We are not Malala

Published: October 13, 2012

The writer is a lawyer and partner at Ijaz and Ijaz Co in Lahore saroop.ijaz@ tribune.com.pk

“I think about it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong …” said Malala Yousufzai about a possible attack from the Taliban. They have come to kill you and hopefully, have failed — however, my child, there are still people amongst us who cannot tell them, “what they are trying to do is wrong”. This one clear-eyed statement of Malala represents the gold standard and tells us all that we need to know about opposing these barbarians. One would have thought it was not humanely possible to defend or make excuses for an attempt of murder on a child; however, it always turns out to be a mistake to underestimate bigotry. Many of those who have condemned did not have the spine to directly name the TTP, who have themselves claimed responsibility and have expressed their criminal desire of repeating the act.

The aftermath of the attack saw the usual clichés, one of which is, “We are all Malala”. No, we are not. Had all of us or even most of been Malala, these medieval thugs could not have attacked her. Had enough of us been Malala, nobody would have dared to make excuses for this murderous assault. By all means, feel terrible about us not being Malala but also feel worse and angry that the one who was Malala is now fighting for her life because of our failure to protect her. Also, assume the liberty of shaming with contempt and rage anyone who tries to make an excuse for this.

I do not want to play politics today. However, let me say this: Malala, Kainat and Shazia were not attacked because of drone attacks or US foreign policy. They were attacked because we have in our midst an enemy who is terrified of girls being educated, terrified enough to kill them. Independent brave girls scare them more than drones or army operations. Misogyny is inevitably one of the first manifestations of a tyrannical mindset. It is not a coincidence that these fanatics and their apologists are at their most aggressive and bigoted when launching crusades against Aasia Bibi, Rimsha and Malala. Similarly, it is not a coincidence that the most courageous legislators and activists in our country are women.

Today, when I hear people saying that they are afraid of condemning the TTP by name because they fear for themselves, I think of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. And her unequivocal resolve to fight this bigotry. And her press conference immediately after the Karsaaz blast with the knowledge that these brutes are out there to kill her. Shaheed BB was Malala, she did tell them what they are trying to do is wrong and they did kill her. What Habib Jalib wrote about BB, is also about Malala, “Dartay kyun hain bandooqon walay aik nehati larki say” (‘Why are those with guns so afraid of one unarmed girl?”). So when somebody tells us about self-preservation and realpolitik in not naming these murderers, they should keep in mind we already have a standard and precedent of courage set by Malala and BB. We could not save BB, we have to save Malala. Anyone who wants to run this country should be and would be weighed on the standard set by a brave and honest 14-year-old girl. At the present time, those who cry the hoarsest about their own courage are falling considerably short of that standard.

A good thing coming out of this episode is the emergence of challenge to our society in the most overt and naked form. There are those who are trying to inject complexity into the debate and some of them unwittingly are becoming apologists for this mindset of murder and blowing up girls’ schools. Yet, there remains very little room for complexity. It can either be Malala’s Pakistan or TTP’s Pakistan, it cannot be both. This should not be a choice. A Pakistan without Malala and her other fellow girls fighting for education will not be worth living in. I know binaries are supposed to be lazy and not nuanced enough, however, a 14-year-old child is shot in the head for “promoting secularism”. There is no provision for nuance. One has to set one’s face against this and summon all resources to fight. The debate on drone attacks can and should continue. However it has no bearing on our responsibility to fight these medievalists. They should be fought and eliminated — not negotiated with or mollycoddled. Firstly, negotiation is not possible. Secondly, and more importantly, negotiation with them is immoral. An attack on our children is as direct and frontal as an assault can be. This is not a question of politics; it has become a question of survival. The fight should begin by naming the enemy loud and clear, i.e., the TTP and their ideology of hate.

It is of some consolation to see the army chief condemning the assassination attempt on Malala. However, mere condemnation is not enough. The Pakistan Army has to stop the policy of considering the terrorist, any faction or network as “strategic assets”. The mindset has to be fought and fought as a whole and conclusively. It is now a choice between our children and these “strategic assets”. The Pakistan Army has, the over the past three decades, contributed to this ideology of jihad. For this reason, it also has the additional responsibility of erasing this misdeed and fighting these monsters.

George Orwell, writing about a young soldier of the Spanish War, wrote: “But the thing I saw in your face, No Power can disinherit; No Bomb that ever burst; Shatters the Crystal Spirit.” To understand Orwell’s words, have a look at the face of that child and the sparkle and resolve in her eyes. We are not Malala, but we should be, we can try. Let us hope Malala lives long enough to see her Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (87)

  • Haris Chaudhry
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:04PM

    let me say this: Malala, Kainat and
    Shazia were not attacked because of
    drone attacks or US foreign policy.
    They were attacked because we have in
    our midst an enemy who is terrified of
    girls being educated, terrified enough
    to kill them.

