Attack on Malala could be 'turning point' for Pakistan: Khar

Published: October 12, 2012
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Foreign minister says Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue. PHOTO: REUTERS

Foreign minister says Pakistan is working with the US government on resolving this issue. PHOTO: REUTERS

As the teenage peace activist Malala Yousufzai recovers in a Rawalpindi hospital, foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar told Christiane Amanpour on CNN that Tuesday’s shooting was a “wake up call” and could present a “turning point” in the war between two futures for Pakistan.

Khar, who was speaking to the veteran journalist via video link from Islamabad said that the attack had left her personally and the government “disgusted.”

She added that it was a wake up call for not only for the people of Pakistan but to people all over the world that “we have a clear and present danger in terms of people who choose to use violence as a means to follow whatever their agenda and to what extent they would go.”

The foreign minister went on to add that this young girl from Swat has managed to clear the fog of war about the Taliban and presented the two clear options for the public in Pakistan. “She has put it as a black and white question. She has put it as either you are with the future that she represents or the future they [Taliban] are trying to impose.”

Khar expressed confidence in the way Pakistanis had rejected the Taliban’s justification for the attack and that barring the issue of drones which split the society, the people were unequivocal in fighting the militant mindset.

“There is absolutely no doubt in any Pakistani’s mind that this is a force, this is a mindset that is a challenge for Pakistan’s future. This is a mindset that we need to fight with all our will and we endanger ourselves more if we don’t fight it today.”

Arresting the perpetrators

When Amanpour asked whether any of the attackers have been arrested, Khar said that “they [law enforcement] have made many arrests.”

“I just came out of a cabinet briefing where they said they have made many arrests and they will get them,”she assured.

Khar went on to explain that a number of groups operated under the umbrella of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the group which has claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala. “Earlier there was a group intending to attack her, and they were taken in before they were able to attack [Malala] and that this was a newer group that emerged,”she said of the attackers.

“We are told by the interior ministry that they are confident they will be able to get to the people, the perpetrators,” Khar said, adding that the bigger challenge was the “mindset that has been imposed on Pakistan for the past 30 years.”

Another military operation in Swat?

When Amanpour asked whether another military operation would be carried out in Swat to clear it of militants, Khar reasoned that military operations are conducted according to requirements of that particular area, at that particular time. “So the timing of that is of course going to be determined and whether it is required in the form that you are mentioning.”

Khar though reminded Amanpour that a military operation was carried out two years ago after which militants had been successfully driven out of the valley. However, these militants then found refuge in the Kunar and Nooristan provinces of Afghanistan.

“For the last two years Pakistan has on the diplomatic, political and every level has been asking both the Afghan government and ISAF forces over there [Afghanistan] not to take the matter seriously and not let them have safe havens inside Kunar and Nooristan. That they have the ability to strike back at us in Swat and at this girl also,” she said.

However, those efforts, Khar lamented, were lost in the quicksand of blame games. “[Attack] is a clear indication that what we need to do is look at this as a challenge to all of us collectively rather than spend time as we have unfortunately in the past as a blame game into who is doing what.”

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Oct 12, 2012 - 9:02AM

    “or the last two years Pakistan has on the diplomatic, political and every level has been asking both the Afghan government and ISAF forces over there [Afghanistan] not to take the matter seriously and not let them have safe havens inside Kunar and Nooristan. That they have the ability to strike back at us in Swat and at this girl also”

    So, Afghan Taliban having safe havens in Pakistan, in North Waziristan is ok, but Pakistani Taliban having safe havens in Afghanistan is not ok? Isn’t this hypocrisy?

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  • Polpot
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Denails Denials Denials
    ++++++++++++++++
    The Paki Foreign Ministry lives by Denials.
    Its either the Afghans, the Indians, or the Americans that are the root cause.
    Never Pakistan itself.

    Recommend

  • anwar
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:17AM

    As long as “this elite” ppp or otherwise is incharge nothing will change

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  • Kazmis
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:36AM

    Fortunately Malala was not killed by the bullet though it hit her brain, but the MEDIA, VOCAL PERSONS, and full campaign against this act is based on killing of a girl. There seems no time by the campaigner to correct this aspect.

