Malala Yousafzai's attackers arrested: DG ISPR

Published: September 12, 2014
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Malala Yousafzai. PHOTO: AFP

Malala Yousafzai. PHOTO: AFP

Militants behind the attack on Malala Yousafzai and two other school girls have been identified and arrested, Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Asim Bajwa revealed in a press briefing on the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan. 

The other two victims were Malala’s classmates, Shazia and Qainat.

Bajwa stated that the 10 arrested militants had admitted to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Mullah Fazlullah being the mastermind of the attack on all three school girls.

Bajwa further revealed the names of the militants involved in the attacked, six of whom can be identified as Izharullah – who was the first man to be arrested in this case — Asrar, Zafar Iqbal, Zafar Ali and Suleman.

“Zafar Iqbal, who owned a furniture shop in Swat, was the head of the ‘Shura’. He followed the instructions of Fazlullah – who was present in Kunar province of Afghanistan,” Bajwa said.

He said the arrested culprits would be tried in an anti-terrorism court.

“This was an intelligence-led operation, and police were also involved in the case,” Bajwa said, adding, “Ten of the arrested militants hail from Malakand.”

Bajwa added that the terrorists had also revealed that they had plans to murder 22 significant locals – including members of the Aman Committee and notables from Swat, mentioned in a list provided to them by Fazlullah.

The attack had taken place on October 9, 2012 during which two militants had identified Malala after which they opened fire on her. Following the attack on Malala, the militants proceeded to fire on the school van, injuring Shazia and Qainat as a result.

Reacting to the news, Malala’s father in a statement said it was ‘good news’ not only for his family, but for people of Pakistan and the civilised world.

He said this first step of arresting the attackers signifies hope for hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been affected by terrorism in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in Swat and other parts of the country.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of the security forces and police in bringing these men to justice and fighting for the reestablishment of peace. This is the beginning of the real restoration of the writ of the government, where the rule of law and justice prevails for all.”

The DG ISPR said the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been successful so far, stating that 45 ‘hardcore’ militants have been killed, while 134 ‘hardcore’ militants have been arrested in 2,200 operations.

“Over 1,000 militants have been killed in North Waziristan, and the updates are released on a daily basis,” Bajwa said in response to a question.

“All militants involved in the attack on the Quaid-e-Azam Ziarat Residency have also been arrested. It was our big success, although it wasn’t publicised much,” the DG ISPR said.

Moreover, he added that the militants involved in the attack on Quetta Airport and Khalid Aviation Base have been killed. Additionally, militants involved in the Raiwind, Lahore and Naval Dockyard, Karachi attack have been arrested.

“A proper strategy is being chalked out in collaboration with the civilian government, and the operation will continue till the last militant is eliminated,” he reiterated.

‘Army has nothing to do with the government’s affairs’

Moreover, in regard to the ongoing protests against the incumbent government being staged by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) in Islamabad, Bajwa said he “believes in the complete supremacy of the law and Constitution. The army facilitated in attempting to end the political deadlock in the greater national interest of the country.”

“The army has nothing to do with the government’s affairs,” he added.

Further, referring to the attack on the premises of the PTV building during the clashes between the protesters and the Punjab police in the capital, he said it was the army’s responsibility to protect buildings inside the Red Zone, not outside of it.

“The Red Zone was our responsibility, and the attack on the PTV Headquarters was not our fault,” he said

“We are a force of Pakistan’s masses, and are always concerned whenever there is a crisis in the country. But we want to remain and operate within the Constitutional framework,” he said, adding, “The army’s stance is clear; it’s a political issue and must be resolved politically.”

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Riz
    Sep 12, 2014 - 4:50PM

    Very long period to arrest them but Pakistan Army Zindabad. Army should also interfere the on going political crisis.

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  • Ali Raja
    Sep 12, 2014 - 5:12PM

    Haters !!! Haters!!! come on attack ISPR now

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Sep 12, 2014 - 5:13PM

    Great job. Also arrest anarchists who have maligned army. Chaudhrys of Gujrat, Sheikh Rashid, Imran and Fake Revolutionary thug should be arrested and prosecuted for treason.