    Well said.

    Can someone tell the same to Taliban Khan ? He has gone quiet of late. I wonder why !!!!

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  • Bilal
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:08PM

    The ‘agar magar’ brigade that is making excuses for,trying to deflect criticism away from the religious terrorists who attacked Malala are doing pakistan a great disservice.They have been trying to divert attention away from what was done to Malala by terrorists by pointing fingers at all others.Let’s be clear,those that deliberately targetted according to preplanned operation a 14 year old child are the real terrorists.No one else deliberately targets,no one else pre-plans to kill children.Yes,women and children have been collateral damage in conflicts but in malala’s case,she was the target,she was searched out and a gun pointed at her head and shot in cold blood.

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  • Danish aziz
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Condemn the act,but not the killers.That seems to be the hallmark of our religious apologists that are making excuses and justifications for this heinous crimes.They are too scared to openly condemn the Taliban for what they have done.No,our religious apologists are much more comfortable blaming everyone else in the world for their plight,rather than face upto the truth of those who are destroying Pakistan in the name of religion.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:13PM

    I could not read read your Op Ed after a few lines. My eyes were teary and I could not read much. Thanks for trying to make sense even at high risks.
    Beti Malala I am sorry and ashamed for being coward and not standing up for my rights all my life. After conquering me and my generation they have come to persecute my children. This hurts more than when they suppressed me. Yes beti, it hurts beyond description. I have good command of language but mere words cannot express my sorrows, I am at a loss for words and still stunned what have you been through. This reminds me of many thousands on innocent who were butchered by these tyrants on the name of Islam and we did not stand up against them. I feel like a father who has failed to protect his kids because he was a coward.

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  • Jpy
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:24PM

    Wonderful & thought provoking article. It is a do or die battle now against these inhuman medieval thugs

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  • Waheed Mazhar
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:24PM

    It’s a very well written article, I really appreciate you Ijaz for highlighting the issue and articulating it so well. You are absolutely right in saying it can either be Malala’s Pakistan or TTP’s Pakistan and if we fail to recognize the urgency and seriousness of this situation the barbarians would kill every Malala in the country. It is time that our media should play its role and help in building the consensus that its our war and we are suffering because of terrorists and their fanatic and bigoted agenda. Its time that the public should be educated and informed that whatever the terrorists are doing should not be justified on any grounds whatsoever. If this moment is lost…the ruin shall be devastating for the people and for the country.

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  • Faisal Khan
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:27PM

    Medieval thugs… worthless scum… brainwashed… these terms are good to justify a new N. Waziristan operation…

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  • san
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:29PM

    This brilliant piece is enough for all retards out there. Kudos to Saroop Ijaz.

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  • Rafi
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:38PM

    For once Saroop, maybe just this once, I agree with you . . . and I think it is because you are not playing politics today.

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  • Nadia Zafar
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:39PM

    Beautifully written…because it is coming straight from the heart. I have cried over Malala, and cried even more listening to the cowards who call themselves politicians who are here to save the country, yet they cannot even identify (and deliberately so) who the real enemy is. Taliban are turning out to be God’s curse on our country. i have a feeling it is our punishment for our various sins. and yes we are sinners. ALL of us. we have no ethics, no moral code, and no humanity left in us. Malala is our hope. And Taliban have tried to take our Hope away from us. so now i Hope for every Malala that these cowards called Taliban target, a thousand more Malalas would emerge.

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  • Thoughtful
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:43PM

    Not being from Pakistan I guess this diatribe is aimed at the Kaptaan who expressed sympathy and condemned villains etc etc but would not condemn the Taliban because that would put his workers at risk. Malala knew her plain speaking put her at risk.She spoke up nonetheless.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:56PM

    Very brave statement. Shame on those who tried to confuse this crime with Drones and other policy matters. Malala, when she was just 11, wanted to got to school and read books just like a kid who needs food when hungry. Its very simple but Taliban supporters won’t understand it. They are more dangerous than Taliban.

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  • Alchemisto
    Oct 13, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Well written Saroor!

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  • mokun
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:12PM

    It took a Malala to stir the conscience of the people who otherwise have a reputation for being very emotional. The rot in the system stayed too long uneliminated, and fed by different kind of justifications. Now felling a grown tree is to take a lot of doings and undoings.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:21PM

    Fantastic. Every word true to the last. You are so right, I am not Malala and I am ashamed.
    Do you know you were quoted on the CNN Amanpour interview with Imran Khan and his response was that you don’t know what your talking about. He was wrong.Recommend

  • Afridi
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:22PM

    brave author i must say and meaningful message to all pakistanis indeed. choice is yours

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  • A. Nabi Baloch
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:24PM

    We all hope that outrage that has born out of this mindless act will turn into something very positive, however, we are nation of excusers, blamers and conspiracy theorists, so please forgive us for being ignorant, we will not change. BB was daughter of that nation, how half of the population was oblivious of that tragedy, or blamed her directly for getting out of the suv.
    If nothing is done soon, this nation will perish in tsunami of ignorance and jihalat.

