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The US has pledged 130 million dollars in aid to the two million refugees from the wartorn Swat Valley in the wild north eastern reaches of Pakistan. The traditional occupants of the area, the Pashtun, are caught in the crossfire as the Pakistani forces, encouraged by the US, try to root out the Taliban. Ben Gilmour has spent years living in the area, even posing as a local, filming his award winning movie Son of a Lion. He says the Pashtun are the sacrificial lambs in a conflict which is really about the US and the War on Terror. Ben Gilmour is a guest of the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

 

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