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  • Mohammed
    Sep 12, 2014 - 5:29PM

    I hope those idiots who claimed this attack was staged by Malala are embarrassed and have the guts to apologise to this brave young lady. She has shown more bravery in her short life than these losers have managed in their entire lives.

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  • Jibran
    Sep 12, 2014 - 6:07PM

    Good news. Lets hope the “independent” judges inducted by Baba-e-Corruption, Iftikhar Chaudhry, don’t release them.

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  • yousafhaque
    Sep 12, 2014 - 6:13PM

    I think this silence by the commentators on the subject of Malala is to acknowledge the great sacrifice she made for the cause of education in Pakistan

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  • Good News
    Sep 12, 2014 - 6:15PM

    That is great news and a commendable job done by the intelligence services and KPK police. Hopefully, now, the haters can reduce their hate. Those from our neighbour who attack every negative development in our country and those within our country who thought this was a part of some ‘great ploy’. Also thank you to the world for showing so much respect to one Pakistani; she is a role model for others.

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  • Sep 12, 2014 - 6:39PM

    @Riz:
    Pak Army Zinda Bad

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  • Sep 12, 2014 - 6:40PM

    Pakistan Army is the best.

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  • salman
    Sep 12, 2014 - 6:58PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Its PMLN and Jang group affiliates who are maligning Army all the time and believe that ISI behind PTI and PAT’s protest.

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  • rohit950723
    Sep 12, 2014 - 6:58PM

    People who attacked Malala are criminals & enemies of education & progress. These people must be punished. First time in my life, I must admit that it is a great work done by Pak Army. They have shown great courage to fight terrorism..

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  • unbelievable
    Sep 12, 2014 - 7:00PM

    Kudos for catching them. Whats the penalty in Pakistan for trying to murder little girls?

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  • MA
    Sep 12, 2014 - 7:06PM

    This a great news. We hope the right people were arrested. Now make sure they get life in prison for attempted murder. Courts need to step up and police need to have solid evidence. I hope it is not just an attempt to recover from a setback that military suffered for its dubious role in current sit-ins.

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  • kulwant singh
    Sep 12, 2014 - 7:29PM

    I express my greetings for Pakistan Army and also say Pak Army Zindabad carry on your good work and eliminate all terrorists including those whom my Pakistani brothers say they are supported by India.

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  • asif
    Sep 12, 2014 - 8:13PM

    Somehow try and sentence them in military courts. No trust left in civilian judges. They will be busy trying Musharraf.

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  • muhammad
    Sep 12, 2014 - 8:15PM

    Actions speak louder than words.

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  • Muslim Leaguer
    Sep 12, 2014 - 8:24PM

    This is a big slap on the face of blindfolded followers of Imran Khan, who kept claiming that attack on Malala was all concoction. Another false claim ofImran Khan is proven wrong!Recommend

  • csmann
    Sep 12, 2014 - 9:46PM

    A slap in the face of Malala-haters who are, in essence, Taliban accomplices.

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  • Sep 12, 2014 - 11:11PM

    Former President Reagan’s famous quote from 1985: “you can run but you cannot hide” holds true today. Terrorists’ days are numbered. They can run but they will be either caught or eliminated. How sorry is the mindset of the terrorists who would try and kill little girls who had the audacity to gain knowledge through education that their country, their culture and their religion allows them.

    Time has come to put all terrorists on notice again and let this ring clear that all civilized people will welcome the apprehension of terrorists who attacked the young school girls in Swat.

    Abdul Quddus
    DET – U.S. Central Command

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  • Ali
    Sep 12, 2014 - 11:17PM

    @Muslim Leaguer: When did IK say about that unfortunate event being staged? The very next day when Malala was attacked he went to the hospital. Not like you, i have searched everywhere twice and found nothing about him calling it a fabricated event. Stop proving us all how stupid and blatant liers noons are, we already know. Whoever blamed Malala for that event was a total loser, we should thank Allah (SWT) that he has blessed our society with such brave people. Don’t play politics over it. will you?