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  • Maniza Naqvi
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:29PM

    Well said.

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  • zeeshan sheikh
    Oct 13, 2012 - 11:47PM

    4th generation media warfare. the enemies within. no sympathy for children died in the drone attacks.

    By the way malala word is just being used by fake liberals for there own vested interest . she is a double victim. used by both extremist and liberals

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  • Oct 13, 2012 - 11:48PM

    Very well said – I am thinking about the girl all the time and I am dreading a headline which will tell me that she has lost the battle with life or that her recovery will not be complete.

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  • Oct 13, 2012 - 11:49PM

    The real ‘men’ in Pakistan are the young girls like Malala who dare to improve themselves and society.

    May all women across Pakistan rise up and tackle these violent Mullahs

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  • Mehr Gul
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:00AM

    The writer has well said that The Pakistan Army has to stop the policy of considering the terrorist, any faction or network as “strategic assets”. The mindset has to be fought and fought as a whole and conclusively. It is now a choice between our children and these “strategic assets”. The Pakistan Army has, the over the past three decades, contributed to this ideology of jihad. For this reason, it also has the additional responsibility of erasing this misdeed and fighting these monsters.

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  • Nadir El-Edroos
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:13AM

    It is sad to see that not three days have passed, and already cyberspace is littered with conspiracy theories. JI activists are sharing pictures asking, Why did Malala meet Holbrooke? Suggestions are being made that she should have known better, and she brought this upon her self. How cruel! If anything, no matter what anyone says, silencing them with two bullets cannot and must not be condoned no matter how one rationalises it.

    The worst offenders are those who say: But what off the children killed by drones? What off them? Is this a choice? Does raising concern for Malala equate to sanctioning drones? Not at all, drones are wrong, summary executions are wrong, but the picture of the girl in the wheelchair that many share as a victim of a drone strike, she was injured by the Army in a military operation, though they ofcourse are above criticism.

    The failure here is that we do not recognize that ours is now a country where we discuses which tragedy a child faces is worthy of media attention and national outrage.

    Children must be protected and an environment created that allows them to flourish. They need to be protected from the Taliban, from drones, from actions by the military, FC or police, from paedophiles, rapists, rash drivers, pollution, polio, etc etc etc. There are no ifs and buts here. If we cannot agree on this, there is then no hope. For such a debate will only accelerate us into the abyss.

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  • gp65
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:35AM

    What the Taliban are saying to Malala and others like her as well as their parents (Pls. excuse me Pink Flloyd for the blatant ‘inspiration’)

    You don’t need no education, you just need some thought control
    No young females in the classroom, parents leave the school alone
    Hey parents leave the schools alone
    All in all its just another bomb in the hall

    Here ofcourse leave the schools alone means don’t send the kids to school i.e. school se kinara kar lo.

    While many have condemned the attack on Malala, I am waiting for any of the big political parties to say that Malala’s demand for female education was a legitimate one and the Taliban were wrong to target her for that just as they have been wrong in blowing up hundreds of schools in FATA and Swat.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:51AM

    TTP never was and is considered as a ‘strategic asset’ for Pakistan. Its a misperception. May be it is a strategic asset for those who are harbouring its leadership, those our worthy scholars are afraid of pointing out.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:04AM

    Today each and every post of mine has been ignore/100% disappeared from all news.
    As a father I wanted to apologize Malala for failing and being a coward. Love you beti and proud of you. Please forgive me for my cowardice.

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  • Jaahil
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:11AM

    Dear saroop Ijaz sahib, you are very right none of us are Malala. If we were then probabily no women would have given birth to these barbarians. In my opnion we have gone back to dark ages before the advent of our beloved Prophet Mohammad SAW. These so called guardians of faith are the bedouin of Arabia minus Islam, they are doing same to the daughters which bedouin used to do. The only difference that they used to bury daughters alive and now these modern day bedouin shoot them in the head to kill them. I think very little time has left for Pakistan, either we take care of Taliban by eliminating them or world will take them out and it will not be good for us.

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  • Arifq
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:28AM

    Right wing lobbies in Pakistan have kept the nation hostage to their narrow minded vision and they have no qualm in obfuscating public opinion. Benazir and Malala challenged their hegemony and paid a price, now it’s time for the people of Pakistan to wake up and take notice.

