Sabaoon: Disarming Human Bombs

This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive

Jawad Raza Khan

It is commonly claimed that modern counterinsurgency operation hinges on three main pillars; Security; Political; and Economics. The contemporary military and political strategists advocate simultaneous development of these columns for a successful counterinsurgency operation and to achieve the ultimate control for establishment of writ of the government. Indeed this is an important conclusion but not complete in itself, at least after an experience of nearly a decade of fighting insurgency on own soil, Pakistan had to look through its own microscope, keeping in view the cultural, religious and most importantly the ethical dynamics of Pakistani society. What is really missing in the above mentioned three column philosophy is the social rehabilitation of the affected area. Especially, when innocent minds with predominantly teenagers are involved as one of the most devastating weapon against the state, the necessity then turns into inexorable. That’s how Pakistan Military thinkers included the fourth and the most important column to the tapered roof of the ultimate control“The Rehabilitation Phase”.

Right in the heart of Malakand Division near the historical Malakand fort, lies something extremely unique to this planet, though it looks like a normal school with a boarding facility but the students possess very indifferent attitude. They are young boys with varying age groups who seems to be misfit in the environment of the institution. Staff around them is very watchful and extremely careful as they know they are handling something more fragile than a normal youth………………

………It is Sabaoon (Ray of hope), the only institution in the world which is responsible to disarm human bombs…………yes! The children in Sabaoon were under the evil influence of terrorists before the launching of operation Rah-e-Rast in 2009. Not all, but most of them were trained militants ready to fight and within some of them were also primed to be launched against security forces and innocent civilians as suicide bombers.

Exact number of teenagers in Sabaoon and their family background is not known, mainly due to their own security and psychological management, but the fact which is very well known now, is that these affected victims have gone through multiple traumas while they were under the cruel influence of terrorists. Some of them were sexually abused as well with emotional distress and most importantly religious confusion of highest order created by so called Islamic militants. It is so killing and antagonizing to see those beautiful minds turning into psychopaths by an evil ideology, it will take a hard toil from them within their selves and from Sabaoon staff to make all negatives back to zero.

It is indeed horrifying that most of them were actually given the DTG (Date Time Group) for their launching and a little laxity from Pakistan Army would have made another precious life lost with many becoming targets of a victim.

Sabaoon is a hard core institution which bears an additional capability of handling psychological disorders appearing in a personality especially after intense trauma and technical brain washing. The complete concept of Sabaoon is basing on psychological, social and religious therapies of these victims with an especial emphasis on the culture and religious values of Kyber Pakhtoonkhwa in general and Swat valley in particular.

It looks pleasantly surprising when you see around men trained to fight and die for their country (officers and men of Army) involved in the rehabilitation program chalked out by the professionals for these innocent victims. One of the said professionals, who use to deal with religious therapy of the children in Sabaoon was Dr Muhammad Farooq (Shaheed). He was an exceptionally dedicated individual from district Mardan who possessed remarkable knowledge on Quran and Sunnah. He worked untiringly during the initial induction of these children as he was made responsible for the most significant aspect of psychological reformation i.e. the religion. Although he was shot dead by this evil menace around six months back, but the good Dr Farooq had to do for their revival as good human beings was nearly done by that time (May Allah bless his soul in peace).

Physical possession of these youths in Sabaoon by Army with monstrous efforts in line for their mental rehabilitation through highly determined professional staff has already worked out miracles, with twenty young kids passed out from Sabaoon have joined back their home to live a peaceful life with their friends and families.

The passed out youngsters are now not only better human beings but also capable enough to contribute well to their families and Pakistan.

Let’s analyze the western concept of fighting insurgency without the all-important column of rehabilitation. History cannot forget how westerners left the war devastated Afghanistan more than two decades before, without any rehabilitation program for Mujahedeen’s scattered in Afghanistan and FATA. History also cannot forget the breeding space provided to them by US and its allies, which is now being cashed out against the sovereignty of Pakistan in shape of Drones.

It is so difficult to understand the conceptual differences between the two allies of WOT, US and Pakistan, especially when we scrutinize the impact of drone attacks inside Pakistan’s tribal belt. Activities like drone attacks will only increase the number of victims ready to be admitted in institution like Sabaoon. It is hard to believe that US intelligentsia is still perplexed about the ongoing increase in terrorist activities inside Pakistan, in the wake of judicial and political crime committed by US political and military leadership. With complete silence of UN, world is silently witnessing for the first time, infliction of extra judicial killings of men, women and children from a state, on to another.

Pakistanis are now very much convinced that this is a well thought out and planned liquidation with roots of which are more dominantly taking care of US-Israel-Indian nexus. If all said is mere propaganda and US really wants peace to prevail on the globe, it’s time to reconsider. The annihilation by US drones will only result in aggravation of problems for US in achieving a decent exit from Afghanistan; or disgrace of Vietnam is already on the cards.


 NOTE: The writer is a known political analyst.He is based in Islamabad.

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  • Parvez Amin  On April 28, 2011 at 9:39 am

    The answer Brilliant! Deserves a medal and world wide support. Special thanks to Yasmin for circulating this.

  • Murad Khan  On April 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Where do the drones operate from?

  • Inam Khan  On April 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    USA may have attacked Afghanistan to punish Al Qaeda and Taliban but now their aim is to subjugate Pakistan along with Afghanistan.By this they can control oil and gas of CAR States and ship them from Gawadar.
    …………………………………………………………………….Inam Khan

    • Syed Wajahat  On April 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

      What we need to realize Inam Sahib, is the real truth in all this.
      We are all trying to survive. Secondly, we try to survive at our terms.

      People get nasty when they are pressured, that has what has happened to Pakistan
      and Afghanistan.

      Thirdly, people are poor for the lack of the security of a steady income. Therefore they
      take what ever is offered to them as survival, including recruitment into nasty activities.

      Just imagine, all that wealth being blown up to cause discomfort. What if the same wealth
      was spent to cause comfort. Have we ever tried that.

      By creating a corridor, we are not just confining the vital lifeline to a land locked region,
      we are creating employment for the millions that walk around or gawk at nothing with their
      hands folded in the back.

      That is where the wealth comes from. Harnessing the energy from the wasted human beings.

      Please believe, we are all on the planet for one purpose, to sustain life. This characteristic
      gets warped when people get threatened for their own existence. The instinct takes over. Then they want to make sure
      that does not happen again. Hence, Taliban, Al qauida and what ever comes into existence.

      It is time to think outside the box.

      Syed Wajahat Hussain

  • Muhammed Babar  On April 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    It simply show that Army is ready to support public but public should think what sort of support they need. We must train out intuition — we must trust the small voice inside which tells us exactly what to say, what to decide.

  • Syed Wajahat  On April 29, 2011 at 8:50 am

    One of the best solutions is to negotiate construction of a railway line and a fast road from arabian sea to the
    border of Amu Darya. This will confine all the trade traffic to the CAR States to that corridor.

    Save all of naboring states much grief.

    Nothing is impossible in these times. Look at the railway constructed from Beijing to Lhasa, cost
    of construction, 4 Billion USD. A bargian compared to how much has been blown up so far.

    The wealth being blown up in bombs can be redirected fir the improvement of Humanity in a positive way
    with tangible returns.

    My only peeve is, why was this option never excercised.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

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