Trail of assault: Malala attack plot hatched in Afghanistan

Published: October 26, 2012
Prime suspect held a meeting with Mullah Fazlullah in Kunar province. PHOTO: FILE

Prime suspect held a meeting with Mullah Fazlullah in Kunar province. PHOTO: FILE


Attaullah Khan, the prime suspect in the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, planned his attack following a meeting with Mullah Fazlullah in Kunar province of Afghanistan, well-placed security officials told The Express Tribune.

According to the officials, Khan is one of two main suspects in the attack which involved a larger group of 12 people. With the main suspects still at large, officials say six facilitators of the attack have been arrested so far.

Officials said they were on the trail of Khan, 23, prime suspect, who is a resident of Swat. Officials add that Khan is pursuing a master’s degree in chemistry in Peshawar. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Jahanzeb College in Swat.

The school’s principal, Alam Zeb, condemning the attack, said that Khan had given school officials three or four dates of birth. Zeb said that he was surprised to hear that a former student of the college may have been involved in the gruesome attack on the 14-year-old girl.

In addition to arresting six men, all of them from Swat, the police have also arrested Khan’s mother, brother and fiancée. The suspect’s relatives have not been accused of involvement in the attack but may provide clues to Khan’s whereabouts, a senior official added.

Malala, who spoke against the Taliban, was shot in the head on October 9, 2012, while on her way home from school. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Eshanullah Ehsan claimed responsibility for the attack.

Internationally recognised for a blog about the horrors of life under the Taliban and a campaign for the right to an education, Malala is the highest-profile target of militants in Swat for more than three years.


Malala Yousafzai, who is currently recovering in the United Kingdom, will return to Pakistan, her father said on Thursday.

Talking to the media, Ziauddin Yousafzai has dispelled the notion that the family would seek asylum abroad.

“I first laughed at it because all of our sacrifices, my personal (sacrifices), or this attack on my daughter, cannot have such a cheap purpose that we would go to some other country and
live the rest of our life there,” he said.

Malala’s father spoke alongside Interior Minister Rehman Malik in Islamabad. Malik promised that the government would protect Malala upon her return. “Even while sitting there, she is taking care of her schooling,” as she asked her father to bring books when he goes to Britain, said Malik.

Earlier, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar met doctors treating Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Iftikhar said that Malala was receiving the ‘best care in the world’. He said the hospital has the most appropriate expertise and experience to treat the injured teenager. (with additional input from news desk)

Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • karma
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Only security Malala & her family can receive is if the society in general can go through a detox from extremist views, blasphemy laws and religious fervor.Recommend

  • omar
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:13AM

    On strongly doubt on integrity and intelligence of those “officials” under who’s nose was Osama Bin Laden living!!


  • Nitin Gandhi
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Safest way to get away , blame in to other country, instead of checking your own backyard.


  • Umer
    Oct 26, 2012 - 11:00AM

    @Nitin Gandhi… Haha..same is the case with idea..they start blaming Pakistan


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Oct 26, 2012 - 11:01AM

    Just as I expected. No “true” Pakistan could possibly commit such a dastardly act.


  • Oct 26, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Now should admit the attackers have failed in their mission,a teenager defeated them badly.
    malala has been honored the whole nation,by the world including Islamic states,by people of all classes of all creed and colour.

    What they gained in the game,demaged their honor and lost their popularity,there remained no sympathy among the people aboubt them.

    In fact,by this terrorist action they have proved themselve really insurgent,terrorists extortionist,kidnaper mercyless killers,playing with innocent’s human blood in the name of Islam,

    In Islam, there is no permission of killing innocent minor teenagers, oldmen and women,
    during the fight and war with enemies,there is permission for male,female to get education.

    The cruel act, they committed by attacking a minor girl who was campaigner of female’s education is not understandable.This act is tolally against the fundamenatl principle of Islam.

