‘Pak militants coerce children to carry attacks’
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 00:24
  
Washington/Islamabad: Pakistani militant groups are using children to act as spies, fight and carry out suicide bombings, a report released by the US State Department said.

"Non-state militant groups kidnap children or coerce parents with fraudulent promises into giving away children as young as 12 to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan," 'Trafficking in Persons' report said.

It said that militants often sexually and physically abuse the children and use psychological coercion to convince them that the acts they commit are justified.

The report said news organisations, NGOs, and international organisations reported that the 2010 floods contributed to increased trafficking in Pakistan.

The report also highlighted the sex trafficking problem in Pakistan. It said that the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labour, concentrated in Sindh and Punjab in agriculture and the brick making industry.

Incidentally, earlier this month, Pakistani security officials took into custody a nine-year-old girl who was kidnapped on her way to school and forced to wear a suicide vest by her captors.

The girl, Sohana Javed, was then instructed to attack a police checkpoint in Lower Dir, police officials were quoted as saying by the Pakistan-based Express Tribune daily.

She told reporters that she had been grabbed by two women and forced into a car carrying two men. Last month, a young boy who requested that his identity remain anonymous, told the daily the story of how he was recruited by militants. His school had been closed for many months in 2008 because of the security situation and so he continued his education at a local mosque in Mingora.

He recalled, "The teacher at the mosque took us on outings to the mountains where men would give us guns to fire." It was only on his fifth or sixth trip to the area which his father believes to be Chuprial that the ideological indoctrination began.

"The men there would tell us that martyrdom was a reward from Allah. But we were more excited about the guns.

They would also tell us not to talk to our families about this and that we should even turn against our families if they did not approve," the daily reported.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2011, 00:24


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