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It took them by surprise. Comfortable in the belief that the nation has well and truly been converted to a narrative that explains the violence of Islamic militants in Pakistan as an expression of defiance against everything from ‘US imperialism’ to the ‘invasion of Hindu and Western culture’. The advocates of this narrative were taken aback with the way the majority of Pakistanis and the mainstream media responded to young Malala Yousufzai’s shooting by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

As the social media wing of Imran Khan’s PTI went into overdrive on Twitter and Facebook in trying to explain their leader’s rather ambiguous stand on TTP, religious parties such as the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI), and the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, were caught stuttering in front of an aggressive media backlash. They were first shaken up and then exhibited anger at the way the media was putting them on the spot.

Amazingly, even though all these parties (including the once ‘new’ PTI) have in them seasoned political players. Their response to the hostility that they faced from the media, and from their political opponents (for not taking a clear stand against the extremists), suggests that none of them had even conceived a scenario where the electronic media would begin to furiously shoot holes in the narrative that these parties bank on.

But a week later and by the time young Malala was being flown to a hospital in Birmingham, a rearguard response from the so-called apologists coupled by a threat to the media by the TTP finally pulled back a bit the tide that was threatening to sweep away those being accused of punctuating their condemnation of the shooting with a series of buts and ifs.

A brief look at the way the events in this respect unfolded can further elaborate this: Malala is shot. TV channels and the websites of major Pakistani newspapers break the news. The news is at once shared across social media. Parties and personnel that are routinely denounced by right-wing outfits for ‘fighting America’s war’, condemn the shooting.

Soon, the TTP claim responsibility. Two of the ruling parties, MQM and ANP, begin to condemn the shooters by name. PTI and religious parties also begin to issue condemnations, but without mentioning TTP.

As details of the shooting begin to flood in, the electronic media, as if overnight, turns the apologist narrative on its head.

This is a turning point. Or so it seems. As hours pass, the media refuses to give vent to the many disclaimers that come with the condemnation statements of the PTI, JI and JUI. What’s more, a stern statement of the Chief of Army Staff, General Parvez Kiyani, appears, suggesting that the military will intensify its war against the Islamist militants.

What, the media begins to ask, did Malala have to do with US drone strikes? Those linking the brutal attack on her to the drones insist that the shooting was part of what the US is up to in the militant-infested areas of north-west Pakistan.

The media is not having any of that. A new day begins. Malala continues to hold on to dear life.

Days go by, as perhaps for the first time in the last decade or so, the apologists are finding themselves drowned out by accusations of being cowards and for trying to dilute the issue with the usual rhetoric about ‘nefarious US designs’ in the region.

The apologists call the shooters animals, barbarians, and what not, but refuse to take the name of those who proudly confessed to have sent the men to execute the school girl.

They are a reaction to US drone attacks, they keep saying. But what did Malala have to do with the drones? The media keeps asking.

On one channel, a woman JI member, pushed into a corner by a TV anchor who popularised the term ‘liberal fascist’ two years ago, tries to squeeze her way out by calling those accusing her party of cowardice, as liberal fascists. It’s a desperate act. She thinks this might soften the anchor’s stance. It doesn’t.

PTI, JI and JUI leaders and their supporters slightly change tact. Now they begin to ask, What about all the other Malalas killed in drone attacks?

The ‘liberal fascists’ snicker: This is strange, they say. When the same media was going about decrying the plight of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, none of them were concerned about so many other Aafias rotting in local jails (many of them without trial) and for crimes that were mostly committed by men.

They further enquire, How come when for weeks the media covered Dr. Aafia’s case, none of these parties accused it of exaggeration, or of overreacting like they are now?

Still feeling cornered and sounding sheepish, some PTI and JI supporters in cyberspace flood Twitter and Facebook with a tragic photograph of a young girl supposedly injured in a drone attack. But within hours the picture is proven to be a shameless forgery.

