Return to Swat Valley

In a FRONTLINE/World joint project, reporter David Montero talks about meeting a reclusive Taliban cleric, known as the "Radio Mullah."

Last May, the Monitor sent David Montero to Pakistan's Swat Valley, where he was the first Western journalist to interview a reclusive Taliban cleric known as the "Radio Mullah." A few months later, the armed followers of Maulana Fazlullah captured more than 60 towns in the Swat Valley, just 100 miles from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.

David's trip became the basis of a three-part series "Testing Ground: The battle for Pakistan's frontier provinces," that appeared in the Monitor. In this FRONTLINE/World video, David talks about his experience meeting the young cleric, who served him sugar-cane juice and told him that he wanted "to wipe out the darkness of Western ideas."

David recently returned to the Swat Valley to learn that Pakistani forces had forced Mullah Fazlullah to abandon his huge religious school and he had fled to the nearby hills. But Fazlullah's forces are still lashing out, as David reports in "State of Emergency," a joint project of FRONTLINE/World and The Christian Science Monitor. The program airs Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 9:00 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings). The documentary contains graphic material that some may find disturbing.

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