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PAN, November 18, 2013

A cobbler robbed by rebels of daily income

Sitting in his shoemaking shop, Nizam told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents had snatched his wallet for three days in a row

By Mahbob Shah Mahbob

A 13-year-old son of an Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier, who lost both his legs to a roadside bombing, says Taliban daily come to his shoemaking shop in the Batikot district of Nangarhar province and snatch his earning.

Nizam said his father lost his legs during a patrol in eastern Kunar province, an incident that changed his life. His father would feed his family until he was not disabled. But now the responsibility has fallen on Nizam’s shoulders.

Nizam, child cobbler whose income is snatched from him by the Taliban
Nizam, child cobbler whose income is snatched from him by the Taliban. (Photo: PAN)

Sitting in his shoemaking shop, Nizam told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents had snatched his wallet for three days in a row. “They forcibly take my money at a time when the whole family depends on me.”

The sole breadwinner for a family of nine, the 13-year-old is worried about growing insecurity in Batikot. Breaking into tears, Nizam said he had decided to join the army on reaching puberty.

He would join ANA because of the atrocities he has suffered at the hands of the insurgents, who deprived him of hard-earned money. On a daily basis, he walks one and a half hour from home to shop.

He complained the fighters once snatched from him a sheet he had bought for his crippled father to keep him warm in the winter. He was on his way home when the rebels intercepted him and took away the chadar.

Nizam could not resist a group of 15 or more armed men. Malik Nasib, a tribal elder, confirmed that militants robbed people of their earnings in Batikot -- a situation that has left residents worrying.

But Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said all fighters had been advised to avoid from damaging private properties and snatching people’s wallets.

Category: Children, Poverty - Views: 4422