I love you Malala

Published: October 16, 2012
The writer is a well-known actress and communications adviser of the All-Pakistan Muslim League 

The writer is a well-known actress and communications adviser of the All-Pakistan Muslim League atiqa.odho@tribune.com.pk

My dear Malala, I have been meaning to write something for you since you were attacked and have decided the best thing is to just write to you instead. What has happened to you is indeed horrific. I pray daily that you survive your terrible wounds and live. If God forbid you die, so much of what’s good in Pakistan shall die with you. As I write to you, my tears keep pouring from a very heavy heart. I, for one, shall never let anyone forget you in this country that I believe has let you down so very badly.

As I have personally been involved in the Swat cause for the last four years and know how important it has been to the young girls there to acquire an education for a better life, your contribution has been absolutely tremendous. You and I have never met but I love you dearly Malala, because to me, you are just a beautiful child of 14, attacked by evil cowards, who felt you needed to be punished for being brave and compassionate — qualities that they obviously do not possess or understand.

There is no way one can justify such sinful acts and still, we continue to sit and watch people hurt our women and children every day in this supposedly Muslim country of ours. What a real shame it is that they have hurt you just because you wanted to help your sisters educate themselves. They obviously do not understand that unless you are educated and know how to read and write, you cannot even read the Holy Quran that Allah has sent down for us to learn a true way of life from. Do they not realise that your mission was one of God’s, as He wants the female child to be able to read, write and seek the knowledge that He has sent down for everyone in the form of His Book. By attacking you, they have attacked the true meaning of our religion and must be punished on both counts.

I wish there was so much more I could do for you. This letter seems so small compared with what you have done for Pakistan. Please remember that in the immediate term, things tend to seem very difficult and sometimes pointless, but in the greater sense and over time, you have achieved what no one else has been able to achieve for us to date. You have finally made people sit up and say ‘enough is enough’. You have made presidents, generals, scholars, clerics and civil society at large, collectively accept that your mission has been a great one. This acceptance is now hopefully going to encourage many to ensure that their daughters are educated and strong. Your cause is now also a global one as the world is looking at the Pakistani female child in a different light. It is this new light that shall enlighten us all, protect our children and give them a better future for they deserve something so much better.

I pray that the injustice done to you shall be corrected at once and the criminals who have hurt you are punished publicly. Keeping past cases such as that of Shabana from Swat in view, unfortunately, justice seems to be a myth in our state. Just remember, regardless of what happens in this life, there is a greater court we shall all face one day. In God’s court, you shall stand tall and many shall have to bow before you.

Bless you, for you have made my belief in humanity stronger and remember, I love you Malala!

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • mr. righty rightist
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:37PM

    Very sorry writing.

    Just an emotional outburst. I wonder if a news paper would publish such writing if it wasn’t from popular (but not necessarily smart) people.


  • Muhammad Hanif Awan
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:38PM

    What a comprehensive n lovely ARTICLE……………..BRAVO ODHO……..GOD BLESS YOU


  • Syed
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:42PM

    I really wish the Malala tsunami will wipe out the taliban and the terrorism from Pakistan. Say no to Saudi influence in our country and hope everyone is held accountable to the people of Pakistan. Enough is enough!!


  • mahmood
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:43PM

    I wonder if the author sees any contradiction between her love for Malala, and her unwavering support for the general who had illegally taken over the country and who continued the policies of an earlier general to create a ripe, comfortable environment for Malala’s killers


  • Shoaib
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:45PM

    Yes we get it. It was a horrible thing to have happened. Can we cut the hyped-mega-over-sentimentalization a little bit now? Would be nice. Lets move on with our lives and do what we do best: get over things!


  • sabi
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:52PM

    It’s good to write for Mlala but,best way to pay tribute to malala is to raise voice against the constitutions Partiality which gives radicals a good ground to unleash mayham in the name of religion.


  • Subah
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Good work. InshaAllah Malala will get well and strong and better than before. She has truly been a role model for the girls and women. She went to the very extreme to prove herself. She has given a wake up call for all. God be with you dear Malala


  • Rana Amjad
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:18PM

    Fully endorse Atiqa’s view! May God have his curse on these monsters.


  • hype
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:17PM

    i think this incident is getting too much hype. situation on the ground points to the deeper malaise. after this incident and going by this newspaper reports atleast 30-35 people have died
    in shooting incidents in diff parts.i am afraid its back to business as usual.


  • Sir King Kong Bunty
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:35PM

    “Do they not realise that your mission was one of God’s, as He wants the female child to be able to read, write and seek the knowledge that He has sent down for everyone in the form of His Book”

    Well that is the reason Taliban have given. They want children to learn only Quran and no maths, science or english. Anyone reading these subjects is a kafir and liable to be attacked. .And maybe the book from Zaid Hamid has learnt history (like ghosts fought in 1965 war, Pakistan won 1965 war etc).


  • ak
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:57PM

    Question for the author- aren’t you a Strong supporter of PTI? Which is getting quite the slack for supporting ‘talks’ with the Taliban, hence the Waziristan Jalsa. What is PTI saying now? Torn between a rock and a hard place? Time to change stance? Some (now ex) supporters of IK are Eager to hear… whats the strategy now??


