While there is an ongoing debate on the merit and demerit of pursuing peace dialogue with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malala Yousafzai, who was herself targeted by militants on November 9, 2012, supports talks.
She said the problem of militancy should be addressed through dialogue. “You cannot end a war through war nor peace is possible though bloodshed,” she said, talking to Express News from Birmingham in a special programme hosted by Javaid Chaudhry.
This was her first interview to any Pakistani news network since after the assassination attempt. Malala urged the TTP chief Mulla Fazlullah and other Taliban groups to lay down their weapons for the sake of peace and adopt the path of democracy.
“If Taliban want to implement the Islamic system then they should lay down their weapons, adopt the path of democracy, ask forgiveness from the families of those who became a victim of terrorism and take part in the elections,” Malala recommended.
She said if Pakistanis are dissatisfied with existing system, they will vote for the new system. “If the Taliban get public support through votes then they have the right to rule the country,” she added.
Talking about terrorism, she said the way of terror was adopted by those who had gone through harsh and difficult times.
Malala also apologised for not adding the phrase ‘Peace Be Upon Him’ when referring to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in her book ‘I am Malala’. “It was the publisher’s mistake, which will be removed in the coming edition,” she assured.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2014.