The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has ‘advised’ Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl they shot nine months ago for promoting girls education in Swat, to return to Pakistan and join an Islamic seminary in her native town.
Malala marked her 16th birthday with an emotional speech to a Youth Assembly at the United Nations on July 12 where she said that “extremists are afraid of book and pens”.
TTP commander Adnan Rashid criticised Malala’s speech in his two-page letter written in English to the teenage girl. He added that he wrote the letter in his personal capacity and not as a TTP commander.
“I advise you to return home, adopt the Islamic and Pashtoon culture, join any female madrassa near your hometown, study and learn the Book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of the Muslim Ummah and reveal the conspiracy of the tiny elite that wants to enslave the whole humanity for their evil agenda in the name of New World Order,” Rashid wrote addressing Malala.
Adnan Rashid, who had been convicted for trying to assassinate the former military ruler, had escaped along with hundreds of colleagues from Bannu Jail in April last year.
He rejected Malala’s assertion that the Taliban targeted her for promoting girls’ education. Adnan wrote that he was shocked to hear about the attack. “I wished such incident should never have happened,” he added.
The Express Tribune has received a copy of the letter. This correspondent confirmed authenticity of the letter from the Taliban commander, who said that the letter was sent on July 15.
“First of all, please mind that the Taliban never attacked you because you went to school or you loved education; please also mind that the Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men, women or girl,” Adnan told Malala.
He further stated that the Taliban believed Malala had been intentionally writing against them and running a campaign to malign their efforts to establish an Islamic system in Swat and that her writings were ‘provocative’.
“There were thousands of girls who were attending schools and colleges before and after the Taliban insurgency in Swat, would you please explain why were only you on their hit list?” he asked
Reacting to Malala’s claim that the Taliban blow up schools, Adnan alleged that in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa or the tribal regions it was not only the Taliban, who were blowing up schools but Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary were equally involved in such attacks.
“The reason for the action was common; as schools turned into hideouts and transit camps once they came under control of either parties, Pakistan Army or the Taliban,” he wrote, adding that blowing up schools not used for strategic purposes was not the Taliban job.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.