Unrest ignored: After adults fail, children try to melt hearts of stone

Published: June 7, 2011
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Children from Parachinar peacefully called on the government to help them. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

Children from Parachinar peacefully called on the government to help them. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID

ISLAMABAD: 

Over four dozen children orphaned by the militancy in Parachinar on Monday held a protest demonstration in front of the National Press Club in Islamabad to press the government to meet their demands.

Having seen their older kith and kin fail to influence the Government of Pakistan to help them, the little children, some barely knee-high, were holding banners and placards while chanting slogans like “Death to the Taliban”.

“We cannot go home in our summer vacations because the Peshawar-Parachinar Road is closed and militants try to hurt people on the way home,” said little Asghar Ali, who has lived in Rawalpindi for the last year-and-a-half. He said that his father was killed by the militants and his mother sent him here to attend school with his cousin. “I have not been home in more than one year,” he said with tears in his eyes, “I miss my mother. I miss my brothers and sisters.”

Asghar was not alone.

“I cannot go to home like my classmates and I am missing it so much,” said Qaiser Ali, a fifth-grader.

“I don’t know why the militants killed my father. He was a peaceful man. He loved me. He wanted me to go to school. Now I don’t even have the money to pay my school fee,” said Muhammad Irshad. He was upset that the government was not taking any action to help the people of Parachinar.

Muzamil Hussain, another little student, described the Taliban as “very brutal and cruel” while noting that they even killed women and children.

“They hate children!” he maintained.

The children appealed to the president, prime minister and the interior minister to take immediate steps for the safety and the security of people in the besieged area, as they already face a life of uncertainty due to the blocked road and threats posed by the Taliban.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • zeeshan imran
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:54AM

    this is not a one way battle as the media is trying to portray.both the sects are busy killing each other to prove ” my sect is better than your sect”.The victims are both sunni and shia.Recommend

  • Hasan Abbas
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:48PM

    @zeeshan, perhaps u dont have the full information or u trying to look at it only the way u like! This sectarian violence is beyond ‘my sect is better than urs’. And if the media is portraying only one side of the victims, wherez the other? To get to the facts, you better search google and find who has made impossible for Paki citizens to move across the Peshawar-Parachinar road, who has cut down the electricity going to that area, who has burnt the villages, who has sent beheaded bodies back to their native towns / villages, who has made the Parachinarians to suffer from starvation, lack of health facilities and everyday life commodities?
    It is quite easy to say both are killings each other, but quite difficult to accept the root cause of the conflict!!!Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Thr is no sectarian killing in Parachinaar. Its innocent Pakistans against d Evil termed Taliban(specific reference to those killing Pakistanis). Recommend

  • Hidayat Hussain
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:27PM

    Hey AOA:::: i think its the time to know about the entire situation in Parachinar:: we both Shia and Sunni r not fighting each other, but we are being forced to fight:::the terrorists are trying to eliminate the people of parachinar:::Its been so long that we the students are not able to go home due to Parachinar Road block::: Parachinar is cut off from the rest of the country since 2007:::In this case, we are thankful to TRIBUNE for giving coverage to this serious problem:: the rest of media is doing nothing for the serious problems like Parachinar issue:: they just spread the fear in people:::: We are the patriot Pakistani, we want our rights::: We want our safety:: Once again we are very thankful to TRIBUNE for raising voice to help innocent people of Parachinar::: TRIBUNE keep it up::::Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Jun 7, 2011 - 1:56PM

    Where is the Valiant Army? What are they doing about it ? or has the territory been handed over to Taliban as a GIFT?Recommend

  • abdul sami
    Jun 7, 2011 - 3:44PM

    @Hasan Abbas:

    The root cause is islamic extremism,be it of the sunni or shiite kind.Instead of thinking on sectarian basis think rationally and the root cause becomes crystal clear: islamic fanaticism now manifesting itself in sectarian form is the root of all the problem.

    The saudis and iranians are fighting their war in my country through their proxies whom they have funded handsomely for many decades now.Recommend

  • Hasan Abbas
    Jun 7, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @abdul sami, obviously extremism has played a vital role but by thinking rationally one should not forget to defend himself in case of an attack from an adversary! I am sure things would be clear to you if you place yourself in a condition where all the neighbors surrounding you block ur way home, blast ur school/ college / uni, block any kind of food / medicine / logistic supply, cut down electricity and leave u with only 2 options: fight back to get ur right or start decaying confined within ur house! :-)Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 7:17PM

    Where are the apologists who claim that taliban are pushtoon nationalists and not religious extremists.Recommend

  • Leila Rage
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:52AM

    It is truly heart-breaking to see how the children of our nation constantly suffer, whether as a result of poverty, underage labour, abuse, or this Parachinar incident. But I am sure that our dear politicians and the oh-so-lovely governement of Pakistan is unlikely to be moved, or to do anything useful for them. Perhaps they will just give them some money as “compensation” as usual and forget all about them. But as the leaders of our country, why aren’t the children of Pakistan their first concern? Why aren’t they moved by the suffering of their people? Probably because their too busy thinking only of more ways to loot the nation. Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2011 - 5:18PM

    Faraz these apologists have the habit of total denial. They will always negate any fact about the Taliban which masses would not accept. Watch for example Taliban Khan aka Imran Khan giving no details but only declares this an American conspiracy. He should clearly demarcate who is fighting on the American side? The Taliban in persuit of the tribes or the tribesmen sacrificing lives for the land?Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 11, 2011 - 10:41PM

    this is a game od ISI. due to america pressure of operation in north waziristan the ISI want to settle pro-pakistan taliban in another area. so the kurram agency (upper kurram) is well suited for taliban. by this the ISI will save the pro-pkistan taliban and other side the army will operate in waziristan. but the turi tribe dont want that the taliban comes to their area and they resist strongly. therefore the road is blocked jsut for the turi tribe but not for the govt and other tribe. by this the govt pressured the turi tribe to allow the taliban.
    geographically the kurram agency is best area for taliban to attack in afghanistan their are three sided border with afghanistanRecommend

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