But even this does not stop those hell-bent on stubbornly holding on to their delusions. Pictures of Malala sitting with former US diplomat, late Richard Holbrooke, emerge. Yes, being a Pashtun girl from Swat valley she should’ve been seen tending sheep instead.

Then a TV anchor suggests that the cyber diaries written by Malala for BBC were actually written by someone else. Malala is unconscious to answer him. But then maybe so is his conscience.

Days pass. In spite of a huge rally by the MQM, openly condemning the TTP, the apologists slip back on the mini-screen. An ‘investigative reporter’, who, during the Swat girl flogging episode, was explaining the act being according to Sharia, this is how he analysed the Malala episode: “Very sad, indeed. But all this is due to our slavery for the US.”

His expert journalistic, geo-political analysis continued: “Our decision to join America’s war was against the dictates of Quran and Sunnah.” Seriously?

The apologists may make a comeback, but their response to Malala’s shooting will not be recorded by history as a story of gallant, principled men.

It will record it as a story of those who lied, forged and carelessly quoted from holy scripture just to defend a questionable narrative inflated by nothing else but their misplaced egos.

Email feedback and queries to Dawn.com's editorial team, or visit our contact page

Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com

He tweets @NadeemfParacha

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


Comments (133) Closed

Oct 21, 2012 03:32pm
Very recently NFP wrote about the distortions in Pakistani history books. In the same vein - I have seen the bit about Raja Dahir's attacking Muslim ships and imprisoning women in several comments even prior to this. NonPakistani history books - which does not mean Indian history books necessarily - say a different thing. Namely, pirates off the coast of Sind did the attacking (Dahir was weak - think piracies off today's Somalian coast), which gave the Umayyad governor the opportunity that he was looking for anyway. Bin Qasem, BTW, met a very unfortunate end too. Readers may want to Google ``Surya Devi Parmal Devi''. However, I do agree that Pakistan now has an opportunity to root out fundamentalist violence.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 10:51am
Before you go out to save Pakistan make certain you know what you really want.
Oct 21, 2012 01:10pm
To blame US is a lazy explanation.The complicated situation took 65 years to make and religion as basis for Pakistan is causing power to be concentrated in the hands of few, who have always made sure to exploit religion for power and it has worked till now.This is not the sound basis for grabbing power because problems are increasing by the day and one leader who inspired youth is not willing to take the problem head on.
jay komerath
Oct 21, 2012 06:10pm
very sensible article-Reason and commensense prevails.
Oct 21, 2012 08:11am
I think the AUTHOR doesn't recall the atrocities for MQM....and Condemnation by MQM makes it sins and atrocities washed away....and becomes a saint in comparison with other parties...xyz
Oct 22, 2012 08:48am
:-)....Cyrus Howell does spend a disproportionate amount of time looking for quotes on the internet, but hey, you can't expect him to research each of them, can you? He'll post it if it sounds remotely contextual. He's very persistent...:-)
Oct 21, 2012 09:05am
Continuing from my previous comment. I am and will remain IK and PTI supporter. He may not be the perfect leader for some but for me he does tick all the right boxes and he has shown sincerity honesty and integrity- an attribut lacking in all of the other parties and their leaders. He has been blamed for a lot of things and he may have a different strategy to tackle the TTP or Waziristan issue but atleast he has thought it through and I think at least I will give him the benefit of doubt and put my trust in him to lead Pakistan through this mess. NFP in his previous blog criticised IK on his gut feeling and arrogant attitude when it does not work. I believe that gut feeling is important and a lot times it is what may be the only solution to work in an impossible scenario and IK's gut has had more positive results than negative.
Dr Shahid (@DR_SHAHID)
Oct 21, 2012 12:04pm
Dear @NadeemfParacha You Must Seriously Think About What Mehreen Just Pointed Out. Yes If We Have To Save #Pakistan, We Have To Change The Mindset. Just Add Translate To Urdu Option
Ahmed j
Oct 21, 2012 10:58am
What is the difference between you and the mad mullah then? You have opted their thinking.
