April 2002 News

Cheated jehadis turn on Pak

6 April 2002
The Hindustan Times
Yashwant Raj

Sheberghan (Afghanistan): WAHID AHMAD has a bullet in his shoulder. But that doesn`t hurt as much as the feeling of betrayal by people he respected and trusted. He offered them his life and they sent him to hell. The 16-year-old from Faisalabad is among 830 Pakistani jehadis held in a jail here. He is so weak he can barely walk and believes he is losing the use of his right arm. "I want to ask them why they sent me to this hell," he says. Mohammad Sarwar, a 20-year-old from Sheikhpura, Punjab, says he feels like picking up an AK-47 and attacking the jehadi recruiters. "They have ruined me and my family snatched a son from a mother, brother from a sister." Wahid and Sarwar are products of Pakistan`s terror schools that have been rolling out terrorists for jehad in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chechnya and, some day soon, in the US. While a majority of its students interviewed by the Hindustan Times in jail here said they have no regrets about enrolling for jehad, some admitted to growing rage over what they believe was a "betrayal". Maqsood Khan, who has assumed the leadership of the jail inmates, says, "they are very angry with the mullahs and the (Pakistani intelligence) agency" While the hardcore jehadis among the Inmates needed no urging for going to Afghanistan, the first-timers and others whose shauk (whim) got the better of them, blamed the mullahs and ISI for "turning their heads". "The tanzeems are all over the place," says Wahid. "seeking donations, spreading tales of torture in Kashmir and recruiting." Whatever doubt he may have had about jehad was taken care of by the fatwas and speeches by mullahs around the time the US began talking of a war in Afghanistan. Speeches by Jaish chief Masood Azhar were cited as Inspiration by the jailed Pakistanis. "They led us up the garden path," says Wahid. Wahid likes music, films and has even tasted whisky But the talk of jehad got to him. What really had him hooked were pictures of weapons distributed in his area by jehadi recruiters. "I wanted to carry guns like Ajay Devgan and go shooting like him," said Wahid. Now he wants to "expose these mullahs who send us to hell but send their own children to the US. And I will plead with youngsters planning to join jehad to stay home." Sarwar wants to put together a group of youngsters with whom he plans to finish the terror factory bomb their camps and offices, kill their men and, like. Wahid, warn misguided youngsters against Jehad.


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