The Swat valley failed to ensure safety to a social activist who is yet to attain adulthood. What is more tragic is that another innocent schoolgirl was also wounded by the gunman who belongs to the fold of Tehreek-e-Taliban, the Pakistani offshoot of the Taliban. This has created ripples of protest on the national level in Pakistan also. It is heartening to learn that President Asif Ali Zardari sent flowers to the wounded Malala, Raja Pervez Ashraf, the prime minister, ordered the helicopter be sent to move her from Mingora for urgent treatment.
The Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan shamelessly claimed responsibility on behalf of the Pakistan Taliban. The Talibans, as the whole world knows, impose severe restrictions on women's freedom and female education since the time they have gained prominence. "She was pro-west, she was speaking against Taliban and she was calling President Obama her ideal leader," Ehsan told Reuters. " She was young but she was promoting western culture in Pashtun areas," The Taliban had previously announced the girl was on their "hit list" because of her backing for "the imposition of secular government" in Swat.
The Swat valley, a popular place for Pakistani tourists is a beautiful mountainous area which is three-hour drive from capital Islamabad. The Taliban began a takeover of the area in 2001 and closed girls' schools, forced men to grow beards and denied fundamental rights to women.
The dauntless Malala stood firm against the militants and wrote a blog for the BBC’s Urdu service website under the pseudonym Gul Makai. She wrote about the chaotic condition that prevailed in schools and academic institutions. She also focused on the fears raging in the minds of her classmates. Malala was awarded the country's first National Peace Award and a reward of £3,300 after she missed out on winning the International Children's Peace Prize for which she was nominated in 2011.
She was now planning to set up a vocational institute for marginalised girls in the area. Pakistan is now gradually rising to the occasion. The horrors of Taliban bombings and attacks did not perturb them much. But the cruel way the Taliban have chosen for themselves only deserves hate and nothing else. The Pakistani people are simmering in anger against the gruesome attempt to kill a young child.
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