Muhammad Ahmed
Oct 21, 2012 10:59am
Every one keeps mentioning, " What does Malala have to do with drone strikes?" . The answer is "Nothing!". It also raises another question. "What does Malala incident have to do with north waziristan?". The answer which no one is ready to take on its face value is , "Nothing!". Were the people who attacked Malala from north Waziristan? No. Is Fazlulah in North Waziristan? No. Is the best answer to Malala another operation which will kill more innocent people and army will still not be able to regain complete control to curtail militant activity? No, the better choice probably is to identify small scale SSG operations and carry out surgical strikes. We should be able to take down Fazlullah but he seems to enjoy the "Mehman Nawazi" of our dear neighbors in the west. I think the biggest weapon we will have in this fight is ensuring EDUCATION for more youngsters in more areas. This fight will not be won by one final battle. It took 60 years for it to reach this level so you may have to give it more time before things can return to normalcy. During this time any type of school should become functional regardless if its pupils are boys or girls. The modified madrassah system should be engaged for women education and disguised Khan Academy like courses should be made available within such system. The most important mission which ensures the gradual depletion of Taliban resources is a school system which gives the pupils ability to think and understand the importance of tolerance. PTI, JI, PMLN, PPP, ANP, MQM and BLP can all rot in hell for caring more about upcoming elections rather this tragedy. Malala along with other children in Swat, North Waziristan and all over Pakistan will receive education and all of us will make sure that we make it possible by any means.
Shaukat Raza
Oct 21, 2012 08:39am
Brother hui, alas, your brain seems to be as tiny as you nick. Have a nice day.
Oct 21, 2012 08:42am
Yawar, I am basically on your side. Don't misunderstand my comment. But not so long ago Altaf Hussain in his telephone speeches to MQM workers and general public quite strongly condemned US and UK policies and seemed like swaying to the typical right-wing Pakistani rhetoric. But then there was silence from him on such matters. Now, on the eve of attack on Malala he has come out clear favoring the 'other side'. I am not really looking for answers or justification. But the only point I wanted to make was that you can never trust the politicians.
Ali Ashfaq
Oct 21, 2012 12:48pm
Just one request to all those who support Drones and who justify one brutality with the other. Plz also tell us how are they so confident that those who are killed in a Drone Attacks are all Terrorists. I also want this assurance. is the US so credible to be believed what they say. I personally hate TTP and but I like IK and Malala
Shaukat Raza
Oct 21, 2012 08:43am
Great point. Btw, IK will be in NY for a huge charity bash next week. Can't believe it. He goes around bashing the US here, then gets a US visa, goes there and asks money from US citizens. Weird scenario.
Oct 22, 2012 03:13am
Not quite. I am not an all-out supporter of AAZ. I see things on a case to case basis. Obviously, militancy has thrived in Pakistan because the general public has a soft corner for anything done in the name of Islam (even including senseless things). To many in tribal areas, Islamic form of government, even if it is based on militant interpretation, is not so dreadful. Also, even after any operation in any part of tribal belt is over, there will be no end to the mindset that is against West and democracy. Ok, they will give up arms but you cannot eradicate the mindset in one day. It is a slow process. I think what AAZ has said in this case is something for all politicians to ponder. It is important to establish writ of the state but it is also important to make the process sustainable. Of course, military operation every 3 years is not the solution. All people in the society have to co-exist now and forever. Building a reasonable consensus (not 100%) is important for the process to be successful and sustainable. Blind killing is not what military operation means. There has to be a political and civilian cover to it.
Shanza Shireen Siddiqi
Oct 22, 2012 09:25pm
He isn't singling out the TTP, he's attacking PTI and boxing both these parties with JI, He's also ignoring the PML-N's stance in all of this.
Oct 21, 2012 09:06am
Mudassar, I wish you guys would have used the word inshallah more for Malala than for PTI. Just a thought.
Amir Saeed
Oct 21, 2012 01:04pm
