SHABQADAR: Initially, Mussa did not realise what had happened or why his older brother doubled up in pain and then lay motionless, they were only playing with ‘toy guns’.
But inadvertently, Mussa had picked up his father’s pistol taking it for a toy and shot his 10-year-old brother Salman in Shabqadar last week. Now his father, Niaz Khan, is fearing that his Russian-origin wife may leave him and return to her homeland.
Last week, Mussa and Salman were playing with each other in their house. Having seen other children in the Shabqadar neighbourhood play with toy guns during Eid, Mussa picked up his father’s pistol taking it for a toy. He inadvertently pulled the trigger. As a result, Salman was shot in the head.
Hearing the sound of gunfire, the family rushed to the room where the two boys were playing. They found Salman lying in a pool of his blood with Mussa crying over his brother.
“We took Salman to the hospital for treatment,” Rehmat Ali, Salman’s paternal uncle told The Express Tribune. The young boy succumbed to his wounds on Saturday.
A father’s fear
Grieving over the tragic death of his son, Niaz is now fretting over the future of his Russian-origin wife.
Niaz’s family mostly lives and works in Russia. Niaz too is married to a Russian woman, but a few years ago his family left Russia and decided to settle in his native Shabqadar.
“I brought Salman here [Pakistan] to turn him into a good citizen, not to be killed by his own brother while playing with a gun at home,” said Niaz as his Russian wife mourned nearby in Russian.
Meanwhile, Ali said that Niaz has five boys and three girls from his wife whom he had met and married while working in Russia. Ali added that their elder and younger brothers were still living in Russia since their spouse could not adjust to Pakistan.
Curse of toy guns
Talking about the incident, Ali said that children in their villages usually play with toys gun which is sold in the market during Eid. His nephews Salman and Mussa, he said, too had played with toy guns and that is what led to the incident.
Shafique Gigyani, a social activist who has worked on stopping the spread of toys gun in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa told The Express Tribune that although the local government had officially banned the sale of toys guns over the Eid holidays by imposing Section 144 for a month, but the ban was only implemented in the cities.
He urged the government to ban the import of such toys from other countries apart from banning the manufacture of such toys in the country since it harms the society ethically.
Gigyani added that in the Pakhtun society, the gun is revered as a symbol of power. Moreover, the curriculum taught in schools and dramas on television too glorify guns. This, he urged, should be banned.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2017.