Attack on Malala Yousufzai

Published: October 9, 2012
Malala was added to a Taliban hit list in 2011. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Malala was added to a Taliban hit list in 2011. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was awarded the National Peace Prize, was shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in Swat. This was not a random drive-by shooting; the perpetrators specifically asked for Malala to be identified before they shot her. Although she is reported to be out of danger, the incident raises a lot of questions about the continued existence of the Taliban in Swat. According to reports, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have claimed responsibility for the attack. In fact, Malala was added to a Taliban hit list in 2011. Malala rose to prominence when she penned a series of articles for the BBC, describing life for a girl in Taliban-controlled Swat, where she was forced to sit at home, unable to attend school. Furthermore, in March of this year, the TTP publicly threatened her saying this was done because she was among those advocating a “secular government” in Swat. Her story captured the imagination of a country where the Taliban threat had seemed distant and unreal.

Today, Swat is no longer under the control of the Taliban but they obviously still maintain a presence there. Malala would be a target not only for her writings but also because her father is a part of the local anti-Taliban jirga. This incident should ram home the reality that the enemy is still alive and remains as brutal as ever.

Earlier, we had more or less acquiesced to Taliban control of Swat and their demand to impose Sharia. However, what followed was a brutal and bloodied suppression of those who tried to stand up to the Taliban, in which hundreds of Swatis were literally butchered, their misery only ending when the military launched an operation in 2009.

This sad incident also leads to questions regarding the use of entering into talks or deals with militants, who seem to be ever ready to target innocent citizens.

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

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Arsalan khattak
    Oct 9, 2012 - 11:48PM

    Why was Malala targetted? Was she a drone pilot?Was she getting funded by the Yahood-nisara?
    no,her only crime was standing up for female education,the demand that women be treated equal to men and that was something the religious fanatics could not tolerate,something they had to stop.She was attacked so the religious extremists can continue to treat women as inferior beings,continue to exert total control over the lives of women in pakistani society.


  • sabi
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:17AM

    This bloodshed will not stop as long as the hawks in the establishment continue dreaming to win afghanistan and kick mighty USA out of the region.Talibans are their assets and need to stay and are allowed to do whatever they want Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:18AM

    Wow, what a country! Some guy makes a crude movie in America and Pakistan becomes unhinged, with riots, death and a national holiday created to foment more public outrage! Then the “usual suspects” line up to place a bounty on the head of the filmmaker and DEMAND world laws against religious intolerance to be enacted, (excluding Muslim countries of course)!
    Now the Taliban attempt to kill an unarmed young girl in Swat because she spoke out against their brutal world view! SO WHERE ARE ALL THE OUTRAGED MASSES WE ALL SAW IN THE STREETS NOT LONG AGO? WHERE ARE THE TV PUNDITS, SCREAMING ABOUT THEIR LOVE FOR THE PROPHET? Not to worry, in a short time the conspiracy theorists will be spinning the usual “blackwater/foreign hand/CIA-RAW-MOSSAD” crap to explain this incident away!


  • Karma
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:26AM


    More talented and promising young kids will be killed in the name of purity of religion. Pakistan establishment will keep dabbling in fib explanations of why it can’t fight to eliminate these animals, because army wants to decide ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ terrorists, and retain the good ones to fight India and Afghanistan.

    I watched Malala’s interviews with amazement, and tears. Why would any ideology want to destroy such a precious mind? What was her crime? Wanting education? Peaceful life?

    Does Pakistan have any space for such ideology and people – even if it helps in fighting in Afghanistan or India?

    If even a single percentage of Pakistanis say ‘yes’ to the above Question, then Pakistan will continue to be in deep deep trouble, and won’t come out of this vortex.


  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:31AM

    So is this now your war? Or still not? How many more innocents are to be hurt before it finally becomes your war? Do yo really think Taliban will lay down their arms if the Americans go home?
    What most you fail to see is that once the Americans go home, it will get even worse for you, as then the Taliban can direct all their fury at you without any diversions!


  • SaneVoice
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:47AM

    Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud said on BB’s murder that they don’t strike women but these savage animals targeted an 14 years innocent girl. This inhuman act exposes their lies and surely they are the one who killed Benazir Bhutto.


  • bangash
    Oct 10, 2012 - 1:13AM

    This girl is braver than all Generals in Pakistan Army.