I reprouduce Mr Tabish Ali's letter here. It can be addressed to NFP as well. This is with reference to Feisal H Naqvi
Oct 21, 2012 02:29pm
Let me suggest Nadeem to write about TTP, what is their intent? I doesn't make sense that they are dreaming about getting in power in Pakistan through violence. Is JI JUP and likes are trying to use them as their vehicle to power? is it again the dual military strategy "strategic depth"???
Oct 21, 2012 07:56am
IK should merge his PTI with TTP to fight against the Americans. You should do what you preach.
Oct 21, 2012 08:32am
You are so powerful and clear NFP. Kudos.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 05:55pm
"It took 60 years for it to reach this level so you may have to give it more time before things can return to normalcy." I don't think Karachi has more time. There will be a fight. It just depends on where you want to have it.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 05:47pm
Imagining Imran Khan can succeed in winning is putting the cart in front of the horse.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 05:51pm
Election or no election the government will not act.
Oct 21, 2012 05:46pm
Brilliantly put, NASHA.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 05:44pm
President Zardari just said,
Oct 21, 2012 02:42pm
The inept authorities in Pakistan will not be the ones to lead and eradicate this cancerous menace of extremism but it will be the likes of "Malala" who will lead the public to rise up and march to dive out the un-Islamic "mullahs" and their barbaric followers to reclaim this precious Pakistan of ours! Inshallah.
Oct 22, 2012 08:44pm
If you don't like it, don't read it!
Oct 21, 2012 08:19am
Every political party and every extremist-sympathizing outfit in Pakistan is deluding itself with its convenient and pet belief that the route cause of every ill in Pakistani society is the US. It is difficult to reason with people who refuse to admit their cowardice and wrap their opinion in pseudo principles living in constant self-delusion. It really helps both the civilian govt and the military!
Nazar Sandhu
Oct 21, 2012 02:28pm
Qasim was no prize. he was responsible for the massacre of thousands of the original inhabitants of Sindh. his main goal was to loot the wealth of Sindh. Prior to the massacre by this criminal Sindh had a rich history including being part of the great Indus civilization. We should not glorify this criminal who was perhaps one of reasons why Pakistan is in such a bad shape.
Oct 21, 2012 01:53pm
Lovely. I love it.
Oct 21, 2012 01:57pm
Dear Nadeem continue writing your insightful posts. God Bless you.
Oct 21, 2012 01:58pm
What is wrong with being a secular muslim and a progressive democratic? That is what the founder of this country wanted.
Oct 21, 2012 08:57am
Your comment reminds me of Zia ul Haq's referendum speech (Dec 1984). He showed the nation his five fingers and said if you want Islamic system in Pakistan, then I am your President for 5 years. If PPP and PML-N have not been able to perform very well, then do have to vote in PTI? What logic is this? Zia logic? If our young lot has a limited and inflexible mindset, then Pakistan has less hope and more issues.
Oct 21, 2012 02:21pm
Excellent work ... see it actually works when you somehow able to not look at things from a Jiyala's perspective and portray PPP's point of view. On another note, I am not able to understand the not so subtle references to MQM in this piece. This really wasn't about them was it. Nevertheless, shame on all the 'brokers of belief" - (invite the readers to be as liberal as possible in the translation and interpretation of brokers)
Oct 21, 2012 08:38am
Mr bhatti stop making them pathetic assumptions about anyone whom you don't even know, that's what you guys are doing on social media just to bash PTI and claiming to be PTI supporters, so that we are getting blamed for your actions, but my friend these tactics won't work anymore, hope you know too
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:57pm
Please don't forget the Japanese.
Oct 21, 2012 08:47am
sadly the 'hui-s' of the world are incapable of changing their myopic thoughts..the most we can do is ensure other people don't drift over to the 'hui land'.. we want Jinnah's Pakistan, not JUI or right wing's..
Shaukat Raza
Oct 21, 2012 08:48am
Good point, Observer. These politicos swing a bit too much. But it is also correct thst much of MQM's politics has remained largely secular. They were also one of the first parties to hold anti-Taliban rallies and a huge one against the Lal Masjid terrorists.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 11:07am
