Pakistani Taliban, in an assassination bid, have lethally wounded Malala Yousafzai – a 14-year-old rights activist who gained international recognition for her stand against Taliban ban on girls’ education in the Swat Valley, in NW Pakistan.
She campaigned through both Pakistani and Western media for allowing girls in the valley to continue education. When she was 11, she kept a diary in Urdu where she chronicled brutalities of brief Taliban rule in the valley.
She is known for her mature commentaries and views, wise beyond her age.
Taliban took over Swat valley in 2008-09 and imposed Sharia rule which banned girls’ education and even restricted their movement outside their homes provided they covered their whole body and were accompanied by a male relative.
Last year they were flushed out of the valley by the Pakistani army, but militants have maintained their presence through sporadic bombings and targeted killings.
Malala Yousafzai became a ray of hope for girls in the Valley and beyond in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Her courage, impeccable it is considering her open campaign against brutal Taliban regime, won many hearts and international fame.
BBC and New York Times produced documentaries on her life.
Luckily, Malala has survived the murder attempt on her. But her condition remains critical. Pakistani Taliban has vowed that they would hunt her down if she survives.
This shows that Taliban is a misogynist and sadist organization rather than a political outfit.
Taliban means ‘students’ – of Islam basically. Even their prophet wouldn’t have agreed to their brutal suppression of women’s and human rights.
Pakistani media have condemned the attack vociferously. This is not enough. Condemning is easy, but during calmer times, they have to give more importance to issues such as this than fanning anti-American sentiments.
Malala Yousafzai is a a modern-day Anne Frank – the girl who vividly recorded for posterity the life under Nazi rule in the dungeon during the worst days of Holocaust.
Our prayers are with Malala. If she survives, she should be given full protection and her voice should me made heard across the world.
I am sad that Indian media is not covering this sad episode.