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Pakistan Attempts Rehabilitation Of Would-Be Suicide Bombers

Pakistanis carry the draped body of a suicide-bomb victim to his grave in Pabbi, east of Peshawar, on July 26.
Pakistanis carry the draped body of a suicide-bomb victim to his grave in Pabbi, east of Peshawar, on July 26.
As suicide bombings have become a common tactic of terrorist groups in Pakistan, the authorities are now trying to rehabilitate would-be attackers, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports.

A suicide bomber who killed eight people on July 26 outside the home of a provincial minister near Peshawar is representative of the suicide bomber demographic -- like the vast majority, he was a juvenile male.

Mohammad Farooq Khan is a doctor at a rehabilitation center in the northern Swat district for would-be bombers. His facility is one of two in Pakistan where a total of some 175 young people are being "treated."

Farooq Khan told Radio Mashaal that the parents of most of the patients at the center had sent their children to strict madrasahs or to Islamic fundamentalist organizations to be educated. The parents later realized that their children were being turned into extremists.

Farooq Khan said many of the boys grew up without their fathers, who were usually working abroad or in other parts of Pakistan.

He said the young men had been brainwashed to believe that democracy is incompatible with Islam and that Pakistan's army and government are run by infidels.

"They were being told that there is no Shari'a in the country and that their duty is to wage jihad," Farooq Khan said.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told Radio Mashaal about an operation by the government in which 40 potential suicide bombers were apprehended.

"Those children were still longing for their life after death [after they were captured]," he told Radio Mashaal.

Iftikhar Hussain is the provincial minister whose home on July 26 was the target of a young suicide bomber. Two days earlier his son had been shot dead. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for killing his son.

Police stopped the bomber before he was able to enter the house. Eight people plus the bomber were killed in the explosion.