President

The New York Times: Pakistan Coalition Moves to Impeach Musharraf

The New York Times: Close Musharraf Allies Say He Has No Plans to Resign Under Pressure


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The Candidates on Pakistan:

Reuters: Obama calls for better India-Pakistan ties

National Journal: McCain, Obama share some views on security