Pakistan

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (A/67/845–S/2013/245) issued on 15 May 2013.

In 2012, Pakistan continued to experience attacks by armed groups using terror tactics and associated with the Taliban and/or Al-Qaida, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Balochistan and urban centres. During the reporting period, at least 91 children were reportedly killed and 137 injured in the course of indiscriminate attacks on public places, largely attributed to TTP. A total of 51 children were reportedly killed by improvised explosive devices, roadside bombs and suicide bombings, 26 by mortar attacks and 14 by landmines and unexploded ordnance. On 24 November 2012, for example, at least four children were reportedly killed in a roadside bomb attack on a procession in Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. In addition, drone attacks were reported in the tribal areas of Pakistan. No exact data were available on the number of child casualties in those attacks. In one reported case, however, at least five children between 4 and 12 years of age were injured in a drone attack on 24 October 2012 in Tappi village, North Waziristan Agency. The United Nations has no access to those areas to verify the reports.

The recruitment, training and use of child suicide bombers by the Taliban, including TTP, in the tribal border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained a concern in 2012. On 4 May 2012, for example, a 15-year-old boy with explosives strapped to his body reportedly committed a suicide attack in a crowded market place in Bajaur Agency, killing 26 persons and injuring 75. In another incident, on 20 November 2012, a 13-year-old boy from Khyber Agency who was wearing a suicide jacket was reportedly apprehended and detained by the police, along with his adult handler, while entering Peshawar. No exact figures are available on the number of children currently in detention in Pakistan under security regulations. The Government, however, reported that more than 1,150 boys had passed through de-radicalization and skills development programmes in Malakand district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. By the end of 2012, 40 children, including 23 new cases from 2012, were continuing to reside in the Sabaoon rehabilitation and reintegration centre for children taken into custody by the Pakistan security forces for alleged association with armed groups.

During the reporting period, armed groups opposed to secular and girls’ education, including TTP, increasingly targeted schools, teachers and schoolchildren, in particular girls, in attacks with improvised explosive devices and drive-by shootings. A total of 118 schools, most of which were primary schools, were reportedly damaged or destroyed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (77), the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (40) and Balochistan (1) in such armed attacks. On 9 October 2012, TTP gunmen shot and seriously injured 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and two other schoolgirls who were returning from school in Mingora, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Malala Yousafzai was known as a child activist speaking out against the forced closure of girls’ schools by TTP in the Swat valley. In respect of attacks against medical personnel, 11 health workers administering polio vaccinations to children were killed and 4 more injured in targeted attacks in 2012. Of those, 9 health-care workers, including a 17-year-old girl, were killed in a series of attacks between 17 and 19 December 2012 in Karachi, Peshawar, Charsadda and Sindh.

In 2012, the Government took policy and legislative steps towards better protection of children, including the approval of a child protection policy for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the extension of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act (2010) to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas.