The TTP’s ‘defence’ of the attack on Malala

Published: October 17, 2012
It would be folly and treasonable for anyone who accepts the version of religion that kills little girls.  PHOTO: FAZAL KHALIQ/ EXPRESS

It would be folly and treasonable for anyone who accepts the version of religion that kills little girls. PHOTO: FAZAL KHALIQ/ EXPRESS

The Taliban have issued an elaborate seven-page statement detailing their explanation for their reasons to execute Malala Yousufzai. Somebody within the Taliban’s world of terrorism and extortion is churning out their future plan of replacement of Pakistan’s ideology as expressed through its Constitution. Those who see Malala’s expression of protest against the Taliban’s edict of banning female education in Pakistan as an American plot will first have to formally forswear the Constitution. As we shall see, this is going to be an uphill task.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, has issued a more detailed defence of what the terrorists have done:

1) Malala is “grown up” at 14 and, therefore, liable for punishment; 2) In Islam and “Pakhtun traditions”, there is absolutely no room for an attack on a woman of pure virtues. But in cases where a woman is seen as a clear sinner who stands in defiance of Sharia, such a woman is not only allowed to be attacked but there is an obligatory instruction for such an action; and 3) Malala was a spy who divulged secrets of the mujahideen and the Taliban through the BBC and in return received awards and rewards from the Zionists, writing her Gul Makai diaries for the BBC.

What comes next is supported by many in the clerical-madrassa world and their right-wing followers who cannot handle the twin hatreds in the Pakistan of America and the Taliban and wish to ‘forgive’ the latter in order to fight the former. Ehsan joins the anti-Malala frog chorus, saying “she was brought before the media under a pre-planned strategy so that she could pollute the minds of the youth against the Taliban” and that “the Taliban executed the attack on an adult girl only after she emerged as a pivotal character in the media war against us”.

The Taliban have followed this perception by sending out death threats to many media groups where they thought the discussants and hosts had taken a position against them. Let it be accepted that by trying to kill a helpless little girl, the Taliban have got themselves the worst press to date. There is a growing national consensus that the state must now act decisively against the terrorists, even though the political parties, barring the MQM, are using evasive ambiguity on the issue of what action is to be taken.

The irony now is that the other  ‘national consensus’ against America, as faithfully reflected by the media, is under challenge by this new  ‘national consensus’ being covered faithfully by the same media. Before the Malala incident, the media was doing okay but now it is a ‘westernised, secular puppet of the armed forces’. The contest is now between a demonised West led by America and the real villain on the ground, the TTP, whose dominance in the country is under duress because the state is too weak to counter terrorism effectively.

The voice of Sufi Muhammad speaks through the TTP spokesman: the Taliban Sharia is the only genuine prescription of Islam and must replace the Sharia operating in Pakistan under the Constitution. One should recall that two instances of rejection by Pakistan of the Taliban view of Sharia have been recorded by history: 1) When Sufi Muhammad rejected the view of Islam held by a majority of the ulema in Pakistan, they first tried to reason with him but then dismissed his Sharia as inapplicable; and 2) when the MMA government in the then NWFP tried to implement their Sharia through a Hasba Bill, it was turned down by the Supreme Court.

It would be folly and treasonable for anyone who accepts the version of religion that kills little girls. The TTP tried its ‘quick justice’ in Swat before and it is today doing it in some of the areas it controls, but the people, if given free will, will not accept it. The tragedy, however, is that the state is too weak to defend its citizens against terrorism. The time for ‘talks’ has passed; terror is dictating terms. The military and parliament have to take the decision to fight the war they have been postponing.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 18th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 17, 2012 - 10:23PM

    Well written editorial! But such is the state of Pakistan that, as you noted, the Political parties are now back sliding into denial of THE PROBLEM, for political gains! Recommend

  • Akhtar Baloch
    Oct 17, 2012 - 11:53PM

    In what world is a 14 year old a ‘grown up’ ? No doubt, the TTP are a bunch of cowardly, disgusting and un – Islamic scums of the earth. They should be wiped off the face of the earth. Despite all of their criticisms and mistakes, i genuinely believe, that if it were not for the Pakistan Army and the ISI, this country would be overrun with these hooligans. When our own people are being blown to bits in mosques, markets and schools, it is our war. We are a population of 180 million people, stand together, get rid of this nuisance.Recommend

  • wajahat masood
    Oct 18, 2012 - 12:28AM

    Well-done ET. Hammer it in, fellas. The political class needs to understand, it is now or never.


  • Trojan
    Oct 18, 2012 - 1:03AM

    You seem to be forgetting the Hazrat Khizar(A.S)’s example that some local mullahs have been giving to support Malala’s shooting.


  • gp65
    Oct 18, 2012 - 2:16AM

    “It would be folly and treasonable for anyone who accepts the version of religion that kills little girls.”

    What if Malala was not a little girl but an atheist white NGO man workng for women’s education in FATA? Woudl the murder then be justified? Her age and gender are not the issue, the issue is the reason she was attacked is unacceptable.

