Child Militancy in Pakistan





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Uploaded on Dec 4, 2008


The activities seen here may look like an ordinary martial arts class for young boys. But in this religious school in Pakistan, the boys chant the Quran before doing their exercises, and the teachers are pro-Taliban militants.

In a worrying new development, children, some younger than 10 years old, are being trained as militants. They carry assault rifles, nearly as big as they are, and wear black headbands bearing Islamic slogans. This video appears to have been filmed at a madrassa - a religious school where many young students live because their parents can't afford to raise them. So madrassas have been accused of promoting extremism.

The growth of child militancy in Pakistan was top of the agenda at a conference held in Islamabad. Child protection experts said poverty, the lack of education, and the growth of extremist teachings are to blame for fostering the growing wave of child militancy.

The situation is particularly severe in the tribal areas that border Afghanistan. Reports persist in Pakistan that children are being brainwashed into believing they are becoming holy warriors.

"Any use or exploitation of a child is unacceptable, and the time has come, since we can now feel and see the incidence of child militancy in Pakistan that we have to, and one hopes that we can do it through (??). We need to have a strong movement which says 'no' to child militancy."

Accused of apathy on the issue, virtually all Pakistan's political parties are making education the key issue of their campaigning ahead of next month's parliamentary elections.


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