Society

The Swat Valley Bleeds:

Taliban Attack on Malala Yousafzai

The Talibans are barbaric and they never allow anyone to speak out against the Islamic militants. Malala Yousafzai did not speak out against them. She campaigned for promoting girl’s education which the Talibans misinterpreted as ‘pro-Western’. The Talibans attempted to kill her and shot her in the head and neck while she was sitting with her classmates in a school bus in Mingora in the Swat valley.

The ghastly incident triggered a wave of revulsion all over the globe. The Swat valley is famous for army operations which are aimed at crushing Taliban insurgency. In 2009 major operations were mounted.

It is now clear that  the militants' operation in Swat is not fully dismantled. The Swat valley failed even today to ensure safety a social activist who is yet to attain adulthood. What is more tragic is that another innocent schoolgirl was also shot wounded by the gunman who belongs to the fold of Tehreek-e-Taliban, the Pakistani offshoot of the Talibans. 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 Pakistani Talibans. 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 hours drive from Islamabad. The Taliban began a takeover of the area, in the 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 used to write blogs 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 mind of her classmates. Malala was awarded her 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 is now planning to set up a vocational institute for marginalized girls in her 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 Talibans have chosen for themselves only deserve hate and nothing else. The Pakistani people are simmering in anger against the gruesome attempt of the Talibans against a 14 year girl child. The director of Pakistan radio discovered how pity like a naked new born baby blasts the sky in Pakistan. He focused on the outpouring of sympathy and support for the young school girl who could fearlessly campaign against extremism and terrorism which have today become the arch enemy for the globe itself. The ripple of protest took the shape of waves in Pakistan and it goes beyond the ‘educated elite’.
 

10-Oct-2012

More by :  Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee

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