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  • Osama Siddique
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:31AM

    This is so good that there is really nothing more to add. It presents the clear choice to our befuddled compatriots and apologists of various stripes and degrees of cravenness.
    So proud of your Saroop!

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  • LionOfPunjab
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:09AM

    Tahir Ali
    an hour ago
    Reply
    TTP never was and is considered as a ‘strategic asset’ for Pakistan. Its a misperception. May be it is a strategic asset for those who are harbouring its leadership, those our worthy scholars are afraid of pointing out.

    ^^^ here comes the TTP/PTI apologists with their forked tongue!

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  • DoseOfReality
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:23AM

    Bilour announced a bounty for his “brothers” Al Qaeda and the Taliban, yet it’s been weeks and he’s still in office. Not Brave.

    The terrorist Hafiz Saeed gets a contingent of government guards despite no indication of any threat to him. Not Brave.

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  • gp65
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:34AM

    @mohammed abbasi: “The real ‘men’ in Pakistan are the young girls like Malala who dare to improve themselves and society”.
    Well said Sir. When we see the courage of Malalla, Asma Jehangir and also Sherry Rehman who had introduced a private member bill to prevent misuse of the blasphemy laws, it makes us question our age old sayings like ‘humne chodiyaan nahin pehen rakhi’ which imply that courage is the sole prerogative of men. Nor is this a purely desi mindset – even the English exhortation ‘ grow a pair’ has similar underlying assumption.

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  • Humanity
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:42AM

    Why do people appear to be in a state of shock? The evil the acquiescent majority so happily participated in sowing is yielding a bountiful harvest. Falsehood is enshrined in your constitution as a word of God. The unfortunate outcome of peddling religion is in front of all as a clear noose around the neck of the architects and enablers of evil. Chosen Muslims seem to believe they are beyond the reach of God’s justice.

    Army should tackle the beasts. Who will tackle the hatred and bigotry that runs through the veins of this nation?

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  • choptocut
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:55AM

    Those who are attributing the Taliban’s act to US policies forget their treatment of women during their regime in Afghanistan before 2001, they closed schools, and punish them inhumanly on minor suspicions.
    Good article Mr. Ijaz. Especially the comparison of BB and Malala is very thoughtful.

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  • Waheed Mazhar
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:01AM

    It’s very well written article. Ijaz is absolutely right that Malala is the one and only and this will be quite easy to prove when she will recover, and willing to get admission in some school, except that of her father’s school…lets see how many schools will open their gates to her in the face of terrorist threats and intimidating statements of the terrorists.

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  • amirr
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:12AM

    May Malala’s diginity, self-respect, and fight for self- determination to educate self, lead all the suppressed young girls all over the world. let this wave catch the neighbours, India, nepal, Afghanistan, all SARRC nations, and Africa.

    let Allah give her the strength to survive, fight for the sake of young girls dignity and self respect.

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  • RHS
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:27AM

    Thank you Saroop Ijaz for such a fine piece of writing. You have hit all the important points here. BB was one of my most favorite people. “They” killed her but she
    still lives within many. Malala has said publicly how she was inspired by Benazir Bhutto.
    Today I too pray for this child. Dont give up women of Pakistan! We men just dont have the guts to confront this enemy….

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  • elementary
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:51AM

    During first tenure of BB’s government when army made it clear to the incumbent government,that we will be incharge of foriegn affairs and went on to develop ‘Strategic depth’ and eventual Taliban government in afghanistan in 1996.BB’s tacit approval was part of the problem.It’s a historical fact PPP has never had the spine to resist either the mullah or the ISI.Greed of power does make your spine flopppy.

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  • Taimoor
    Oct 14, 2012 - 5:07AM

    Shaheed BB should have been smart about how situations are approached, it is the fault of the people that elected a bunch of thieves and idiots into power. Reap what you sow. This is only the beginning.

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  • elementary
    Oct 14, 2012 - 5:07AM

    Taliban are so obviousy barbaric and need to be tackled head on, and our incumbent government is so eminently unqualified to do jsut that.

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  • Raw is War
    Oct 14, 2012 - 5:38AM

    Imran – frightened lady

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  • mahakaalchakra
    Oct 14, 2012 - 6:17AM

    Malala truely deserves next year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

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  • Shahid
    Oct 14, 2012 - 6:48AM

    However it has no bearing on our responsibility to fight these medievalists.
    They should be fought and eliminated — not negotiated with or mollycoddled.
    Firstly, negotiation is not possible.

