Monday, 28 February 2011

War games: conflict becomes child's play for young Pashtuns

The Guardian has today published an article linking to, and analysing, a highly worrying amateur video that has surfaced in recent weeks... The newspaper fears that the video of Pashtun children enacting suicide bombing shows the psychological impact of Taliban violence on a generation:

The unsettling 84-second clip has divided opinions, with some amused by the smiling child actors and fake explosions; others appalled by evidence that suicide bombers have become playground heroes of sorts.
"It's horrifying and alarming. These children have become fascinated by bombers rather than condemning them," said Salma Jafar of Save the Children UK in Pakistan. "If they glamorise violence now, they can become part of it later in life."
The origins of the homemade video, which first surfaced about a week ago, are unknown. Ahsan Masood, a Pashtun from Waziristan who posted it on Facebook, said he believed it had been filmed in Khost, Afghanistan. Masood, who works as a truck driver in the UAE, said he received the video from a friend's mobile phone. "I thought it was funny," he said.
But a sobering reality lies behind the playful drama. Children are both perpetrators and victims in the decade-old Taliban-led conflict that has destabilised both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
An article worth reading full, especiaklly as we try to understand the motivations lying behind terrorism as an expression of political violence.

1 comment:

  1. As shocking as these images may appear, surely such actions can be likened to Western children playing cops and robbers etc? The real question has to be whether they believe in the message and benefits of such actions, or this is just harmless fun for the children.