Spozhmai; the Minor Suicide Bomber

The Taliban have set new record in violating children rights by using them for executing terror attacks in Afghanistan. Pakistani Taliban have also been using children as suicide bombers for long. Pakistani media is reporting one latest incident involving a young suicide bomber who was stopped by a 9th grader outside his school in Hangu district, bordering Orakzai tribal region of FATA. The bomber blew himself when challenged by 16-year old Aitezaz Hasan. According to Dunya News television channel, there were 2,000 students inside the school at the time of incident which happened a week ago. Strangely enough, much of the Pakistani media ignored this news.
Posted on 01/8/14
War has traumatized Afghan children for over three decades but they were never used as human bombs. (Photo by 101st CAB, Wings of Destiny, Creative Commons License)
War has traumatized Afghan children for over three decades but they were never used as human bombs. (Photo by 101st CAB, Wings of Destiny, Creative Commons License)

During their rule, the Taliban had banned female education but now they have gone one step forward, utilizing children including girls for launching suicide attacks. This sickening trend continues, although such disgusting acts have no place in the principles of Islam.

 

On Monday (jan 6), police officials in Helmand province said they had detained a ten-year-old girl wearing suicide vest. The girl, Spozhmai, had been sent by her brother, a Taliban commander, to detonate the explosive-packed vest near a police check-post in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province. This is not the first incident but unfortunately, the Taliban have used minors for launching suicide attacks for scores of times in the past decade which completely uncovers their heinous intentions.

 

Throughout the history of human beings, children and minors have been used for committing crimes of various kinds. Developing and under-developed nations have set their feet on the rights of children, albeit almost all nations have signed international regulations on rights of children.

 

Afghan children have suffered the worst due to long-term conflict and instability in the country. Involving the innocent children in terror activities is the greatest injustice to their rights. The Taliban have set new record in violating children rights by using them for executing terror attacks in Afghanistan. It has been reported that children are given amulets containing verses from the Holy Quran by Taliban commanders who tell them they would be protected from the explosion. They are also told that when they detonate their bomb, everyone else would die but they would survive.

 

Afghanistan’s future is highly dependent on the children nurturing today. Attempts of militants to develop extremism among the children and youth may have far devastating outcomes for us. Such acts by Taliban further prove that they do not belong to the religion of Islam, which completely bans violence against children and their use in crimes.

 

The act of Taliban to use the children in carrying out terror attacks needs to be widely condemned. Such an act is anti-Islam and anti-human. Meanwhile, it is the core responsibility of Afghan Ullema (Islamic scholars) to seriously criticize the Taliban not only for using children for launching terror attacks but also for their activities like suicide attacks and planting roadside bombs that mostly kill civilians including women and children. If not, more children like Spozhmai will be used by militants as instruments to launch suicide attacks.

 

This editorial appeared in Outlook Afghanistan, a leading newspaper of Afghanistan.

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