A brand new populist political party would catch on very quickly. A party promising funded educational opportunities for everyone. Without public education Pakistan will remain stranded. . A plan for bringing affordable education to rural areas via computer, LED lighting and Ipod technology could be a middle ground. Girls would not risk leaving home for school.. Home schooling would still allow perspective college students to pass entrance examinations if they work hard enough.
Shanza Shireen Siddiqi
Oct 22, 2012 09:31pm
The story is that she was shot for wanting to grow up and be a doctor(Like more than half the girls in this country). Her shooting has nothing to do with drones. However, the immediate backlash to the event (Which NFP conveniently ignores) , was a PML-N Punjab government led campaign against PTI, Musharraf and Anti-drone protests.
Oct 21, 2012 08:53am
What is 'biase'? My dictionary has crashed on this one. Mudassar's dictionary will probably help. His comment started like a true Brit. But lost the steam very soon. NFP is not self-proclaimed. He tells others what he sees from a Smokers' Corner. You need to get to that corner plus have an open mind to see what NFP sees. Try it. NFP has never claimed to be an intellectual as far as I know. I see him as just a person who keeps his eyes open. I also see the reason why Dawn's Moderator chooses not to publish your comments. The Moderator must not be able to understand what you try to say. Today when the Moderator has shared your comment, I think the Moderator has proven himself or herself right about not publishing your comments in the past. Can I ask the Moderator to never publish silly, judgmental comments written in wrong language. Why don't you guys focus your attention on Urdu newspapers which thrive on the mental level you have exhibited in your comment?
Oct 21, 2012 02:40pm
btw I see a change now in PTI's official stance, where from no operation they are drifting to talks and then operation against the defiants, which "fascist liberals" have been asking all along.
Oct 21, 2012 12:33pm
excellent article.i agree with zalim khans cure for the the mad mullah disease.
Freedom Seeker
Oct 21, 2012 07:57am
PTI, JI, JUI, PMLN and other right wingers were insisting on TV screens that terrorist are fighting because their families are being killed by drones. There are max. 3000 deaths in drones but TTP and other terrorist killed 40000 Pakistanis in revenge. Now if families of these 40000 decided to take revenge from these terrorist. Can PTI, JUI, JI and right wing parties stop that tsunami blood shed as it will be justified as per their own logic?
Sohaib YAHIA
Oct 21, 2012 01:02pm
Simply beautiful!
Oct 21, 2012 11:54am
Dearie Zalim, but now in UK you have all these mad Mullahs too who have spilled over from as far afield as Lahore / KSA and making similar hatred campaigns in Tooting and similar areas in major UK cities. A time bomb is waiting to explode there too. So don't feel too protected and immuned of this disease. Have you talked to Mr Cameron about the serious Talibanization scare in UK that exists and the need to eradicate it completely from the roots instead of fire fighting later?
Oct 21, 2012 10:23am
Very good story...yet to be implemented in green crescent infested countries
Oct 21, 2012 10:17am
Mr Faheem, I don't claim to be a Jiala, but yea I have my own personal opinion, as you mentioned a logic, don't you think that logic is enough to stop the war and give peace a chance?, don't you think we are the one those who are suffering a lot?, don't you think we should have thoughts to end this barbarism?, don't you think we have to stop this act of violence? And don't you think we are extremist in our thoughts and in our view points so that we suggest war is the only solution in our every column?
Oct 21, 2012 09:32pm
The attact on Malala is sad and condemnable. However, scores od Malalas are dying because of US drones, and if anybody dres to question tht, he is termed as middleages mentality. why this hyprocacy.
Oct 21, 2012 03:58pm
I think military and government is trying to do the same for few years.
Oct 21, 2012 09:52am
@ observer, wow what a mindset ......... don't you think calling me judgemental negate your philosophy of open mindedness?, don't you think being suggestive to modertor is also seems that you are trying to influence on his or her judgement of placing my comments here?, leave these double standards mate and keep some space in your mind, oh sorry i mean "open mind" for little criticism, i know you are unable to understand because you belong to the same class of so called open minded (forget about the mind, but should be open), let me tell you one thing this platform is not for the people like you as claimed open minded, this is the place for everyone whoever want to share his or her thoughts, oh yea I do read Urdu columns as well, just for your information.
