Solidarity with Malala: President signs one-million signature petition

Published: November 10, 2012

President Zardari and UN special envoy on global education Gordon Brown hand over certificates at the launch of Waseela-e-Taleem programme. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: 

President Asif Ali Zardari added his name to a petition created to express solidarity with Malala Yousafzai, presented by UN special envoy on global education Gordon Brown on Friday.

The president signed the petition at the launch of the “Waseela-e-Taleem” initiative on Friday.  Attendees at the ceremony included AJK’s prime minister, Gilgit-Baltistan’s governor, federal ministers and Gordon Brown, who is also a former prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The one-million signature petition was created by Avaaz.org, a not-for-profit campaigning group that uses a model of Internet organising. It’s a global civic organisation that promotes activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption, poverty and conflict and boasts a membership of 16 million people.

Brown is in Pakistan on a three-day visit to call for education of all children and to mark Malala Day – Saturday – a global “day of action” in support of Malala and girls’ education.

Speaking at the launch, Brown said the international community was ready to support Pakistan in its efforts to tackle poverty and ensure all children could go to school.

“Malala and her family believe that there are many, many more courageous and brave girls and families in your country who want to stand up for the right of every child, in particular girls, to have the education that they deserve,” he added.

Some 32 million girls around the world are denied access to education, according to UN figures, more than five million of them in Pakistan.

Under the “Waseela-e-Taleem” initiative – which has been launched under the umbrella of Benazir Income Support Programme – over 3 million children of poor families would be provided financial assistance for enrolling them in primary schools in the next four years.

In his address, President Zardari said the PPP-led government was according high priority to the promotion of education, because no country can make progress without investing in its human capital.

“Ignorance and poverty go hand in hand,” he said, adding that poverty combined with ignorance fuels militancy and extremism. “We must fight against ignorance to fight poverty and militancy,” he added.

Brown, in his speech, said the initiative was a measure of determination of the Pakistani government and its leadership to promote education and to safeguard the future of the youth and the coming generations.

Brown thanked President Zardari for inviting him to Pakistan and also lauded his leadership and vision for the promotion of education in the country.

President Zardari reiterated the country’s commitment to achieving the goal of universal primary education, saying that as a result of a constitutional amendment it was now included under fundamental rights.

He called upon provincial governments to extend all possible support to the BISP, deeming their support critical in successful implementation of the programme.

He urged the provincial governments to become partners in ensuring that each and every child was enrolled in the school and said that failure was not an option.

Zardari-Brown bilateral meeting

Earlier, President Zardari had a separate meeting with Gordon Brown wherein he reiterated that Pakistan’s government was according high priority to the promotion of education in the country, especially in the militancy-hit areas, as a long-term tool to fight the militant mindset, adding that this mindset was Pakistan’s biggest enemy.

Brown briefed Zardari about the objectives of the UN initiative “Education First” that aims at helping member countries in promoting education and said his mission in Pakistan was aiming at ensuring greater enrollment, provision of quality education, training of teachers and promotion of education technology in Pakistan.

The president reiterated the commitment of the government to meeting the goal of the Global Initiative on Education and sought enhanced support and cooperation of the UN and international community in the education sector and towards achieving Accelerated Millennium Development Goals.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2012.

Reader Comments (15)

  • Nov 10, 2012 - 4:02AM

    Hey,

    I am not a Pakistani but i have listen a lot of news about Malala , I just want to ask from Pakistani Government that why don’t they give same security to every girl ?

    Why Malala is getting too much publicity ?

    Thank you

    Zane

    Recommend

  • rizwan
    Nov 10, 2012 - 5:26AM

    @Zane:
    because she has become an icon not only in country but world wide.

    Recommend

  • Jane
    Nov 10, 2012 - 6:10AM

    Zane, why are you jealous of Malala? Get a life and a brain too.

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  • something true
    Nov 10, 2012 - 7:00AM

    Zane: because she is benefitting the american interest here in PK but somepeople think that she is symbol of women freedom etc. Many people like you mr.Zane ask the same question. Why does she get all that special attention, treatment etc?. She is no icon worldwide but benefetting the agenda of thé americans. There are lots of girls in Pk who does not get any education just because they cant effort the transport and uniform and here you see a girl who is getting special treatment which even a western citizen does not get in the western world.

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  • Hairaan
    Nov 10, 2012 - 7:02AM

    @rizwan:
    The question remains unanswered sir. Are we going to provide security only to those who have become icon?

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  • Umer
    Nov 10, 2012 - 8:41AM

    @Hairaan:

    The question remains unanswered sir. Are we going to provide security only to those who have become icon?

    Let’s take away security from Hafiz Saeed too, and from all the maulansa. I will support that.

    Recommend

  • wonderer
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:03AM

    @Zane:

    “Why Malala is getting too much publicity ?”

    A Very Happy Malala Day to you.

    For a very good and detailed answer to your question, please listen carefully to Mr. Munir Saami on this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eu8NyLeMCbc

    Recommend

  • ahsan sheikh
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:28AM

    why soliditry only with malala?why not others that have killed in drone attacks?i think life of every body is important as the life of malalaRecommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Celebrating 1st Malala day, I am confident that in the near future Malala is going to be one of the top most political leaders of Pakistan, provided if the Government provide her proper security and she remain safe and alive.

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  • wonderer
    Nov 10, 2012 - 9:59AM

    @ahsan sheikh:

    A Very Happy Malala Day to you, Sir.

    There should be equal treatment of all, but Malala is special. Just listen to Mr. Munir Saami on the link I gave in my previous comment above.

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  • observer
    Nov 10, 2012 - 10:08AM

    Will the Khan sign this petition?

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  • true picture
    Nov 10, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Malala is an Innocent victim. there are so many girls like her, some with even greater ambition than her, who are working in Pakistan for education! Why some of us forget the fact that it was her father, who worked for some NGO during the Swat operation, who brought her in the limelight of media during those days! so apart from the extremists, her father is also responsible for keeping her life in danger. P.S Malala & her family will not return to Pakistan in foreseeable future & if they don’t comeback then her family will loose admiration, specially among the locals of Swat including the girls.

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  • Rao Amjad Ali
    Nov 10, 2012 - 11:40AM

    @Ahsan Sheikh et. al.

    Why give medals to only a few for gallantry in war, Shuhadas such as Maj. Aziz Bhatti and Brig. Shami were not the only ones who laid down their lives in defense of Pakistan, scores of other officers and jawans did too, so why not give all of them a Nishan-e-Haider?

    Malala survived a bullet in her head from point blank range, fired at her because at 13 she stood up against extremist elements with extraordinary courage and resolve.

    To all the conspiracy theorists, most of whom are a product of a severe literacy deficit in Pakistan: When possible rely on common sense and good personal judgment!

    Recommend

  • Khalq e Khuda
    Nov 10, 2012 - 3:34PM

    @Zane:

    The Pakistani government is not as empowered as governments are worldwide. The current government is opposed to the Taliban ideology in its entirety but there are powerful elements within the society who support the organisation or the ideology. In this background of hopelessness and defeat Malala has taken a stand for millions of Pakistani and even Afghans who face the same scourge of extremism.

    Recommend

  • nasreen
    Nov 12, 2012 - 4:32PM

    The Pakistani government is not as empowered as governments are worldwide. The current government is opposed to the Taliban ideology in its entirety

    Recommend

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