  • Mirza
    Oct 17, 2012 - 1:50AM

    We can be all praise and emotional but what are we going to do if anything at all? If we are not going to go against the terrorist havens many more Malala would be butchered and beheaded like the 40 thousand un-named and unsung victims.


  • DawnTawn
    Oct 17, 2012 - 1:56AM

    @Shoaib: Thats a bit insensitive considering Malala is a national symbol for education and female empowerment. How stone-hearted does one have to be to suggest that we just “get” over it? How about we carry on Malala’s mission and ensure that boys and girls through out the country get education that will help them to lead more prosperous lives. For education is the only solution to our problems.


  • Oct 17, 2012 - 2:37AM

    What a lovely article.! May peace come to our world!!


  • ayesha
    Oct 17, 2012 - 2:43AM

    We all love Malala :)


    Oct 17, 2012 - 3:31AM

    @Shoaib: Had you said this a few days ago I would have been very vocal about my disgust but I guess I kinda agree with you. Why? Har koi apni dukaan Malala ke khoon se chamka raha hai.

    The ‘have beens’ type of people are penning Op Eds and milking this incident to get back in the limelight.


  • concerned paki
    Oct 17, 2012 - 3:38AM

    Yes no doubt what happened with this girl is a shameful and a coward step taken by so called guards of Islam(Talibans).(Just like it is said that prevention is better than cure) Pakistani govt should have provided her with the best security measures in the first place rather than leaving everything till this day.I hope this incident open eyes of our corrupt politicians who are looking quite concerned on television sets nowadays or shall I term an act of cheap publicity to gain support of paki people before elections.
    Its not just Malala we are talking about here there are lots of children like her who need our attention,protection,love,affection.


  • Dipak
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:17AM

    Malala and Atiqa, brave daughters of Pakistan.


  • Shahid
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:41AM

    Thank you Atiqa for your wonderful article, we all are with Malala. May this become the Rosa Parks episode which will finally persuade those who defend Taliban that they need to be dealt with.


  • F
    Oct 17, 2012 - 4:58AM

    Great support and sentiments for this muslim child. When will Pakistani’s show the same fervor for non-Muslim citizens that are killed and discriminated against?


  • Raw is War
    Oct 17, 2012 - 7:49AM



  • Mansoor
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:43AM

    Malala incidence hurts me as she is my younger sister but what hurts me more is the way we are discussing this issue. All the print & electronic media repeatedly condemning only this specific incidence, our mosques praying for Malala only but not for the health of her fiends (let alone thousands of innocents of all ages died by drones or military operation). Could we please try to find some rational solutions to this menace instead of writing/speaking in emotional way for political purposes. Stop this practice of mourning over and curing individual symptoms of the disease, for God sake focus on the root cause of the disease and cure that or otherwise much more of our brothers and sisters would meet the same fate.


  • SurelySure!!
    Oct 17, 2012 - 11:55AM

    ok! its better be late than never!


  • MAT
    Oct 17, 2012 - 12:07PM

    Its seeems that Mala is the only innocent child died in Pakistan. There are many others who have died, arnt they our brothers or sisters and in many cases there are more innocent then Malaala……i do not support this kind of attack, but please also try to remember others not just Malaala


  • Human
    Oct 17, 2012 - 12:42PM

    well said I wish it tooo


  • Azra Shahnaz
    Oct 17, 2012 - 1:08PM

    Celebrities like you have no idea how poor people are suffering at the lower levels of your society, that’s why your letter to Malala is superficial rhetoric.


  • manzoor
    Oct 17, 2012 - 2:13PM

    I think we should stop mourning on Malala and Salala and mount pressure on Army to start operation against inhuman, illiterate Talbans who are out to kill and maim our kids who want to go schools and promote education as a tool to build progressive and forward looking society.


  • Trolololol
    Oct 17, 2012 - 3:42PM

    Ridiculous are those who clicked on and read an article clearly entitled “I love you Malala” and “by Attiqa Odho”, and then commented at it’s sentimentality.

    What exactly were they expecting? Probably read it JUST so they could say something negative…


  • talha
    Oct 17, 2012 - 8:17PM

    media propaganda plz stop this now. its enough. if you are mourning for malala why dont you talk about those people who were killed in drone attacks


  • amer nadeem
    Oct 17, 2012 - 9:31PM

    well said atiqa, however this mess was generated by ur boss Mushraf…… Recommend

  • Oct 17, 2012 - 9:41PM

    Out of the kind pen of the kind-hearted celebrity of the stature of Attiqa Odho, come out the best and the finest humanistic feelings for the seriously injured, innocent daring daughter of Swat, Ms Malala. This is, an act, heart-warming act, worthy of appreciation by all heart-caring people through out the world. Surely, all the people of love and mutual respect, will endorse the ‘Attiqa’s’ captivating expression of touching, heartfelt concern for the wounded, torchered, angelic looking innocent Malala Yousufzai. We all must continue the much needed prayer for Malama’s quick recovery with complete health. Moreover the esteemed writer, must also be thanked for her expression of concern for the life and security of all peace loving minorities in the Muslim state of Pakistan. Justice and respect for human life with all the basic rights of all citizens must be protected and upheld under International basic human rights charter.


  • Nobody
    Oct 18, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Spot on. Don’t get what people expected; it’s a LETTER to Malala. The title of the piece alone should’ve given you an idea of what to expect. Khair, haters gon’ hate.


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