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Pakistan's boot camps are back: Here is why

By Vicky

The boot camps in Pakistan are back. This time around it is to combat the radicalization programme being undertaken in Pakistan by the ISIS. The boot camps in Pakistan comprise doctors, psychologists, teachers and one specialist in anti terror operations.

These boot camps in the Swat valley were set up to de-radicalize freshers and mid level bombers. The ISIS has entered Pakistan in a big way. No terror strikes from them for now. They are still testing the waters and radicalizing youth to follow the ISIS way.


Boot camps return to Pakistan:

These boot camps were first set up by Pakistan in 2009. These camps which act as rehabilitation centres were set up first to wade away the threat from Middle East preachers. Pakistan is not comfortable with Arab fighters on its soil.

Moreover, the ISI would not be comfortable Arab fighters since they do not have a history of towing the line.

To wade away this threat, the boot camps were established and youth who had undergone a radicalization programme would be brought to these centres and de-radicalised.

The advent of the ISIS does have Pakistan worried and there are a considerable number of youth that the outfit has been targeting.

Being a Muslim dominated country and the fact that Pakistan has not really stood up to the West has many youth in Pakistan fuming.

The ISIS has been targeting such youth and trying to take them into their fold. While there is not much that these boot camps can do to those who have reached the third level of radicalization, there is still hope for freshers and mid level bombers.

De-radicalisation through colours:

In most of the terrorist camps the colour black is preferred. Terrorists often wear black. When the radicalized youth are brought to such camps they often tell the members that they like to see just black. They also prefer wearing just black as a mark of protest at all times.

The first step is to get them to see other colours. These members are taught to appreciate other colours and the psychologists believe that it is the first step towards changing their mindset. The rest of the process deployed are pretty much routine which includes education and extra curricular activity such as carpentry or craft.

Selective de-radicalisation:

While Pakistan does have its share of problems with terrorist groups especially from the Middle East, there are no boot camps established along the Indo-Pak border.

For starters these men operating along the India-Pakistan border are not considered to be terrorists. India calls them proxies of the ISI while Pakistan refers to them as freedom fighters.

India would be more than happy if such boot camps are set up along the border areas which have been carrying out terrorist strikes since several years now. After all there are 40 terrorist training camps focused only at India.

The highest number of such camps are found between Lahore and Muzzafarabad which imparts training for 30 days before the cadres are battle ready.

Each of these camps houses 30 to 40 terrorists at any given time, intelligence bureau reports would suggest.

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