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Afghan Refugees In Tajikistan, Human Drug Mules, And A Pakistani Village Fights Back: RFE's Stories Of The Year (Part 2 Of 3)

Piles of smuggled narcotics go up in flames during a drug-burning ceremony in Karachi, Pakistan.
Of the thousands of stories produced this year by RFE journalists, 15 have been singled out by RFE's top editors as the "Best of the Best." The three winners featured here come from the volatile region of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Part 2 of 3:

Best Current Affairs Coverage Video
Thousands of refugees from Afghanistan have fled war, poverty, and the Taliban over the last decade. Many have ended up -- at least for the time being -- in neighboring Tajikistan. In the video below, Barot Yusufi from RFE's Tajik Service, looks at the plight of refugees from Afghanistan, many of whom have been in makeshift camps for years.

Best Current Affairs Coverage/Analysis, Online
In Pakistan, Daud Khattak from RFE's Pakistan Service, Radio Mashaal, looked at the efforts of one Pakistani village in resisting the Taliban. The people of Shah Hassan Khel in Northwest Pakistan watched as the Army fought of the Taliban in 2009. Now, local militias are providing security themselves-- and preventing the Taliban from gaining a foothold in the area.

Best Co-Production Feature
An estimated 20% of Afghanistan's opium exports leave the country via its northern neighbor, Tajikistan. In this report, Charles Recknagel and Zarif Nazar, a journalist with RFE's Afghan Service, Radio Azadi, look at the effects of the smuggling trade on local populations near the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border -- where some people are literally bought and sold.

- Zachary Peterson