Britain finally compensates Afghan family for unprovoked stabbing

The British Ministry of Defense is compensating an Afghan family over two years after a hungover English grenadier stabbed one of their sons.

The soldier, Daniel Crook, was on a routine patrol after a long night of drinking. He was stripped of his rifle and armed with only two grenades and a bayonet. When ten-year-old Ghulam Nabi rode up to Crook on a bicycle and asked him for chocolate, Crook grabbed the boy and bayoneted him in the lower back.

When asked why he had stabbed the boy, Crook could not provide an explanation.

Campus Ministry Coordinator Max Carter theorized, “What we’re seeing in Afghanistan are bored soldiers committing violent acts out of sheer habit.”

Crook was court-martialed, leading to an 18-month prison sentence and ejection from the Army.

Nabi’s family was initially paid the equivalent of $800, a figure Nabi’s father found insufficient.

The boy frequently ran errands for his father’s shop and was on the way to get a bottle of yogurt at the time of the attack. Due to the severity of his injuries, he was unable to contribute to his father’s business, and his family’s livelihood suffered for several months.

The Ministry of Defense has since accepted liability and agreed to pay more to the family. The sum is yet to be determined, following an assessment of medical records and costs.

According to George Guo, associate professor of political science, these unprovoked attacks are common.

“There are presently 99 incidents being investigated in which the British forces had been accused of killing or wounding Afghan civilians,” Guo stated.

Guo added that victims and their families are generally not compensated.

On this issue, Carter added, “Occasionally, the family will get an apology from a superior officer, but rarely, if ever, is there compensation.

“Acceptance of liability would be admission to error, and that leads to other consequences, so armies are very hesitant to open that door.”

The stabbing may represent an impasse in relations between the Western troops and Afghan civilians.

The boy’s father, Haji Shah Zada, complained to The Guardian that the occupying forces should be there “to build the country and remove insurgents, not to stab a child.”

Carter claimed that the trial and its outcome are “an attempt to stave off what is absolutely clear — that we have outlasted our welcome, if we were ever welcome in Afghanistan.”

He went on to say, “When these kinds of attacks start occurring, the situation between the occupiers and the civilians in the occupied nation quickly spirals downhill, and we have to move quickly to win back the hearts and minds of the civilians.”

Guo believes that the incident represents a paradigm shift in British foreign policy: “The new Conservative-led administration is trying to cut links with the Blair era administration.”

He concluded, “This incident and trial sends out a signal that Britain is trying to get out of this mess, and will be more careful engaging in military initiatives abroad in the future.”