For years a kind of death industry has been taking hold in Pakistan's tribal areas. There are hundreds of Koranic schools which could better be described as cadet schools for Islamists. Boys as young as five are sent here by their impoverished parents. The state provides hardly any free education; the schools that exist are poorly equipped. Children learn the Koran by heart in Arabic, often without understanding a word. After all they speak Pashtun, not Arabic.The idea is to condition or brainwash them. The goal is jihad. As young men these warriors are given military training which underscores their so-called spiritual training.Anyone who doubts the existence of this death-machinery can visit the hundreds of schools just a few hours' drive from Quetta, near Afghanistan's border. To get there one has to pass checkpoints and roadblocks erected by the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency. The ISI carefully protects this region, which might be described as an extended barracks for jihad, interspersed with rural villages.
Why? No one in Islamabad seems willing to answer that question.
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