The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/66/782-S/2012/261) issued on 26 April 2012.
In 2011, Pakistan continued to experience attacks by armed groups using terror tactics and influenced by and/or associated with the Taliban or Al-Qaida, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Attacks have targeted Government sites, schools and civilians, including children, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and urban centres.
In 2011, 11 incidents were reported of children being used by armed groups to carry out suicide attacks, involving 10 boys, some as young as 13, and one 9-year-old girl. In one such incident, on 3 April 2011, one boy was killed and another was arrested in a double suicide attack on a Sufi shrine in Dera Ghazi Khan, southern Punjab, which killed 50 people and injured 120. A 14-year-old survivor reported having been trained for two months in Taliban camps in North Waziristan. In another incident on 19 August 2011, a boy was used in a suicide attack during Friday prayers at a mosque in the Ghundai area of Khyber Agency, killing 48 people and injuring more than 100.
In 2011, children continued to be victims of indiscriminate attacks, including by improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings. Reports indicate that a total of 57 children were killed during the reporting period from landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices (38), bomb blasts (11), shelling (4) and targeted attacks (4). In one case, on 5 June 2011, a bomb blast in a bazaar outside Peshawar killed seven people, including an 11-year-old girl, and injured four other children, for which TTP claimed responsibility. In another case, on 13 September 2011, TPP allegedly attacked a school bus in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, killing four children.
Child casualties as a result of landmines and other explosive devices remained a serious concern in 2011. The majority of the casualties were reported in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, including the killing of 30 children (25 boys and 5 girls) and injuring of 49 children (29 boys and 20 girls).
Throughout the year, schools continued to be directly targeted by armed groups in bomb and improvised explosive device attacks, resulting in 152 incidents of partial or complete destruction of school facilities in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. According to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas Department of Education, a total number of 73 schools were damaged in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, with the remainder occurring in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. In a double attack on 20 December 2011 in Charsadda District, a Government primary school for girls and a primary school for boys were blown up. In neighbouring Mohmand Agency, TTP claimed responsibility for the attack, reportedly to avenge military operations in the region and in opposition to secular and girls’ education.
With regard to the abduction of children, it was reported that on 31 August 2011 at least 27 boys from Bajaur Agency were abducted along the border with Afghanistan by armed militants of TTP. Seventeen children under the age of 10 were released by TTP and two other boys managed to escape, leaving at least eight children with TTP. The remaining children are believed to be in the neighbouring Kunar Province in Afghanistan.
On 10 January 2012, the Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa launched a child protection policy in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, implementing a plan for protective services and child protection units in all Federally Administered Tribal Areas Agencies. The Malakand-based Sabaoon rehabilitation and reintegration programme for children taken into custody by the Pakistan security forces for alleged association with armed groups received 29 new cases in 2011, bringing the total number of children in the Sabaoon Centre to 170; 102 of these children have been reintegrated into their families, including two girls.