http://www.dailytim es.com.pk/ default.asp? page=20085\15\story_ 15-5-2008_ pg7
30 madrassa students arrested for child militancy in Swat
* Ages of arrested boys range from seven to 15 years
* One detainee says Fazlullah and his spokesman forced him to wear suicide
By Akhtar Amin
PESHAWAR: Around 24 madrassa students from Swat are being investigated by
security forces, while first information reports (FIR) have been registered
against six others for being involved in child militancy during the military
operation in Swat.
In his report on children’s rights, the Society for the Protection of the
Rights of the Child (SPARC) Child Rights Committee (CRC) District
Co-ordinator Shaukat Salim said that child militancy in Swat is on the rise.
He told Daily Times that about 25 to 30 madrassa students (from seven to 15
years of age) of Kabal tehsil were used as child militants by rebel cleric
Salim said that security forces had registered FIRs against six students at
Kabal Police Station after thwarting a planned suicide mission against
security forces. He said the remaining 24 students were still under
investigation at an undisclosed location.
Forced: Revealing the ordeal of one Abid, 12, Salim said that the boy had
been admitted to Fazlullah’s madrassa by his parents to memorise the holy
Quran. “I learnt 18 siparahs (volumes) of the at the madrassa. Then,
during the military operation, Mullah Fazlullah and his spokesman Sirajul
Haq compelled me to wear a suicide jacket and target the district courts of
Swat,” the CRC district co-ordinator quoted Abid as saying.
He said that Abid had entered the district court premises on February 26,
but exited without detonating his suicide jacked for fear of being arrested
by police at the court. He said that he had been followed by intelligence
agencies and then arrested at the militants’ Imam Dheri complex. He said the
police had also recovered eight “piles” of improvised explosives and suicide
jackets from the same place. The Kabal Police Station registered an FIR
against Abid on charges of terrorism and the boy was currently detained in a
Swat prison, he added.
Salim said that the CRC had launched a campaign to apprise parents of the
region about the issue of child militancy. He said the militants had forced
several medical centres to shut down, including a non-governmental
organisation ‘Plan ‘, claiming that these centres were carrying out
the US’ anti-Islam agenda.