    Well said. Now every one should be eagerly waiting for the announcement by the author that he is leaving his law practice in Lahore and volunteering to join the tribal groups that are working with the army in the KP and FATA against the TTP. He should put some action behind his words to show that he really means what he is saying, by joining in actual combat to “fight and eliminate” the groups with whom “negotiation is not possible.”

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  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 14, 2012 - 7:58AM

    IF, and that is a BIG IF, public sentiment in Pakistan fully turns against the TTP AND THEIR APOLOGISTS, then the army will then have the public support to go the Waziristans and permanently bring the writ of the state to the agencies!
    THIS IS A REAL WAR FOR THE FUTURE OF PAKISTAN AND HALF MEASURES WILL NOT DO! But enough of this “arresting militants” for ineffective trials! They need to be “disappeared” as a permanent fix since there is no “rehabilitation” possible for these fanatics!

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  • a girl
    Oct 14, 2012 - 8:47AM

    I did not want to say this but in a lot of ways many Pakistani girls are Malala.

    My own school in RWP was under threat from the terrorists just because it was co-ed until year 5. Not only that several private schools like roots, BSS, city are still constantly under threat. In a couple of years I saw my school transitioning from a safe place to a place with security camera’s, armed guards and metal detectors. WHY?? Because us girls had the audacity to seek education? Another girl’s school in Islamabad got sent a coffin . I think in the last 2 years I got a holiday from school nearly every two months because of terrorist threats. And anybody who lives in that area can confirm this. One of my friends aunty just barely escaped from the Islamic University bomb blasts.

    Unfortunately what we endured was just psychological trauma but poor Malala actually got physically harmed.
    I know some people in my class who actually supported Taliban but after they realized how much they hated women’s education they hate them. And that is what really irks me about taliban supporters and apologists. Supporting people who are going to bomb girls for going to school is disgusting.
    But their threats I think pushed all of our school to work harder. Now all my friends are going to University at the end of the year.
    Good luck To malala. May Allah bless her. Ameen

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  • Oct 14, 2012 - 9:29AM

    And for those Indians who have jumped on the “We are Malala” bandwagon: Kindly turn your gaze inwards. There are Malalas aplenty at home. The Khap panchayats of Haryana and the Rama Sene in the Mangalore area of Karnataka state have targeted hundreds of Malalas. There are, of course Malalas in Chattisgarh and Jharkhad, in the north-eastern states and in Kashmir.
    And there is Soni Sori as well as Irom Sharmila.

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  • Munir Saami
    Oct 14, 2012 - 9:32AM

    Every single para, every single word of this article is a quotable truth. I have shared it in entirely and in paragraphs. It requires focus on every single sentence and each nuance. One of the best article on Malala and it shakes all to support her. Cheers
    @munirpervaiz , munirsaami.ca

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  • azra saboor
    Oct 14, 2012 - 9:59AM

    As it is proved During GHQ attack, Mehran Base attack, Kamra attacks etc. that either our forces are unwilling or incapable might be impotent enough to fight with Pakistan’s enemies called Taliban. We should encourage America to make drone strikes on militants not only in Wazirstan but also in settled areas. Even we may loose some civilian lives in those attacks. Because it is better for a civilian to be killed in a drone strike that will not only kill them but also a huge number of Taliban. On the other hand Taliban are going to kill us and there is no loss for them.

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  • Kakar
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:21AM

    This is an ideology that Pakistan can no more afford to sustain. The wreckage of pursuing this worn out ideology is in front of us and for everyone to see. Pakistan has become an international paraih and an international migrane. Its sovereignity is abused everyday by non-state actors which were armed to secure the mythical strategic depth in neighbouring countries. Lashkers were enthusiastically raised to act as vertible arm. Even if for the sake of argument we accept that these policies, to start with were aimed at to protecting our national interest, the time has already arrived to evaluate it. If Pakistan has turned out to be winner we should accelerate the process of creating more lashkars and recruiting more taliban to optimize our advantages and make our security impregnible. I am afraid even if a child is asked his answer would be negative. Why should then stick to a policy which has brought about mayhem, destruction, chaos and pushed the state to the brink of Hobbesian anarchy where the very survival is now “short and brutish”. Ijaz analysis is honest, strightforwad and should be apprecited.

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  • Fahd
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:57AM

    @ Haris; get your facts right boy, Imran condemned the attack, he visited malala and the other two girls that were injured in the attack as well, and offered free treatment for the three. He also reiterated his point regarding the war on terror. He is currently in turkey on the invitation of the turkish prime minister. Hence he is not on TV these days. so keep ur facts correct.

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  • anoop m
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:17PM

    Are you really serious on this , Pakistanis ? I will wait for 4 weeks and see what has changed on the ground . Words cost nothing .

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  • observer
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:29PM

    @elementary:

    It’s a historical fact PPP has never had the spine to resist either the mullah or the ISI.Greed of power does make your spine flopppy.

