‘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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