Tahir Imran Mian is a TV producer in Islamabad, Pakistan.
This video does not show Pachtun children having a good time playing. I believe it shows a sketch that is repeated several times. The person who filmed this staged a whole show to make people believe they were kids playing normally. The kids are obviously looking at a third person who could be an adult based on the camera angle. Children look upwards. The way that they are playing isn’t natural. For me, the person who did this took advantage of these kids.
Originally, this video was first posted on the Facebook account of an Internet user from Waziristan [near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border]. When I reached out to him via Facebook, he told me that he works as a chauffeur in the Middle East. He told me he got the video from a friend who sent it to his mobile phone. He said he didn’t know where the video came from. After we started to exchange messages on Facebook, he deleted the video. I think he was afraid the media would start contacting him thinking he had filmed the video.
“The fact that this video is on the Web today only further proves that someone wanted it to be there"
I think this video was filmed somewhere in Pakistan’s mountainous region in the FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas, known for being a haven for Taliban insurgents]. The children are wearing the traditional garb from that region. I think they could be students that go to school at a nearby madrasas (religious schools). The video is good quality and the people from that region are generally poor. And, the most sophisticated technology stops at mobile phones. I think this shows that whoever shot this, clearly wanted to disperse it on the Web.
“This video could be targeted at the West to tell them that a new generation is being raised to become suicide bombers”
It is difficult to say who could have filmed this and I think they are many possibilities. It could have been the Taliban. The message could have targeted the US to tell them, ‘You see this is the price of war. Stop fighting the Taliban.’ It could have been Pakistanis discontent with the government policies against the Taliban. Namely, those imposed by Washington after 9-11. The message is the same: look at the games our children play […] and in the end, they’ll become suicide bombers.