In my childhood whenever we were asked what would you become when you grow up. The most common answers included joining the army or becoming a pilot (fighter). It may be because the 80s were spent under General Zia’s dictatorship. Later, it was the turn of being a Mujahid, fuelled by the Pakistani romance with Kashmir and hatred for India.
The formative years was spent listening to sermons glorifying Jihad and how killing infidels oppressing our fellow brethren in Bosnia, Chechnya, Palestine and more importantly Kashmir. The mullahs were tasked with glorifying and preparing the emotionally charged youth for fighting in the cause of Allah.
Those who have survived and they are very limited in number, recall how they were deceived and sent as proxy soldiers for the purest armed forces. The realization is aided greatly by the post 9/11 scenario in which the Military willingly brought the war on to us. God’s soldiers were now termed strayed fanatics and were driven into the mountains of Waziristan.
The war chimes rang aloud “sub se pehlay Pakistan” become the slogan of progress and enlightenment. We started celebrating the killings of our own countrymen. The price too was paid by us when we started laying to rest countless civilians killed in never before experienced “bomb blasts”.