    A. ZAB hanged by one Military Dictator.

    B. AZ spent years in prison without being convicted.

    C. And another General is absconding, trying to avoid trial for murder of BB.

    D. And AZ and company withstood ‘Mamogate’ assault from the usual suspects.

    Who has shown more spine?
    The Royal Guest of KSA?
    Or, The Great Khan, Who turned around meekly when asked by GHQ?

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:43PM

    @LionOfPunjab:
    I am not a TTP/PTI apologist but the fact is that the entire top TTP leadership is today operating from their safe-havens in Afghanistan, presently under the control of ISAF. Fazalullah, the TTP commander of Swat, fled to Afghanistan after successful military operation and now, I believe Maulana Sufi Muhammad has also gone across after acquittal from the court.

    The reason why Pakistan now is not undertaking military operation in North Waziristan is that when it conducted successful military operations in Swat and South Waziristan, the border across was not sealed, the terrorists were permitted to enter and now being used against Pakistan in pursuance of a certain agenda. The reason that the USA-India- Afghanistan Nexus is forcing Pakistan to undertake operation in North Waziristan is the same. They want to take the depleted (after operation) Haqqanis to their fold for using them in the future. These are hard realities but, unfortunately, the bigoted minds will not admit. Pakistan is facing a proxy war for the last over 30 years when it decided to collaborate with USA to oust the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in the eighties.

    TTP has been instrumental in killing over 35000 Pakistanis, including over 3500 soldiers and you still maintain that it is Pakistan’s ‘strategic asset’. Our ‘strategic assets’ would kill our enemies not us. So, I once again reiterate that TTP is not Pakistan’s ‘strategic asset”, its a misperception.

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  • ishrat salim
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:05PM

    I pray that Malala incident comes as a blessing in disguise…hope it has awaken our dead conscience, it is high time it did so….

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  • Mj
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:05PM

    ““The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.”

    The question now is, what are we willing to to against the forces of darkness consumed by reckless hate? Do we stand and fight, or should we continue to make excuses for their barbarism?

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  • Omair
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:22PM

    Hats off Saroop! Surely one of your best pieces I have read.

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  • Tch tch
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:27PM

    @Ok: Lol I remember studying them with our Maolvi Saheb. Still pretty common.
    The article is exaggerating a little bit. The course book did cover the subject intended.
    I do have a very in depth knowledge of Soviet era Mines now though
    (They were drawn on the back covers):PRecommend

  • sabi
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:44PM

    Sroop,
    The best aricle so far on the topic
    I will not condemn a hungry wolf or heyna for attacking me but curse my rifle which has not worked in time to protect me.
    We can not change instinct but we can kill the beast.
    Regards

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  • Oct 14, 2012 - 1:44PM

    We are not Malala.

    No, sir, we most certainly not.

    I don’t think we can ever be as brave as that 14 year old girl who is fighting for her right to live, right to study, right to exist.

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  • zabdesk
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:46PM

    @azra saboor:
    100% endorse.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:11PM

    @Mirza: I have to respect you for saying this.

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  • choptocut
    Oct 14, 2012 - 2:48PM

    INTRODUCTION TO KAPTAN’S LOGIC
    Major Premiss: People in Wazirstan always fight insurgents.
    Minor Premiss: They see US drones as insurgency.
    Conclusion: They will fight against US and support those who fight against US and oppose those who fight with US *e.g. Pak Army.
    Solution: Stop drones, stop army operation and local people themselves capture the terrorist and handed them over to you.

    Problem with the logic: Major Premiss: Why they dont see Taliban’s attack on their own people as invasion of their land?
    (2) Problems with minor premiss: If local people are not robots and are capable of capturing terrorist then why they dont do it and stop US invasion/drones. Or at least they can make such an offer.
    Their presence costing them their lives and businesses, after all.

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  • Oct 14, 2012 - 3:38PM

    i am deeply ashamed that i am not malala u r right saroop! she is a girl with great courage! malala rose her voice we eventhough go to colleges but are not malala and our politicians do nothing except sayimg WE CONDEMN.we need to see them act mere words cannot satisfy us anymore they dont even name TTP who made this inhumane and brutal attempt on malala… but even in this chaotic state… with these corrupted politicians and this worthless leadership…. hope of a young girl seeking education and safety is still alive… belief of many pakistanis that a better future will come is still strong…TTP and AL QAEDA can do whatever they like BUT EFFORTS FOR WOMEN EDUCATION FOR A BETTER FUTURE OF PAKISTAN WILL NOT DISAPPEAR…..
    HOPE WILL SURVIVE……
    WE WILL SURVIVE….

