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VOA Radio Dramas Focus on Drug Addiction in Pakistan

5-minute plays air Saturdays, repeat Sundays & Mondays

Washington, D.C., September 17, 2009 – The scourge of drug addiction in Pakistan is the theme of a new series of radio dramas on Voice of America's (VOA) Deewa Radio, which broadcasts in Pashto to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region.

"Addiction to heroin and hashish is a real problem in Pakistan's tribal areas as well as the country's main cities," says Nafees Takar, Deewa Radio's service chief. "These dramas are meant to be educational."

The series, "A Journey Toward Enlightenment," is written by Pakistani playwright Dr. Humayan Huma and performed by professional Pashto-speaking actors.

Pakistan is a processing center for opium grown in neighboring Afghanistan. Plants in Pakistan convert Afghan poppy crops into heroin, which is sold in Pakistan or smuggled to other countries.

The five-minute radio plays are produced in Pakistan, sent to VOA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and broadcast back to the region. The dramas are broadcast Saturday evening and repeated on Sunday and Monday.

Deewa Radio ( was launched in 2006. The service broadcasts nine hours of original programming daily on shortwave, FM and the Internet. Deewa Radio programs include live news, current affairs, call-in shows, and music.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 125 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages. VOA is the leading U.S. international broadcaster.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail