- Jan 9, 2012
PESHAWAR/SWABI: Toy guns turned out to be the favourite thing for children to play with on Eid days.
Shopkeepers reported high sales of the replicas of weapons and said children spent most eidee, the cash given by elders on the festival, to purchase them.
According to them, the replica of SMG was the most favourite toy gun among children but its price was relatively high.
They said the prices of pistols and rifles ranged between Rs30 and Rs2000 each.
In a playful manner, children pressed triggers pointing barrel towards each other with its small size plastic bullets, while many preferred to shoot at targets.
"We bring toy guns from the Pepal Mandi market to earn our livelihood," said vendor Azma at Swati Phatak.
He said sale of toy guns was not a crime as it was not harmful.
He said wholesalers invested huge sums of money in the import of replicas of weapons from China on a large scale. A man said for the first time, he'd seen that one of his sons' main demand on Eid was a toy gun.
"I asked him to get permission from his mother, who didn't give the permission and sent him back for decision," he said.
The man said the child was not willing to give in and forced him to buy him a water gun for fun.
When contacted, Peshawar SSP (operations) Najeegur Rehman said there was no ban on use of toy guns but he personally felt their sale should be banned.
"During my visits to different areas of Circular Road, Sarband and city area on Eid days, it was seen that majority of children had toy guns in their hands though they also had other toys," he said.
The SSP said use of fake guns by children to such an extent showed their inclination towards militarisation.
"I will suggest ban on toy guns under Section 144 and even legislation against them," he said.
In Swabi, too, high sales of toy guns were reported on Eid days. Shopkeepers said they had bought toy guns in large numbers in view of their high demand. Both parents and shopkeepers said they could not stop children from purchasing toy guns. "My son cried so much that I had to buy him the replicas of a pistol. His friends already had it," said Muazzam Khan.
Mostly, the children asked for Kalashnikov, which sold for Rs500-Rs1500, and that was followed by pistols.
Toy seller Sardar Khan said a good toy pistol was available for Rs500-Rs600.
Ali Ghayas Khan of Maneri area said when he asked a trader about the possible harms of the sale of toy guns on the children's personality, he turned angry and insisted he didn't force children to buy toy guns.
He demanded a ban on the sale of toy guns.
Published in Dawn, August 1st, 2014
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