    Plus I am unclear what is meant by ‘version of religion’. Everyone says that the best thing about Islam is that it is unchanging. Instead of arguing about which version of religion is correct and jusifying killing people who don’t follow your version of religion, would it not be better if people kept religion between themselves and God and evaluated each other’s behavior on the basis of humanity.


  • Mirza
    Oct 18, 2012 - 2:53AM

    A well written and balanced editorial by ET, thanks for that.
    What is the need of Taliban in Pakistan? What is the need for their violence against the innocent citizens of Pakistan?
    Make no mistake about it, there is a war unleashed upon the citizens and moderate forces in Pakistan by these fanatic terrorists who would not stop at anything less than total control of the country. Most political parties have to openly decide which side do they support they cannot be with the victims and the terrorists at the same time. Malala incident has unmasked these rightwing leaders and they cannot hide behind the excuses.Recommend

  • pl
    Oct 18, 2012 - 3:16AM

    the state has been weakened beyond recovery over the past 60 years.
    National cohesion of all people from all backgrounds poor/rich/language/ethnicity/religion/sect/political party etc is the only option.


  • Jibran
    Oct 18, 2012 - 4:27AM

    Yes, we need to take a decisive action against those propagating terror, sectarianism and killing little girls only because they don’t agree to their thoughts. But, one should not be in doubt to understand the fact that terror cannot be defeated by terror or killing the terrorist or Taliban, whatever their name are; we need to confront them on ideological basis, once we succeed in defeating their ideology they will not be able to reirrict again. killing them is not a solution their virus will create more monsters among us as they did before. alongside condemning Taliban, the media must ask questions what our government is doing for making a society that education is not based on hate and propagating terror.
    except this angle; well done ET


  • Nandkishore
    Oct 18, 2012 - 5:53AM

    Both editorials mention Taliban. Taliban is becoming all pervading. I repeat what I said and ET gladly printed before: The countdown for Pakistan starts the day America leaves Afghanistan. Afghan and Pakistani Taliban will then be free to train its guns on Pakistan. Because of wrong educational policies there is already a groundswell of sympathy for Taliban all over Pakistan.


  • Jaferi
    Oct 18, 2012 - 8:28AM

    TTP, go back to cave we do not need you in Pakistan. We are well set without your presence.


  • Tanveer Ahmed
    Oct 18, 2012 - 11:12AM

    @Taliban: Where in Islam does it say to kill some one who does not agree with your version of life – and that also when it is distorted.


  • sibghat mansoor
    Oct 18, 2012 - 12:49PM

    I am unable to understand the ideology of TTP.May Allah show them the right path.


  • Abhi
    Oct 18, 2012 - 2:56PM

    Answer to your question is obvious, in the case of non-muslim person this would have been a non issue.


  • Aslam
    Oct 18, 2012 - 7:40PM

    First of all come out from the American alliance and stop drone attacks, then talk to those who become extremists in revenge of drone attacks and tell them that now your “Jihad” is over and we have come out of America’s so-called war against terror. Talk to tribal people and if then some groups deny to the writ of government and want to impose their own version of Islam, where girls are now allowed to get education, crush them and crush them hard, don’t spare them, make them example so that no body can try to defame Islam and Pakistan. But only operations are not the solution, then this war will never end, we have to find a political cum military solution.


  • Cautious
    Oct 18, 2012 - 7:49PM

    The fact that killing a 14 year old child is the subject of debate/editorials says much about the state of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Oct 18, 2012 - 8:52PM

    @Aslam. You don’t have the will nor the ability to stop drone attacks or crush those who want to implement their “own version of Islam”. Your reference to the “American alliance” is a red herring – what exactly are you doing as part of that Alliance? The three major items the American’s have asked over the last 10 years are 1) stop IED production 2) control your border and 3) enter N Waziristan and kick out the militants – you haven’t done anything meaningful to accomplish any of those goals. In short – TTP slaughtering children has zero to do with the American’s.


  • Shahzad
    Oct 20, 2012 - 10:19PM

    You can have a military operation conducted by Pakistan army in North Waziristan , where there is no doubt extremism and this twisted ideology lives, in fact you can have an operation in every Pakistani home, this will not remove this disease. What is required that our political and military leadership have to clearly state whether USA and Government of Afghanistan is friend or foe. We cannot take Taliban success in Afghanistan as our success and that in Pakistan as our loss. If there is clarity here an operation may not be required in North Waziristan. Also if you send in Army into villages or urban areas the human right violation and collateral damage is likely to be far more then use of drones. Also remember the Taliban on both sides of the Durrand line operate with more clarity then we have demonstrated so far as far as our foreign and security policy is concerned.
    Are we going to accept that this twisted ideology as suggested by the Taliban spokesman is a brazen violation of a great religion.


  • antanu g
    Oct 20, 2012 - 11:40PM

    explanation by TTP indicates that they are afraid of the sentiments displayed by the masses in Pakistan.they understand that once the majority stands up…they have no chance to people…keep this anger against TTP. in ur bellies… and they will be defeated.Recommend

  • antanu g
    Oct 20, 2012 - 11:45PM

    US has everything to do with Talibans… the outfit was trained and armed to teeth by US to fight USSR.. they were blue eyed boys of US. once and then left to create havoc by the US only…I think your memory is very short or u are short sighted?Recommend

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