‘Bahrain enlisting Pakistani forces’

Manama, April 01: Bahrain is reportedly recruiting former Pakistani troopers and anti-riot experts to aid in its crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Leading Pakistani daily The News wrote on Tuesday that the Bahrain National Guard (BNG) had recently visited Pakistan with the end in sight.

The visit had followed advertisements, titled “Urgent Requirement: Manpower for Bahrain National Guard,” in two daily Urdu newspapers.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights has voiced ‘deep concern over the recruitment of foreign mercenaries,’ saying it would lead to growing hostility toward foreign nationals, especially Pakistanis.

Those who decide to enlist in Bahrain’s Army get their visas from the country’s embassy and consulates in Pakistan to fly to the sheikhdom. The mercenaries are interviewed by the BNG delegation and extremist Wahhabis — adherents to an already-extreme interpretation of Islam.

Some 30 paid agents have reportedly been recruited so far.

Manama has been leading violent armed attacks against peaceful protesters since the popular revolution began to sweep the Persian Gulf island on February 14.

At least 25 people have been killed and about 1,000 others injured during the government-sanctioned crackdown.

The country has already enlisted the services of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait to back up the suppression.