Pakistani Government Plans to Ban Toy Guns

Almost every market in Karachi has 20 to 30 shops that sell toy guns.


Sabtu, 09 Nov 2013 13:18 WIB


Khawar Khan

Pakistani Government Plans to Ban Toy Guns

Pakistan, Toy Gun, children toy, Osama bin Laden, Khawar Khan

In Pakistan, a toy gun named after Osama bin Laden is extremely popular among kids.

The Osama guns are sold in markets in Karachi, and the demand is increasing.

The gun was introduced during Ramadan this year, and many were sold as presents to celebrate the end of the month of fasting.

Many children like 5-year-old Bilal play with toy guns every day.

Today Bilal and friends make up two teams – the police officers and the thieves.  Everyone is holding their own toy gun.

Bilal is Rahila Khan’s only son.

“I will try to give Bilal whatever he wants. You know the situation in our country…. We cannot afford to buy good toys for our children.”

Almost every market in Karachi has 20 to 30 shops that sell toy guns.

“The demand of toy guns is increasing, especially during Eid or other celebrations,” says Umar Shah who has been selling toy guns for the past 5 years.

“Parents will come with their children to buy the gun. The cheapest one is less than 1 US dollar and the most expensive one is around 13 US dollars.”

Dr Salman Shazad is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Karachi who did some research two years ago on the issue.

He says the law and order situation in Pakistan has a big impact on children – bomb blasts, targeted killings and assassinations are an everyday occurrence here.

Because of this, children prefer to buy toy guns instead of educational toys.

“The basic responsibility is on the parents. They should know their child’s personality; what he likes or what he doesn’t like, which type of friends he has. When parents buy toy guns as a gift for their child’s birthday, it’s harmful and alarming too. To reduce the trend, we have to create a good environment for children. We also have to educate parents to give books and good toys to their children, instead of toy guns.”

More than half of the toy guns sold in Karachi are imported.

The Karachi government Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddique says he will talk to the Chamber of Commerce soon about preventing the import of toy guns.

“We will make the parents aware of the situation. We will talk to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce about this because more than 60 percent of toy guns are imported. And we will also introduce legislation on the assembly floor, then impose a ban on toy guns. The children are the future of our country and we don’t want them to grow up to be violent and intolerant people.”

Ateeq Mehar is a mother of three children.  She says she can’t stop her children playing with toy guns.

So instead, she plays with her children to educate them about the danger of guns.

“Our children do not have many resources, forms of entertainment or activities. So the best solution for me is to closely check what my children are doing. I try to give them a violence-free environment.”


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