    Allah Almighty always with righteous not with killer of inocent people


  • Asma
    Oct 26, 2012 - 1:31PM

    Not so surprisingly, terrorism comes from Durand line. Need to do something about that.


  • Rex Minor
    Oct 26, 2012 - 1:34PM

    evil, yes it is evil to imagine that any individual Pashtun or a group of Pashtus call them Talibans if you must, to plot and then attempt to kill a child, the one who has the protection of angels.

    Böse and mean and mischievious thoughts of those who have not got the slightest knowledge of the Pashtun codes and the culture. Swat is the war theatre since the intrusion of Pakistan military in this beautiful land of Pashtuns and Malala accident is the result of the cross fire between the contahand parties. It should also not be a surprise how the Taliban leadership is reactng.

    Rex Minor


  • Parvez
    Oct 26, 2012 - 2:00PM

    Catch Fazullah first, hang him and then talk……………..people will listen.


  • Aryabhat
    Oct 26, 2012 - 2:09PM

    This reports sound ironicaly “echo effect” what India had said after Mumbai attack. It was 168 dead and 300 + injured. All evidences provided to Pakistan – and what happened?

    So what should Pakistan expect from Afghanistan now?

    PS: I remain first one to say hurting someone like Malala is a step forward in journey in destruction of Pakistan – which is on verge of take over from Talibani goons. I do nto suppor them. However, it is Pakistani Govt that need to get its act together and stop double standards to really eradicate this cancer that is eating away its core.


  • mustafa
    Oct 26, 2012 - 2:29PM

    Government should give topr priority to protect its citizen,its number one problem of Pakistan.

    We can live without power water etc etc, but if the lives are in danger then confidence is over


  • Murthy
    Oct 26, 2012 - 3:02PM

    No cure for self deception and wanton lie and accusation! A country that is unable to protect a teenage girl who just wants to get her right to education is blaming a neighboring country. It means that it is not going to do anything about the problem. I don’t know what elaborate plan is required, and that too in a neighboring country, to harm a school-going (not a gun-trotting) teenage girl!


  • Cautious
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:33PM

    How convenient. Lets take 10+ years of failed policies and blame everything on Afghanistan and the American’s.


  • Nitin Gandhi
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:35PM

    there is a difference …. Pakistan will never able to prove these allegation… also pak can’t deny in the name Islam terrorists are safe in Pak… on the other hand India has raised the issue of terrorism in the international platform and the whole word has accepted it….

    above all, you know the reality….


  • Aamir-Toronto
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:59PM

    @Nitin Gandhi

    You are living in fool’s paradise, when did India raised the issue of terrorism in the international platform ????…..India is committing state terrorism in Kashmir, Gujrat and other states……Indians are good at only one thing and that is propaganda against Pakistan/Pakistanis….people like you remind of the famous quote “pot calling the kettle black”


  • Oct 26, 2012 - 7:50PM

    ” Not so surprisingly, terrorism comes from Durand line. Need to do something about that”

    this is exactly what Afghan thinks .. sister please grow up.


  • Oct 26, 2012 - 8:24PM

    Afghan Taliban i.e Haqqani networks &other groups are engaged in attacks on NATO & Native security forces& premises of US/ west/ Indian interests on the soil of Afghanistan. these Militants enjoy safe heaven in North waziristan & other places in Pakistan. Likewise TTP have safe heaven in Afghanistan( in the border region). Both Taliban have tacit / indirect
    support of Establishments . Taliban’s ideology are same which too is supported by a section of the society.
    So i have reservations that any action will be taken against TTP by Afghanistan and against Haqqani network by Pakistan.


  • Adevarul
    Oct 27, 2012 - 1:50AM

    Rise up Pakistan and in all the world you who seek peace and would help Malala and women like her to gain an education. They seek a better world. Do not let this brave soul’s near murder go unpunished nor her struggles be in vain. Kindle the fire of all that is good and decent and strong in your hearts then stand with her and her family. Thank you to the medical community for your great service. Get well Malala.


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