Brainwashing: Fighting the Taliban and fools’ paradise

Published: April 12, 2011
Email

Fragile young minds are turned into living bombs, and are well-trained before launching them.

According to different sources, Umar Fidai, the would-be Sakhi Sarwar suicide bomber, was studying in eighth grade when he was approached by the “merchants of death” – the Tehrik-i-Taliban.

He was systematically brainwashed to “find the path to paradise, instead of wasting life on worldly affairs”. Fidai was transferred to training camps in North Waziristan, and trained along with 350 bombers, including nationals from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan along with Pakistanis.

Some reports said Fidai lost his father in an attack in Karachi. Others said he was told that he would be attacking a target in Afghanistan, but the destination was changed at the last minute.

With this much detail and information, it’s time to analyse and take action.

The mind of a bomber

I have been to forums where the debate sought the real driving force behind the suicide bomber embarking on his evil mission. I was surprised that an overwhelming conclusion pointed toward money and benefits being termed as the bribe for young boys launching these missions. No doubt money – mostly from our external well wishers – keeps this bloody trade rolling, but it isn’t the fuel for the bomber.

As proved in this case, the masterminds are on the hunt for vulnerable boys to brainwash them about jihad and paradise.

The fragile young minds are turned into living bombs, and are well-trained before launching them. Being a developing country, there is no shortage of young bodies dejected from their social and future orientation. Once spotted, it takes a small effort from evil but genius masterminds to brainwash them and turn them against humanity.

Mission suicide

The “nurseries of deaths” operating in the tribal belt close to the Afghan border is where the bombers are trained. They are run by a well-organised team which feeds them with this propaganda and gives them the vision of thinking on a single but deadly track.

During the operation in South Waziristan, I was shocked to see documentary evidence of one of these facilities. The walls were painted with different images and ayats glorifying suicide bombers, along with a vision of paradise awaiting them after the bombing. They are given a dose of false glory, and once they have acquired the diploma of death, they are nothing less than a wandering torpedo awaiting a target.

The most troublesome are their handlers, men who help them slip to the target with explosives. We see the result on television – the massacre of innocent people.

Metal detectors won’t save you

Metal detectors, security gates etcetera are just eye wash. The war against suicide bombers is lost when emphasis is paid to these gadgets instead of the nurseries producing them. Once the bomber has started his journey, he will cause destruction wherever he strikes, regardless of security procedures.

So instead of fortifying our walls and fencing every entry, the effort must be inserted in locating these training safe havens and destroying them along with their deadly arsenal of handlers and bombers.

Fix textbooks and madrassas

Bombers are brainwashed and fed with the idea of committing a sin in the guise of a noble duty. To combat this, text books must be edited to include topics against terrorism and suicide bombing. A clear version must be put forward for young minds before being hijacked by the handlers psychologically.

The same exercise must be extended to madrassas around Pakistan. A nation-wide campaign must be launched through the media, exposing this evil practice. When approached, the young boys must have some idea about what the “merchant of death” is feeding him/ her.

Policy makers must take a tough stance against the Taliban. Whether this is in the form of support to the ISAF or American forces is irrelevant. It’s all about the realisation that we have had enough.

Abdul Rauf Hashmi

Lt Col (R) Abdul Rauf Hashmi

A retired army official who is currently the chief executive officer of Accurate Security Systems.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Fahad Raza

    Agreed totally. Suicide bombers need to eradicated of this country.
    Suicide is a sin in itself and terrorism is fitnah a great sin. Recommend

  • anand singh

    The war against suicide bombers is lost when emphasis is paid to these gadgets instead of the nurseries producing them.

    This line says it all.

    The irony in Pak is that everyone seems to be running with the hare & hunting with the hound.

    Surely the Int agencies know where & who spawns / trains such boys..why then ?Recommend

  • Z. Akbar

    Very well written Sir.

    The government is too busy playing the political dog fight, and saving their own skins that they only pay attention to this act by condemning it.

    However the people should also stand up against such an act, but even amongst the fabric of society there is a sense of denial that the Taliban are good and that they have been framed…even the educated lot support them.

    The army, is either not taking sufficient steps or doesn’t want to. They ended militancy in swat in a few days. They can do this, we have the 7th largest standing army in the world. We can’t defeat a few thousand fighters, something is wrong.

    We need to educate and develop those areas, it is then when these things will stop.Recommend

  • SaudiRules

    “…..To combat this, text books must be edited to include topics against terrorism and suicide bombing…”
    How about also editing the pakistani studies text books, penned by your fraternity (Army/ISI) that poisons a young students minds with jewels like “hindus are coniving, jews are against muslims, the entire world is consipiring agaist this pak-saaf nation etc…”
    Of course, that wont happen because that will stop your fraternity’s gravy train and stealing of the majority part of the national budget.
    Imagine what could be achived if we cut half of the army’s budget and spend it on education,health and welfare of the awam!Recommend

  • http://awgilani.wordpress.com Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    Nice to see a writer who has first hand experience on these issues. Thumbs up!Recommend

  • http://Lahore. DIG

    I recall in a private social gathering an ex.Colonel asking an Islamic looking gentleman, ” Don’t you make them (suicide bombers) understand that this is unIslamic”? To which the gentleman replied, that first of all they don’t come to us with their plans! Secondly when America was cospiring against USSR through Pakistan, Saudi Arabia it was you all together preparing them how this is farz e Ain Jihad, it seems now they have understood well! I understand this is an international politics which America is leading with definitely Jews the think tanks!! Islam can never receive a bad name although their efforts are on these lines but Muslims definitely will be tested! Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii

    this is the reason america has also come to af-pak area…
    to destroy the nurseries….as only fortifying the walls will not be enough.Recommend

  • Sultan Hijazi

    @SaudiRules:

    Why does an Indian like you always end up commenting on this forum with your despicable pseudonym?Recommend

  • Z. Akbar

    I also agree with the Notion of Saudi Rules, we do need to cut our armies budget and readdress it else where.

