Når britisk-pakistanske barn får problemer i Storbritannia, sender foreldrene dem ofte til Pakistan på «avvenning». Der overlates de ofte til seg selv og er et lett bytte for radikale krefter. Selv junkies er blitt rekruttert av Taliban og er sendt over grensen for å slåss.
a Muslim man went from being a drug addict in the UK to a militant fighting for the Taliban.
«They just gave me an AK47 assault rifle and I was taught how to strip the weapon, clean it and fire it as well as how to carry out guerrilla activities – I could not believe this was happening.»
Irfan, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, recalls his experience of going to Pakistan and inadvertently being recruited by the Taliban.
His story arose because some Muslim parents in the UK send their children to Pakistan for them to beat an addiction to drugs.
In Irfan’s case, throughout his late teens and early 20s he had found himself in and out of trouble with the police, while also being hooked on heroin.
When I got to Bagram I ended up with a couple from the UK who had been students at Cambridge University
In an attempt to combat his drug addiction, his father took him to Pakistan for help.
«I was taken to a village called Tangir and left in a madrassa [religious school in Pakistan] where they said I would get help to come off the drugs,» said Irfan.
«During the first few weeks I was given methadone which helped me withdraw from the heroin.
»After that I started receiving Koranic lessons and was eventually taught how to use weapons and fight.»
Irfan spent 40 days at the madrassa before he was recruited by Taliban militants to go to Afghanistan.
«They chose me because I could speak English and that was useful for them.
»I’m not the only person to be recruited. I’m sure many young Muslims like myself who go to Pakistan for rehab are also being targeted.»