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  • sajida
    Oct 14, 2012 - 3:44PM

    excellent and absolutely true.Malala is the future of this country and all those who say, agar magar. need serious counselling .

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  • OK
    Oct 14, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Does the US have the right to drone attack Karachi ? After all it is another breeding ground for “extremist” idealogy and crime. Why do we need the US to attack waziristan? Why are we not doing this ourselves? what is the role of the army in ensuring domestic security? How does the TTP get people within their folds?? Do you not think they are playing the US card to get more recruits??

    Stop being parrots or rather drones, and start thinking. Question everything. this applies to all journalists too who seem to think they know all the answers when frankly their logic is full of holes.

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  • Rana Amjad
    Oct 14, 2012 - 4:47PM

    Its high time for Taliban Khan to smell the Coffee before he cannot win even his own seat from any where.

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  • Anonymous
    Oct 14, 2012 - 5:15PM

    Saroop,
    Thanks for for beig so eloquent as usual.I cannot find the harshest words to condemn this incident. As you know TTP is not as dangerous as their overt and cover sympathizers/ closet Taliban like Imran Khan.
    I don’t want to belittle Malala tragedy but I am not hopeful that anything will chage due to role of our law enforcing agencies …. Our real rulers. If a country where 11 year old girl, intellectually challenge, uneducated girl is blamed for blasphemy arrested and then put is isolation in jail is tolerated , what can you expect?
    In a country where army is custodian of idealogy and employer of government, creator of all hate idealogy, where our daughters are shot dead because they have an opinion and Rimshas are arrested and put in isolation….. Nothing is going to change
    Thanks again

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  • Raw is War
    Oct 14, 2012 - 5:25PM

    good article.

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  • Foolitics
    Oct 14, 2012 - 7:36PM

    After studying Taliban khans antics for the past year, I have come to the conclusion that his refusal to condemn the Taliban is based on his ideological and ethnic affinity with the Taliban. I do not think he is afraid of them. They are his ideological and ethnic bedfellows.Recommend

  • Nasir Ali Khan
    Oct 14, 2012 - 7:43PM

    “There is no provision for nuance. One has to set one’s face against this and summon all resources to fight. The debate on drone attacks can and should continue. However it has no bearing on our responsibility to fight these medievalists. They should be fought and eliminated — not negotiated with or mollycoddled. Firstly, negotiation is not possible. Secondly, and more importantly, negotiation with them is immoral. An attack on our children is as direct and frontal as an assault can be. This is not a question of politics; it has become a question of survival. The fight should begin by naming the enemy loud and clear, i.e., the TTP and their ideology of hate”.

    Well said, saroop!

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 8:09PM

    Thank you Malala, the entire Pakistan is proud of you as it’s the first time the worthy foreign commentators are praising a Pakistani (of course other than a few writers serving their interests). You made it happen.

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  • Freedom Seeker
    Oct 14, 2012 - 10:34PM

    Malala have drawn the line in between her Pakistan and Pakistan of Zia era Jihadi mindset. Even today Jihadi mindset is visible in media who are doing their best to bring stories from here and there to marginalize Malala incidence. Now Pakistan recognize these double faced Islamist Jihadis as well as clean shaved Jihadis. I was wondering why PTI, PMLN and JI were at same level of TTP and other terrorist and trying to avoid naming them. Army call them strategic assets. Mr. Taliban Khan is scared to name them to secure his party workers. PMLN have made coalition with LEJ and ASWJ in Punjab. WHO WILL SAVE PAKISTAN?

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  • azra saboor
    Oct 14, 2012 - 10:38PM

    @ok Yes it should be done everywhere in our country because it is proved During GHQ attack, Mehran Base attack, Kamra attacks etc. that either our forces are unwilling or incapable might be impotent enough to fight with Pakistan’s enemies called Taliban. If Japan can without Army why we are paying cowards let them downsized.

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  • Oct 14, 2012 - 10:47PM

    “My eyes were teary and I could not read much…I am sorry and ashamed for being coward and not standing up for my rights all my life. After conquering me and my generation they have come to persecute my children.”

    @Mirza: in 1971 I met other Pakistanis who broke down, feeling the same way. After a bit they sobered up and did what they could to alleviate human suffering: they worked to create the new state of Bangladesh out of East Pakistan and defeat the Pakistani Army – the army of the regime they had sworn allegiance to – even at the price of allying with their previously-sworn enemy, India.

    I don’t know if that’s the solution here. What’s important is that these Pakistanis – former Pakistanis? new Bangladeshis? – re-arranged their value system and took responsibility for their own actions and the fate of their country. They refused to remain inactive ciphers any more.

