A 14-year-old boy in the tribal region of Bajaur, in north-west Pakistan, says he was detained by Taliban forces who tried to turn him into a suicide bomber. The boy is now in army hands.
He provided a detailed account to BBC correspondent Orla Guerin. His story cannot be independently verified.
The boy says he was beaten until he agreed to become a suicide bomber
There were five people who came after me from a place in Bajaur. They tricked me. They told me they were going to behead my father.
I went with them but my father wasn’t there. They tied me up.
They said: ‘You have two choices. We will behead you, or you will become a suicide bomber.’ I refused.
There were two more guys of my age. They were also training to be suicide bombers. If we refused they would tie our hands behind our backs, blindfold us and start beating us.
They brainwashed us and told us we would go to heaven. They said ‘there will be honey and juice and God will appear in front of you. You will have a beautiful house in Heaven’.
We used to ask them to let us out to pray. They would reply ‘you are already on your way to heaven. You don’t need to pray.’
They beat me hard for five days. I wasn’t given any food. While they were beating me I agreed to become a suicide bomber. They separated me from the other boys.
They took me to a dark room and started giving me pills. I was handed over to Maulvi Fakir [the Bajaur Taliban commander]. After all this preparation they said I was to go and do the job in a mosque.
It was an ordinary mosque but the cleric there used to talk against the Taliban, and they declared him their enemy. They told me the cleric was a non-believer, a non-Muslim.
They took off my shirt and put the jacket on my shoulders. There were two hooks on my chest. They told me that when you go there you say ‘Allahu Akbar’ [God is Great] and then you pull apart these two hooks. Then they took me there, showed me the mosque and went off.
I was drugged and I couldn’t feel anything. I only came to my senses when I arrived in the mosque. I saw the peaceful kind face of the cleric, and I saw the mosque was full of holy books. I saw the people praying. And I thought, they are all Muslims. How can I do this? I decided not to and I came out.
I sat under a tree outside the mosque and waited for prayers to be over. After that I made my way back to the Taliban. Then they called me ‘a son of a bitch’ and asked why I had come back without doing it.
I told them I could not do it because they were carrying out body searches of all the people entering the mosque. They took off my vest and handed me over to Maulvi Fakir.
They tied me up but I told them to give me another chance and I would do it. They trusted me. I was roaming around with them for a couple of days. I got to the road, found transport and came home. They followed me to my house. They wanted to know if I was still there or had run somewhere else.
Watch Orla Guerin’s TV report from Bajaur
The Taliban had beaten me so harshly my back was scarred. When my parents saw that my mother started to cry, and told me not to go back to them. My father asked them why they were after his son. One day he took his weapon and went after them. But they wanted to kill him so he came back home and closed the door.
Before the Taliban came we used to enjoy freedom. We used to play, and go to our schools. There were no restrictions on us. Morning and evening we used to play games, and sit and chat with friends. We used to listen to music on our mobile phones. They banned that. They stopped us doing anything. They stopped us playing cricket and going to school. We felt like prisoners.
I want to join the army because they are the defenders of the land. They are fighting for the right cause. I want to fight against the Taliban. I have no other intention except to defend my country. The Taliban should be eliminated.
I want to tell the Taliban that they are cruel, and what they did to me was unjust. I can’t kill innocent Muslims.
I am not afraid of them. I am only afraid of God. I am answerable only to Him.