Tayyeb Afridi

Visiting journalist, Pakistan

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

This video by the Pakistani news agency Dawn.com shows Tayyeb at work back home at Radio Kyber.

Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read his blog at tayyebafridi.blogspot.com.

A local radio station in Pakistan’s unsettled tribal area shows how important media can be in spreading awareness of the importance of education. About 180 new students turned up at one government school in the town of Razmak in North Waziristan after the local radio station broadcast announcements telling parents that education in government schools was free. Most local parents thought they would have to pay for schooling.   

Razmak Radio was established in 2006 to bridge the gap between people and their government. It has started a public service announcement (PSA) campaign to educate people on development issues. It designed PSAs in March and broadcast them throughout the month to motivate local people to enroll their children in school.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/heston55

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read more of KUT News’ Pakistan coverage.

In Peshawar, I met a radio talk show listener Haji Noor Zaman, who is 60 years old and is displaced from Khyber Agency due to operation against militants. I asked: Do you still listen to radio? He said yes, he is listening but only to news bulletins from Radio Deewa.

Radio Deewa is U.S. government-sponsored radio. I asked what’s new. He said America has diverted its cannon facing Baluchistan and has built up its human rights case against Pakistan.

Locals listen to Radio Miransh in the North Waziristan Agency.
Photo by Tayyeb Afridi

Tayyeb Afridi is a journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He visited KUT in May 2011 on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists. You can read more of KUT News’ Pakistan coverage.

An international media development organization in Pakistan trained broadcasters from the country’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on public service announcements during a training program held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Broadcasters from local radio stations attended the five-day, hands-on training exercise.

While PSAs are widely used elsewhere in the world, they have never been used by these stations in Pakistan.

Photo by Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

In one of the most volatile regions in the world, a 131 mile journey lasting more than four hours and a lone child not yet 9 – this is Shafi’s story.

You may wonder how a mother could let her child a brave the treacherous journey alone. But for Shafi-ud-din’s mother, there was no other choice.

Tayyeb Afridi is a Pakistani journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan. He visited KUT on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

It was May 7, 2006 that, as a team, we started transmission of Radio Khyber. It was located within Khyber Agency, one among seven districts of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the Northwestern part of the country. I started transmitting with a passion to empower local people and give them voices. Voices which had been kept silent since 1901, the day the colonial empire of India promulgated the Frontier Crime Regulation (FCR) in FATA. The FCR was designed by British, who used the region’s own tribal traditions and social psyche to rule ruthlessly over the territory. All of the sections of this law, which to this day are still intact in tribal areas, are authoritarian. One among them was a ban on freedom of expression.

Anthony Maw

Tayyeb Afridi is a Pakistani journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan. He visited KUT on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

Two outlawed groups have been fighting each other for years in the Khyber Agency, a tribal area of Pakistan that borders Afghanistan. The Khyber Agency is also known as the gateway to Central Asia. The militant groups are Lashkar-e-Islam (Army of Islam) and Ansar-ul-Islam (Brother of Islam).

Pakistan security forces intervened in the fighting in 2008 when they launched operations in a subdivision of the Khyber Agency called Bara. The operation against these outlawed militant organizations was codenamed "Sirat-e-Mustaqeem" (The Righteous Path).

Photo by Tayyeb Afridi for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is a Pakistani journalist from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan. He visited KUT on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

Northwest Pakistan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Province, previously called the Northwest Frontier Province, is trying to empower local community by installing community radios in troubled regions. 

This is an effort to counter the influence of illegal radio, or Mullah Radio, in Northwest Pakistan’s settled and tribal districts. Settled districts are the responsibility of the provincial government that came into power in February 2008 elections. The provincial government fought the Taliban in Swat, Bunner, Dir valleys.

Photo by monsieurmellow http://www.flickr.com/photos/51786391@N00/

Tayyeb Afridi is visiting KUT from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He is on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

It looks like the Taliban in Pakistan has changed its strategy after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The group used to target civilian places like Mosques and public places for bombing to punish the government for supporting the so-called War on Terror. 

Photo by johanl http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanl/

Tayyeb Afridi is visiting KUT from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He is on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

I read on Facebook recently that the Taliban had attacked the Pakistan Naval Base in the southern part of Karachi. Karachi is Pakistan’s biggest shipping port. As I read the story published by the Express Tribune Newspaper, I saw a Tweet about what was going on in Karachi during the attack. To see a Tweet in the midst of a reported piece was astonishing to me. We have still traditional journalism in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or FATA. It’s very new there, and people don’t really know or understand citizen journalism. They don’t consider it meaningful when it comes to covering breaking news.

We are familiar with SMS (texting) and we use it all the time to share news about what is happening around the area.  Say you heard a sound like a blast, and didn’t know what exactly happened, you would send a text to your friend near that location to find out what happened. But you wouldn’t know what happened until you got his reply. This is one-sided communication.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

Tayyeb Afridi is visiting KUT from the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan, a region that borders Afghanistan. He is on a US Pakistan Journalism Exchange through the International Center for Journalists.

From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was struck by how different everything looked – especially the way people dressed.  If I were to judge Americans’ dress by Pakistan’s dress code, they would be considered nude. I saw men and women both showing their legs, arms and sometimes even midriffs.  I had to remind myself, “Hey man, this isn’t rare; it’s the culture of America. That doesn’t mean that short dress should be a sign of nudity.”

I was really looking forward to a wonderful adventure of 33 days in the United States of America.  The first six days flew by. It was very busy, so busy that I didn’t have a chance to think about what I had seen on my first day.