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  • Seema
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @elementary: you ppl are Hippocrates who accuses Benazir Bhutto, that is the same year 1996 when her govt was dissolved by.Your military brass considered her a threat for their strategic asset, so they removed her. Who knows, she approved it or they did it on her behalf.. then killed her brother, put her husband in the jail…. just break her will….. when they could not they killed her with the help of their strategic assets…

    Sometimes hatred shadowed the intellect of man….. they cant think beyond their hatred.

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  • Seema
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:11PM

    @Saroop: its a wonderful article…. salute you.

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  • blah
    Oct 14, 2012 - 11:55PM

    now the question is: are the attackers really Taliban?

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  • Omar Rawi
    Oct 15, 2012 - 12:06AM

    @Fahd, Imran condemned the attack but does not have guts o condemn the attackers, and that’s the difference my friend.

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  • Parvez
    Oct 15, 2012 - 12:43AM

    Think about it, the coward who shot her in the head at point blank range and still messed up big time…………what must his handlers have done to him because this has bounced back and hit them in the face, hard.

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 15, 2012 - 2:00AM

    @Anonymous:
    ” In a country where army is custodian of ideology and employer of government, creator of all hate ideology, where our daughters are shot dead because they have an opinion and Rimshas are arrested and put in isolation….. Nothing is going to change”.

    Yes, you are right, nothing is going to change unless we pin point the real issue. We as a nation are used to blaming others for every ill and military is always the scape-goat. We exactly know who killed BB yet we continue to blame Musharraf and in the process did not respond the way the nation is reacting to attempt on Malala’s life.

    Neither army is custodian of ideology nor employer of government. Remember, Pakistan was created on the basis of Two-Nation Theory, whereby religion was used as an instrument to achieve independence. In public perception Pakistan is ‘an ideological state’ and since the Islamic concept of nationalism advocates the concept of ‘ummah’, majority of the masses, especially in the rural areas, who remain under the influence of religious clergy, consider Taliban’s struggle as legitimate. They fail to comprehend as to why ‘Mujahideen’ of yester years are now called ‘terrorists’. To date, neither the media nor the politicians have picked up the courage to change this mind-set and educate the masses. Over 40000 Pakistanis have been killed by the militants but still people have sympathies for them.
    Secondly, the politicians are not only there to plunder. They must take responsibility as rulers. Blaming army may fulfill certain agenda but would not solve the problem.

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  • Sara
    Oct 15, 2012 - 3:10AM

    Made some valid point up until “shaheed benazir Bhutto”. im not pro or anti benazir but wasn’t she accused of money laundering and then found guilty by a Swiss court? I mean, in my opinion malala > Bhutto hands down. Sad that she was murdered and all but to say she was a martyr I don’t know…seems a bit excessive.Recommend

  • Sara
    Oct 15, 2012 - 3:19AM

    @blah lol. And an even more pressing question: are the attackers really human? Aliens perhaps?

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  • Tahir Ali
    Oct 15, 2012 - 3:20AM

    @Seema:
    Sometimes hatred shadows the intellect of man….. they cant think beyond their hatred“.
    You proved that by labeling everything on military.

    @azra saboor: May be our forces are impotent but what about the US, the only super power, which has an Army equipped with most advanced weaponry (annual defense budget of US$ 628 billion as against Pakistan’s less than US$ 6 billion) and still they have not been able to defeat the Taliban in more than 11 years but their leaders / so called writers never ridicule and taunt the way we do.
    The second example I can give is of Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers only held an area of 20kmX20km = 400 sq kms, yet the insurgency lasted for over 25 years.

    In comparison, we have a tribal area of 27000 sq kms and Taliban have sympathizers in the entire country. To date, over 4000 soldiers and officers, including four generals, have embraced martyrdom while protecting people like you. If military operation provided any solution, the USA would have won the war long time back. If army feels impotent today, it is because of people like you as no army can meet such challenges without peoples’ support.

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  • Andrew
    Oct 15, 2012 - 6:17AM

    When my 10 yo daughter heard about this she asked if Malala could come to her school to learn. I wish she could.
    The world is watching to see what Pakistan does now. It’s reputation on the world stage is at stake.

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  • Aziz Bhatti
    Oct 15, 2012 - 6:53AM

    “Let us hope Malala lives long enough to see her Pakistan.” I’m a Pakistan’s Ahmadi Muslim praying for the little princes and also praying for the rest of our Malalas that may Allah Tala protect our kids from these medieval thugs.

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  • Seema
    Oct 15, 2012 - 5:22PM

    @Sara: Why didnt your mighty military and tout judiciary couldn’t proved it for eleven years keeping Zardari in jail…… Nawaz Shareef also admitted before Suhail Warraich for such cases…… cases against Nawaz always called politically motivated …why these concessions are not given to Benazir.

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