Pakistan angered at 'hellhole' depiction in 'Homeland' – report
The Emmy-winning ‘Homeland’ series portrays Pakistan as an ugly, ignorant, terror-plagued “hellhole,” the country’s officials have complained to the New York Post, stressing “nothing is further from the truth.”
The Pakistani authorities reportedly complained directly to the show’s producers at Showtime, noting every detail they found irrelevant to the modern Pakistan, including the lack of green landscapes in the depiction of the capital, Islamabad.
“Maligning a country that has been a close partner and ally of the US <…> is a disservice not only to the security interests of the US, but also to the people of the US,” Pakistan Embassy spokesman Nadeem Hotiana told the New York Post.
Season four of ‘Homeland’ tells a story of a CIA station chief on a mission in Pakistan. The show explores the twists and turns of intelligence operations on the ground, as well as the troubled relations between the CIA and Pakistan’s security services.
The biggest concern of the country’s authorities is that Pakistan is depicted as undemocratic and linked with militants.
“Repeated insinuations that an intelligence agency of Pakistan is complicit in protecting the terrorists at the expense of innocent Pakistani civilians is not only absurd, but also an insult to the ultimate sacrifices of the thousands of Pakistani security personnel in the war against terrorism,” one source said.
The diplomats contradicted the producers of the show, saying that Pakistani culture “embraces Western society,” and the country “believes in the democratic system of voting in our presidents.”
“Homeland” makes it seem that Pakistan has contempt for Americans and its values and principles. That is not true,” another source said.
The yawning gap between the way Islamabad is depicted in the series, and the reality has also been noted by officials.
“Islamabad is a quiet, picturesque city with beautiful mountains and lush greenery. In ‘Homeland,’ it’s portrayed as a grimy hellhole and war zone where shootouts and bombs go off with dead bodies scattered around. Nothing is further from the truth.”
Also, the actors’ language skills are not convincing at all, the Pakistani diplomats said, as they speak “English like Americans would” and “the [Urdu] accent is far from the local accent.”
Plus, “the connotations of some of the Urdu words that are used are out of place.”
The filming location of the show was actually Cape Town, Africa, and Season Four ended last Sunday.
The New York Post says Showtime representatives have not answered requests for comment yet.