Hameeda Sarfraz, 19, lively eyes sparkling out of a black burka, was describing the boons of the afterlife.
"In heaven you get everything without hardship," said Sarfraz, daughter of a bus driver. "In heaven, if a martyr feels hungry, food appears, the best quality food, and you won't even know where it came from."
Sarfraz, an alumna of the now bullet-ridden Jamia Hafsa Islamic school for girls, said she deeply regretted missing her chance to be a martyr. She fled through the back door of the school July 3, just hours after a gun battle began between Pakistani special forces and militants holed up in the neighboring Red Mosque, the parent institution of Jamia Hafsa.
She and others returned with a mission to reform their families and their communities, cajoling their mothers and sisters to hide themselves in head-to-toe black burkas. They say they have lost interest in the pleasures of this life though some, like Akhtar, have yet to give up on pleasures like painting their toenails a dark blood-red. They express an obsession with the afterlife.
They say they would like to see a thousand Jamia Hafsa seminaries bloom across the nation. Sarfraz has already begun classes at home for the children in her village.