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  • Parvez
    Sep 12, 2014 - 11:25PM

    Well done….now ensure they are punished.

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  • Observing Pakistan Decay
    Sep 12, 2014 - 11:46PM

    When will the supporters of talibans be arrested and tried ? Supporters who did not want to call Pakistani military people as shaheed but were calling talibans as shaheeds? Supporters like leaders of PTI who did their best to scare pakistsni of taking any action against talibans despite daily life loss at talibans’ hands ?

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  • Atif
    Sep 13, 2014 - 1:07AM

    It’s good news but this should have been accomplished years ago!

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  • Sonia Sajjad
    Sep 13, 2014 - 3:32AM

    There was little support for Malala Yousafzai by the general public, so lets get real here. Most thought she was a pawn for the West for a country that allowed their daughter to be shot & it took 4 years for the perpertrators to be caught says what importance is put to protect children. The decision by the military to make this announcement is suspicious now are they trying to deiffuse the political unrest in the country. Earlier these were the Malala-deniers that were held in high esteem by the suppoerters of the Taliban but there was NO outcry from the general public!

    Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP the 16-year-old had done nothing to deserve the Nobel.
    “We are delighted that she didn’t get it. She did nothing big so it’s good that she didn’t get it,” Shahid said by telephone from an undisclosed location.
    “This award should be given to the real Muslims who are struggling for Islam. Malala is against Islam, she is secular.”
    Such suspicion and even contempt for Malala is not uncommon in Pakistan – in contrast to her reception in the West, where she has been courted by politicians and feted by celebrities like Angelina Jolie and Madonna.
    “Most people think this attack on Malala was a fake and a staged drama,” Ibrar Khan, a political science student in Mingora.

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  • El Cid
    Sep 13, 2014 - 4:07AM

    @unbelievable: “Whats the penalty in Pakistan for trying to murder little girls?”

    Murder, rape, slaughter, sell thousands of other little children into prostitution, local and abroad. Carpet bomb four small towns. Bulldoze the homes of two million people. Capture their property by force and put them in internal exile under the hot Summer Sun in Ramzan. Start a ground assault on the old and sick who could not get out in time, with heavy armor on Eid Day!

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  • Clueless
    Sep 13, 2014 - 4:17AM

    Maybe IK can sit down and negotiate/rehabilitate them?

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  • SH
    Sep 13, 2014 - 4:52AM

    @Muslim Leaguer:
    Imran Khan never said it was staged. Please stop spreading false information to gain supporters.

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  • Zippo
    Sep 13, 2014 - 4:59AM

    Is Pakistan trying to mend fences by pleasing the West?

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  • unbelievable
    Sep 13, 2014 - 5:46AM

    @US CENTCOM: Sounds great … but the quote ” you can run but you can’t hide” implies that someone was actively looking for them which doesn’t apply in this case.

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  • abid
    Sep 13, 2014 - 5:58AM

    Seriously who cares abt malala anymore?.

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  • El Cid
    Sep 13, 2014 - 7:52AM

    It is time for brave hearts, iconoclastic minds to expose the lie of this MI6 agent…now on a sabbatical and advanced training at her HQ.

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  • El Cid
    Sep 13, 2014 - 8:24AM

    @US CENTCOM:

    Give me a break. RR cut and run the first chance he go…besides almost unleashing nuclear war while reading script, forgetting he was in the White House, not in Hollywood.Recommend

  • lkhan
    Sep 13, 2014 - 8:59PM

    Great collaborative work by Pakistan’s armed forces, intelligence services, police force and local communities – absolutely great work considering in most countries you do not encounter it, there being jealousies, suspicion and so on between government agencies. Three cheers for all involved, and carry on the great work!!!

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  • Zeenat Lumaz
    Sep 14, 2014 - 2:00AM

    @abid Seriously who cares abt malala anymore?. Exactly people like you consider violence against women a real male privilege? beat them or abuse them while you throw acid on their faces is that what satisfies the ultimate male ego?

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