Daughter of the Nation
The attack on Malala Yousufzai has put us all to shame. While the liberals demand a tolerant, progressive Pakistan and the Army promises to stamp out terrorism, a young girl in Mingora, Swat is gunned down in an assassination attempt simply because she wished to go to school. As mentioned in your story, Malala was an outspoken critic of Taliban rule in Swat and often wrote against the group’s various injustices towards women and the closing of girls schools. She revealed such atrocities in her diary, writing
under the pen-name Gul Makai, for the BBC blog project titled, ‘Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl.’ While she may have had her voice heard in international quarters and even provoked the wrath of the Taliban, as spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan mentioned, there is absolutely no justification for such a heinous act against any child on the soil of Pakistan. We should not consume ourselves with debating whether Malala herself provoked such an attack despite the warnings but should rather focus on preventing such future crimes. The Pakistani government declared a public holiday and in a rare show of solidarity, schoolchildren, the Army Chief, members of the Sunni Ittehad Council, political leaders and civil society members singularly condemned the attack. The UN also announced November 10 as Malala Day, alluding to the need for girls’ education. However, it needs to be seen what the Pakistani government and the Army do to stamp out the real problem beyond declaring public holidays and displaying public support.
Minahil Riaz Karachi, Pakistan