Kandahar attack: A 10-year-old fending for his family
KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): A 10-year-old child from southern Kandahar province, who lost his father in a suicide attack, says his family’s woes have considerably multiplied after the bombing.
Wakil Ahmad complains no one, including the government, has helped his family so far. “My mother, a brother, five sisters and I have since been living a life chockfull of pain and privations,”
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, the boy recalls his father was killed during a coordinated attack by militants on the governor’s house in Kandahar City.
“My father was buying bread from a bakery when heavy clashes erupted, followed by suicide bombings. My father was also hit by shrapnel in front of the Eidgah Mosque,” Ahmad says.
At least 22 attackers, four civilians and five policemen were killed and nine security personnel and seven residents wounded in the attack on the governor’s office and the police headquarters on July 9, 2014.
Ahmad adds their life was not comfortable even before the demise of his father, adaily-wager who was always content with eating leftover bread that he cheaply purchased from local bakeries.
His father would buy the same bread at half price for the people reliant on him. The reason was plain: He could not afford to purchase fresh food. “But they (militants) did not allow us to live even in penury.”
The bereaved family had been unaware of the man’s fate after the incident. Three days later, Ahmad found his father’s body at the Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar City.
While sobbing out about his story, Ahmad says: “I vividly remember our cries when we had no enough food to eat. Our mother would ask us to bring some food from neighbours.”
Following his father’s death, the 10-year-old was left with no option but to work to feed his family and ensure the medical treatment of his ailing mother.
“I have been working day and night in a house, where I have to look after cows. I receive only 3,000 Pakistani rupees in monthly salary. I visit my family for three hours daily,” he continues.
Ahmad requests the government and well-to-do individuals to provide a shelter for his family and help him get education -- one of his cherished goals in life.
A tearful Pakiza, Ahmad’s eight years old sister, laments they have not seen a joyous day after her father’smartyrdom, an incident that left her mother suffering from a mental condition.
A picture of deprivation, she calls upon the government to fund the treatment of her mother’sailment. She also desires to be equipped with education.
Agha Sherin, uncle of the orphans, is also a poor man, living in a rented house. He has given his widowed sister and her children a room in his house.
Akhtar Mohammad, living in Zherai district, had been displaced by fighting to the Loya Wiala area of Kandahar City. Sherin confirms brother-in-law worked in a brick kiln. He was buying leftover bread his children when killed in the suicide attack.
Relatives of each one killed in the attack were paid 100,000 afs in recompense. But Mohammad’s family was deprived of this payment, as the man’s copse was found three days later.
Sherin blames the government for paying no attention to alleviating the plight of the hapless family, including orphaned children. He has already filled out a form for compensation, but no one knows the status of his application.
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