The True Horror of Madrassah Zakarya

From Rob Crilly in Pakistan: inside the news about the ‘prisoners’ in madrassah Zakarya –

South of West

Last week police in Karachi raided a madrassah on the city’s northern outskirts. The local police commander was at dinner but received a phone call from his boss that a TV station was running reports of boys in chains. When his men arrived they could hear screams coming from beneath an open-air meeting room.

Beneath it they found what one commentator called a “torture chamber”, with drug addicts chained to each other in a brutal form of rehab. One little boy was pictured screaming during the rescue.

On Friday I visited the madrassah to find out what really happened. And, as always in Pakistan, the story was not quite how it first appeared.

The madrassah is right at the northern edge of Karachi, Pakistan’s commercial capital. May of the city’s services don’t reach Sohrab Goth, a desperately poor area of dirt roads and half-finished houses, home to day labourers…

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