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Monday, October 19, 2020

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Terror group taking advantage of children


In Pakistan, the Taliban is taking power over children by running suicide schools that prepare boys to terrorize civilians. The Taliban has destroyed more than 200 schools for girls, which means many girls do not have the opportunity to get an education.

The World Affairs Council of Houston hosted filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on Oct. 15, and she spoke about the new generation of terror in Pakistan. Obaid’s documentary Pakistan’s Taliban Generation explains how the Taliban uses its power to brainwash children to create its new generations.

‘There are 18 million children in Pakistan; more than a quarter of them live below the poverty line,’ Obaid said. ‘If the Taliban continues to recruit children, then soon Pakistan will belong to them.’

The Taliban now runs its own schools, targeting poor families by convincing parents to send their children in return for free food and shelter. The Taliban sometimes even pays the parents.

Business junior Sana Khan, who was born in Pakistan, said she is worried about the children in her birth country.

‘It makes me very sad when adults use innocent minds and corrupt them for their own advantage,’ Khan said. ‘Destroying schools and not lettings kids go to school only shows that the Taliban are cowards and they will use any means of destroying their enemy.’

The Taliban uses various strategies to get new recruits, including killing officials and diplomats, kidnapping and shooting civilians, kidnapping boys and blowing up schools.

‘We are members of the world, and if we were in that situation, we would like someone to care about us,’ anthropology junior Aalia Siddiqui, also from Pakistan, said.

The Taliban teaches young boys that there are justifications for suicide attacks, and how to execute a spy. The group also teaches boys how to use machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, rocket launchers, grenades and bombs.

‘The state education system in Pakistan has collapsed, and now more than one-and-a-half million children study at Taliban schools,’ Obaid said. ‘Parents enroll their children ‘hellip; simply because they cannot afford to bring them up.’

Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, appears in Obaid’s documentary.

‘If America continues bombing the tribal areas and martyrs innocent people, then we are compelled to attack them,’ Mehsud said in the film. ‘If the Pakistani leaders and army maintain their stance, then we will take control of Peshawar and other cities.’

Khan said she wants to see an end to the terrorist schools, because if they continue, there will be no way of stopping terrorism.

‘Children are our future; if we can’t take care of them, then it’s shameful,’ Khan said. ‘We are the ones creating terrorists, because we are letting them be recruited by the Taliban.’

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