Oct 21, 2012 09:52am
lets blame it on the media. lets blame it on some political party. or better yet lets just blame it on America. that is all that we pakistanis know how to do now right.? we keep blaming each other but no one ever takes an initiative to fix things. we need to stop blaming others and start looking at ourselves. we have sufficient sources of knowledge on the internet now that we shouldnt be this dependent on the media. the media can do what it likes. its not a problem just here in pakistan but around the world. but i dont see why we cant spend half an hour a day to read blogs and gain knowledge on issues from polar viewpoints. :-/
Oct 21, 2012 09:50am
Discount sale for all pti internet warriors ! Moulana taliban khan alias imran khan ( ex cricketer turned polititian) giving out free fatwas, buy 1 get dozens free......
Oct 21, 2012 03:58pm
Keti, It's not the religion that's the problem but it's the followers who have put their own "spin" or wrong interpretation of Islam is the problem!
Oct 21, 2012 09:47am
peace does not work with the taliban. u cannot negotiate with them. people are quick to forget the swat incidence. we negotiated and then there were reports of people getting whipped there. even a video. i dont think it was amreka ki saazish. how can you negotiate with someone who will not settle for less then everything. if we do start negotiations with taliban at this point, we will be on lower ground. negotiating with them now would only mean that we allow them to victimize more malalas and further surpress the indigeneous population in waziristan. a military intervention is the only way. GA PAK FAUJ
Oct 21, 2012 09:36am
We had in the UK not so long a go "mad cow disease" Hundreds and thousands of these "animals" were "killed" huge pits excavated in the fields,the army had to be called in who "shot the animals in the head" then bulldozed them into the pits, petrol poured over them and then set alight, "job done" Now what we have in Pakistan is the "Mad Mullah disease" Why not take a "leaf out of what the army did over here in the UK to "our animals,that had gone mad"?
M. Fahim
Oct 21, 2012 09:36am
Mr. Mudassar, you seem to be a "jialla" and best of luck for you from my side..:-) There`s advice for you """ be specific to the relevant subject and defend your views/opinions with logic not by just criticizing""""
Iqbal khan
Oct 21, 2012 04:00pm
What an irony , so called main stream muslims(talbans )shot a Muslim girl and infedels are trying to save her life.As far as Imran Khan is concerned he stand better chance in politics if he merge his PTI with TTP and come out openly with his agenda.I very much like MQM and ANP stand on this matter.
Oct 21, 2012 02:48pm
The inept authorities in Pakistan will not be the ones to lead the eradication of this cancerous menace of extremism but it will be the likes of
Jehanzeb Naeem Khan
Oct 21, 2012 09:34am
I have to be perfectly honest. I don't like either PPP or MQM and I hated Nadeem for being the kind of liberal he appeared to me. Maybe, it was too judgemental of me. You are 100% correct on taking on these people supporting TTP; My family, including myself have been victims of this war, I have never attacked Pakistan or the army for this. In fact, I still am serving to fight them alongside my whole family. These fundamentalists are the reason that Islam is generally looked upon as a religion promoting terrorism. They TTP supporters and TTP are totalitarians, bent on the hegemonic dominance through methods of subjugation, terror and fear. I am sorry for what Malala and her family had to bear. I am always concerned and fear if someday I would be subjected to the same torture were the TTP take it upon themselves to target me and my family. May Allah save Islam from Pakistan.
Nazar Sandhu
Oct 21, 2012 09:34am