    However, this is a sorry state of affairs, only a mass movement against our current institutions will clean the country. The Army is too powerful, the Ministries and Govt are corrupt, terrorists are well funded and the people are suffering.

    I don’t understand, People in Pakistan are drowning in the weight of our governments faults and they are doing nothing.Recommend

  • parvez

    The author being ex-army has said what people would like to hear and not what should be said. The countries resources are used for debt servicing, keeping the armed forces and politician / bureaucrat happy, leaving nothing for the masses who simply exist and that too in an environment devoid of justice or accountability. This inequity has to be fixed if serious change is required. Sir, you have not even touched upon the aspect of these organizations being considered as “strategic assets’ by the all powerful.Recommend

  • Patrick

    @Sultan Hijazi:

    Whether the guy is using a Pseudonym or not, have you got any thing useful to add to the discussion or just rant ?

    The main reason why these youngsters turn to terror is the hopelessness of their lives. If they had education and aspirations and a idea that their lives will get better then they would not be ready to blow themselves up !Recommend

  • V.Prof Durrani,

    TAQWA which is power of mind which can be acquired through “wisdom & patience”. The current world system is ruled by INTEREST based Dark System : foolish & greedy. lacking accountability. Even TAQWA is interpreted or mistranslated as “fear” in the modern world of disinformation for brainwashing. We should wash our hands, eyes, brain & mind too to change from darkness to lightRecommend

  • Tariq

    Assalam o Alaikum, first of all, we should stop this HATRED and HARSH behaviour towards anyone who is a SUICIDE bomber. Because we have seen the outcome of a STRAIGHT war against terror. the condition has worsened. Secondly, we have to check out why they do this. HAVE U GUYS ever thought if AMERICANS kill us with drones like that, then u would also start to SHOW ur ANGER. There is a need to mentally CAPTURE these people. THIRDLY, taliban leader MULLAH OMER has openly said that TEHREEK E TALIBAN IS FAKE. AND THOSE WHO DESTROY SCHOOLS, MOSQUES, AND HOSPITALS or involved in anti-state activity are TERRORISTS. why OUR government always use FORCE to eradicate and eliminate them. why dont they check out the factors that are causing all the situation. secondly, focusing at one point is a FOOLs action. we must start to improve security at every single street and town. then inshaALLAH we would progress with it. But unfortunately, there are no signs of any sincere and serious movement from the Government’s side. Thank you all.Recommend

  • Tariq

    @Patrick:
    Certainly We think from our point of view but never tried to check out their problems. today, we are just using Force to get rid of them. but not checking out who is behind all this. RAW, MUSAD, KHAD AND CIA are not our friends. and surely, they have interest in all this. thats why Tehreek e Taliban is getting its supplies. Recommend

  • Kanishka

    @Patrick

    “If they had education and aspirations and a idea that their lives will get better then they would not be ready to blow themselves up !”

    Shehzad, Asia bibi etc etc many educated Jihadis had education and had very good lives…why did they choose to be Jihadis? Its the IDEOLOGY OF HATING KAFIR….that takes them to terror and that is taught everywhere in every mosque Recommend

  • J

    I fail to understand why are people allowing such parasites to survive among them. If there are such evil instituitions in their areas, then why don’t people expose them?

    I think we need to educate the masses first. They need to be told that these institutions are neither serving Islam nor Pakistan. They have to be exposed rather than hosted. All suspicious activities and people should be reported to the law enforcement agencies.

    Also, the government should encourage adoption by families. Give those families some annual incentives who adopt orphans so that these kids can be saved from damnation.Recommend

  • Moise

    All the suggestion author pointed out he forgot to mention extra judicial killings with drone strikes. If someone family gets killed I don’t think he will watch Dr. Phil show and take yoga lessons instead of taking revenge with anything that stands for West. As long as Raymond Davis are recruiting and training them I don’t see any lull in attacks. Blaming maderssah is just a lame excuse, I think this mantra of blaming maderssah might be good with arm chair analysts parroting Western policy makers but not to a pragmatic army colonel. Ground realities are different.Recommend

  • Singh

    *The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.
    *

    ET Please endorse these kind opinion which are not too many now days.
    Thanks Lt Col (R) Abdul Rauf Hashmi for sane voice in dark alleyRecommend

  • http://dinopak.wordpress.com Hasan

    So what are we going to do about this ‘jihad’??? Can you ask a maulvi to ban Jihad?Recommend

  • Fahad Raza

    @ Singh Why can’t Indian General be as sane like that? Recommend

  • rk singh

    The picture tells the story in detail. Opression, Opression, Opression. Its a shame such small girls are packed off in dresses like chicken coops. For what purpose? If women are not respected, rest assured, mulims will not respect anything else. Minorities, factions, religious diversity. Anything. Taliban florishes in these kind of back waters.Recommend

  • Aliana

    To combat this, the government should take a step forward by including the topics against terrorism and suicide bombing. A clear version must be put forward for young minds before being hijacked by the handlers psychologically.Recommend

  • Pagla

    Wow. Then wasnt Musharraf doing the same thing already?Recommend