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  • Oct 12, 2012 - 9:59AM

    There are Taliban factions sponsored by the CIA and this bullet was from such a faction. The shooting was a psy-op (psychological operation) to facilitate a U.S. invasion of Pakistani territory which is a prelude to an occupation of and overt colonial rule over the subcontinent as a whole.Recommend

  • Oct 12, 2012 - 10:03AM

    Muslim women need to take up arms and defend themselves. They need to start taking the valuables of any man that prevent them from being free. Everyone fights for their freedom, so should you! As Malcolm X would say it .. “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!”

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  • freeman
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:04AM

    The government and military have to decide, and soon, that who is your strategic asset, the Talibans or the Nation. Whatever side you decide is your asset, support it and eliminate the other side. Dont keep the nation and country in limbo.

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  • M. Salman Anjum
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:28AM

    I am unable to understand why pakistan and the whole world and even Pakistan Army is giving so much media coverage to Malala’s incident…?? I do condemn this act as what is wrong is Wrong…
    But lets analyse, a minor girl’s case is masking all the Worst happenings at massive scales worldwide.. how many innocent women and children are being killed on daily basis through drone attacks and in so called war against terror.. ? dont these people have equal rights on humantarian grounds to live on earth??
    how many people have already been killed in palestine, iraq, afghanistan, kashmir, Myanmar.. we have no Realistic figures just Estimates.. yet no practical steps have been taken by UN or any international community to fix it, apart from just giving sugar coated condemn statements and some controlled protests…
    Please focus other core ISSUES as well, dont stick with just one.. thanks

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  • sabi
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:44AM

    Too many turning points in sixty five years that nation has lost it’s destination.Let us follow a straight path.Recommend

  • Salman
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Make it a turning and declare TTP enemy of Pakistan.

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  • Enlightened
    Oct 12, 2012 - 11:15AM

    A very positive statement from the Pak FM is commendable hinting change of mindset regarding further coarse of action against the TTP who are the worst enemies of humanity which is evident from this latest attack and killings of thousands of innocent people as well.

    The time has come to re-launch a full fledged military drive to crush the remnants of Taleban. Gen Kayani who has described Malala as a symbol of the values that the army with nation behind it, should lose no time to embark on this noble task since the whole nation shall support him as TTP having being fully exposed has lost support of the masses. Moreover, the General is bound to get support from outside world also.

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  • Shan Say
    Oct 12, 2012 - 12:09PM

    Hina Rabbani Khar told Christiane Amanpour on CNN that Tuesday’s shooting was a “wake up call” and could present a “turning point” in the war between two futures for Pakistan.
    So was everyone sleeping up until now?
    “left her personally and the government “disgusted.” Why not speak for the whole nation?
    The FM said: ““She (Malala) has put it as a black and white question. She has put it as either you are with the future that she represents or the future they [Taliban] are trying to impose.” But the situation is grey and confused not black and white. Try to get the complexities of the issues involved.

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  • gp65
    Oct 12, 2012 - 12:22PM

    This is the first sensible statement on this issue to come out of any political leader in Pakistan on this issue.

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  • kaalchakra
    Oct 12, 2012 - 1:58PM

    Another of those complete turnarounds that come every few months. Great nations would rather turn completely than change basic positions.

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  • Rana
    Oct 12, 2012 - 2:21PM

    You have already missed many turning points! A full fledge operation clean up is required without further delay, and BTW this time purely for our own survival, not to please others!Recommend

  • S K Afridi
    Oct 12, 2012 - 3:36PM

    @Polpot:
    Absurd argument

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:55PM

    Afridi ,Rana S,Say .and Kalchakra …..t We should support and appriciate this bright muslim lady for exicuting her diplomatic responsibility .She has triggered the black and left the place vacant to be occupied by whites from all arround the world .Whites of west are already there, now the native whites are ready to join them as they have Drones . Of course under your leadership .

    Now move forward ……..
    Majority is still with you . And not with Jehadee like IK and CJ .

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 12, 2012 - 5:04PM

    With a Drone determination kick their so called intelligentia in to cave before the operation starts .

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  • Aahjiz BayNawa
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:17PM

    Pakistan needs a more sophisticated and experienced diplomat to serve as FM. Oversimplifications of reality are indeed distortions.

    Recommend

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