  • Mirza
    Oct 10, 2012 - 1:29AM

    A balanced and timely editorial by the ET, thanks for that.
    When one runs out of adjectives for Taliban they lower themselves even further. The fanatic rightwing jihad against innocent kids and women continues without shame. As the US kills more of these “freedom fighters” they would kill more innocent women and children in Pakistan. However, I doubt that these blatant cowardly attacks would not wake the conscious of the rightwing parties in Pakistan. When the beheadings of Pakistani soldiers (multiple times) could not wake our conscience this moment would pass too. In fact the Taliban apologists would come out and defend their despicable acts once again.


  • Aviator
    Oct 10, 2012 - 1:45AM


    Agreed, the Taliban will not rest until they see the complete destruction of Pakistan; the Taliban see every Pakistani man, woman and child as their enemy.


  • sabi
    Oct 10, 2012 - 1:46AM

    This bloodshed will not stop as long as the hawks in the establishment continue dreaming to win afghanistan and kick mighty USA out of the region.Talibans are their assets and need to stay and are allowed to do whatever they want (tou mashk-e-naz kar khoon-e-dou alim meri ghardan par)


  • Fayaz
    Oct 10, 2012 - 3:48AM

    Talibans are retards.


  • vasan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 6:13AM

    I wonder who are the kafirs now. The vanguard of Islam in Pakistan or TTP ?


  • Feroz
    Oct 10, 2012 - 6:56AM

    To people who believe that in life we can escape the the consequences of our actions – Allah has sent a message. Those who are following the path of their conscience will be attacked but they must persist. To the rogues who created the Taliban, the message is “not only will you suffer for tarnishing me and my Religion, justice will be served”.


  • Ali khan
    Oct 10, 2012 - 8:30AM

    It is a very sad day. The cowards went for the most vulnerable. These people have lost all claims to humanity, and with it, a right to due process of law. They have proven that they have become animals ( animals of the worst kind..vultures, hyenas, snakes, etc). I hope this event mobilizes the nation as the public beating of a woman did in Swat a few years ago. Our media has done a good job so far of highlighting the savagery with smart emotional appeals in Urdu poetry to human conscience. They must keep it up and the people of Pakistan should stop asking whether there is room for talks, because there isn’t anymore. May God bless Poor Malala.


  • sathvik
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:21PM

    why the people of Pakistan are so deaf and dumb on the atrocities and killings done by these talibans
    cant be stopped.the people of Pakistan should take courage in eliminating these talibans forever.then only they can live in peace.


  • Oct 10, 2012 - 12:37PM

    I flay and condemn this fierce-like attack on an innocent teenaged girl.
    Why are we killing innocent kids misusing Islam- a non-violence religion and a religion of loving kids? Why have we become so fierce and psychopath.
    Our Prophet Muhammed S.A.W shortened the prayers and said that when the women offer prayer behind us and I hear the weeping of their children, I like to shorten prayer.

    Lastly I would like to say, “Wo jo nanhi buchion se bhi dar gaye, wo kitne giray hue hen wujood men.”


  • Arijit Sharma
    Oct 10, 2012 - 12:47PM

    Those who hurt this beautiful child have to be criminally insane.


  • Thinking
    Oct 10, 2012 - 4:46PM

    She was an easy target, but the questions is why now specially after the peace march?


  • Liberal
    Oct 10, 2012 - 4:50PM

    well thats how our liberal justify this brutal war of terror .. our policies have always been incident driven .. SWAT operation was started after flogging video appeared and now after attack on malala everyone is talking about north waziristan operation .. i want to ask .. why taliban attacked malala at this time .. why not in 2009 when they were all over SWAT why only 1 day after a peace march which initiated a debate all over world about drones .. this incident of Malala have justified the reason of drone strikes in Pakistan and we are back to square 1 ..


  • Saleem
    Oct 10, 2012 - 7:02PM

    @Arijit Sharma: They are not insane as they know what they are doing. They are evil and simply need to be eliminated with drone strikes.Recommend

  • qaisar shah
    Oct 10, 2012 - 7:05PM

    Why was she targeted? what was her mistake? her mistake is that she speeched about peace? this is the responsibilty of Govt Pakistan to provide peace in the every corner of Pakistan. this is so bad. So I am requsting to Govt of Pakistan to find the shooter and finish them curely.


  • R2D2
    Oct 10, 2012 - 7:13PM

    @Arijit Sharma:
    if you declare them as insane you are minimizing the problem. They are sane barbarians and that is what makes them dangerous.


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