North western part of Pakistan has been undergoing a turmoil for over half a decade due to unabated free hand to fundamentalist group led by Tehrik-e-Taliban which continue to target liberal elements in the Pakistani society and one such incident which hit not only headlines in South Asia as well internationally was on October 9 this year, when Malala Yousufzai, 14-year-old girl was shot in her head by armed gunmen from the Tehrik-e-Taliban camp in Mingora located in the north-western Swat valley of Pakistan. Two other girls from her school were injured too. Malala battles with her life, people across Pakistan pray for her well being.
Malala shot to fame in 2009 when she published her diary under name of Gul Makai for BBC urdu division in which she mentioned about sufferings caused by Taliban during their occupation in Swat valley. Taliban exited from Swat valley in 2009, but the brave girl kept receiving death threats from the barbaric group. In 2011, Pakistani government awarded her national peace award, this was when she came into the limelight of national and international media.
None in the Pakistani government and security establishment cared for her, until she was attacked by Taliban. Her shooting brought out international condemnation as well as from the Pakistani media and parliamentarians. Pakistani political and security class reacted promptly after attack on her and put a huge cash reward to all those who will provide information about attackers.
Prayers and condemnation came across major cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Multan. This sort of condemnation and anger showcased the dormant liberal elements in the society of Pakistan coming alive and forming a public opinion against atrocities committed by the Taliban.
On the other side, Taliban have always disposed off secularism and proposed Sharia law which is of discriminatory nature and detested the idea of providing education for girls. Malala showcased in her dairy horrific account of sufferings when Taliban reigned supreme in the Swat valley and issued sermons through FM channel.
International pressure and ferocity of attack on an innocent yet brave girl child united liberal voices across Pakistan to not succumb to pressure tactics and threats deployed by the Taliban commanders from time to time. Attack on Malala has definitely brought up the question for the Pakistani government and security establishment to re-think on the policy of engaging with Taliban especially in North Waziristan area, where the theatre of conflict continues. And Taliban continue to rule the roost.
Taliban may be divided into various factions in the NWFP and FATA regions, but they are united on one cause that is opposition of NATO led forces in Afghanistan and its anti-west tirade. Drone strikes on Taliban installations have no doubt killed several civilians in these regions, but they have also destroyed command and control systems of Taliban on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Although, drone strikes may have proved to be counter-productive in eliminating Taliban from these regions, new voice primarily led by Imran Khan and extremist parties against drone strikes in these regions has come up in last few months. Now with attack on Malala Yousfzai has brought in question the stance of Imran Khan to go soft with Taliban in Pakistan.
The brave girl is one of victims of the targeted killings in which Taliban has attained specialization and precision. Politicians from PPP and Awami National Party have been attacked several times by these enemies of humanity, in order to eliminate the social liberal narrative which is opposed to Taliban presence in these regions.
Imran Khan has been known proponent of talking with Taliban in order to integrate them in the Pakistani society. Unless violence continues and innocent children like Malala are targeted question of talking with Taliban may not be a good proposition for either army or government of Pakistan.