Pak militants recruit young boys to reinforce base in J&K
2 August 2004
The Hindustan Times
Jammu: Faced with shrinking support base and mounting cadre losses, Pakistan-based terrorists are recruiting young boys to wage militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Boys in the 13-15 age group are being enlisted by the militants to infuse fresh blood into the low- intensity conflict. Earlier, the boys were being used for recce missions. But now they are being trained at militant camps to use arms. About a dozen such children have been intercepted by the Army here during the past month alone. When caught, the usual excuse given by the recruits is that they have lost their way. Indoctrination at madrassas generally precedes the recruitment of children. Tender age, poverty and rural background make the boys easy preys. With many top terrorist commanders eliminated in recent months and juniors reluctant to take up senior positions, militant top brass across the border is worried. It is being hoped that the recruitment of children would inject confidence into the demoralised rank and file.