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29. June 2011

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Women must be empowered and educated to counter increasing trend of female suicide bombers

By Arshi Saleem Hashmi, Assistant Professor, National Defence University, Member SAVE Pakistan

How does an eight-year-old child react to the so-called injustices by the West against the “Muslim world”? Most probably by doing nothing, for it is beyond the capacity of a child of this age to comprehend and interpret justice and injustice. So when a group of women and men kidnapped and forced a girl of 8 years of age to wear a suicide jacket, she resisted. In her own little world, God is beautiful, caring and very loving. Dying to please that God is not something that fits well in her world. This is what happens when kids are kidnapped or taken from their parents by so-called religious groups and used as human bombs.

Women suicide bombers are not a new thing in Pakistan, although they are rare. The first case of a woman suicide bomber was in 2009 when a woman killed many in Peshawar. Then in December 2010, a woman killed 45 people who were queuing for food in the Bajur area in a suicide attack. In February 2011, again in the Bajur area, a woman suicide bomber was arrested. Though the number of women suicide bombers is very low, it is certainly a dangerous trend. According to the figures of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, more than 52 would-be female suicide bombers were arrested by the police and other law-enforcement agencies across Pakistan in 2010.

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