I once read a Chinese folk tale about a village that was inhabited by people who were infected with a rare mental disease that led them to bouts of extreme violence every Saturday afternoon that were not the norm in the rest of China. The emperor appointed a commission to look into the causes and the commission recommended that new roads be built, tress planted and wells dug. Nothing made any change. The villagers continued to be violent and delusional. Then there was a fire in the village center in a building that housed the sole book in the village. Every Saturday the villagers had been going to the building where the village priest read passages from the book. And every Saturday after hearing the passages the village men used go on a rampage against their women, children and against the inhabitants of the neighboring villages. The fire not only burnt down the building but also the book and there was no other copy of the book. The village priest who had memorized the book also died. There was no one else who could recite passages from the book. The Saturday after the fire the villagers, needing something to do, decided that they would rebuild the building and they did this for the next hundred years. It took them long because it was an intricate building. They also filled the building with books that taught tolerance, peace, honesty, all the great virtues that make humans civilized. The emperor was pleased that the villagers had become non-violent.
Mehreen Z
Oct 21, 2012 09:28am
The reaction of the masses to the Malala incident is the first time since the murder of Salman Taseer that I have allowed myself to hope that maybe all is not lost for Pakistan, maybe there is still hope for us, maybe now the people will understand that killing in the name of religion does not justify it , that we don't need any foreign enemies to destroy us because we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves..and that maybe we will finally realize that HUMANITY should always trump religion.. JINNAH'S PAKISTAN..
M. Fahim
Oct 21, 2012 09:27am
Dear hui.... He is making comparison between political parties on the Malala issue, not particularly defending any political party.... You must make yourself impartial before reading article and posting your analysis/opinion...
Oct 21, 2012 04:01pm
When the "root cause in erradicated from the source" we need not worry.
Oct 21, 2012 04:09pm
Your response is totally ordinary and judgmental. Get yourself checked. You seem to have 'judgment syndrome'. You are not alone. There are so many other sufferers of this disease in youth of Pakistan today. May Allah give our nation some capability to stand others' point of view and not bulldoze their own everywhere left and right.
Oct 21, 2012 04:14pm
Over to you Faheem. Please deal with this judgmental 'jiyala'. I would prefer to be a spectator. I can jump in where needed.
Y. Bhatti
Oct 21, 2012 07:39am
Mudassar Tsunami, were you by any chance one of those who put that forged 'drone attack victim' pic on your Facebook page. I think you did. Kindly take it down it's a hoax. Oh, but you already knew that.
Oct 21, 2012 07:33am
Dear o dear NFP, why are you so much tilted towards MQM, I know it's your party but please stop your propaganda against PTI my dear self proclaimed, biase and pesudo intellectual writer. I know my comments won't make it to the end and its not the first time, when ever I differ your view point, my comments won't make to the end but I hope moderator won't be biase this time........good luck to my comments :-)
Oct 21, 2012 06:54am
Thanks for summarising the proceedings. You are right, I too (living in a foreign land) was overpowered by apologists (shameless humans I call them now). They will not stop blubbering until the Taliban knock at their doors and their own 'Malalas' are threaten.
Oct 21, 2012 06:53am
The one the thing that need sanity in Pakistan ......MEDIA...!!!....All will be Well...Guaranteed....
Oct 21, 2012 06:53am
The one thing that needs Sanity in Pakistan is MEDIA!!!...All will be well.....Guaranteed...
Oct 21, 2012 06:46am
The more things change the more things remain the same, our nation has already decided what is what and nothing will cnahge it especially not the truth
Oct 21, 2012 06:39am
There cannot be any 'if's' and 'buts' for the shooting of Malala - it has to be condemned to the full extent. TTP and all its affiliates have to be eliminated one way or the other. Diverging from Malala I do want to ask the author one question - where do we go from here? His recent articles seem to suggest (maybe rightly) that PTI is no good particularly their strategy towards TTP - fair enough. So come April 2013 who do you think is capable to lead Pakistan? PPP? well good luck; PML -N? their performance in Punjab over the last 4 years and Friday's SC judgement raises questions; MQM? well it is a party led by a leader who does not even have the guts to come to Pakistan and makes gutsy statements from the comfort of his expensive apartment in London; JUI-F or one of the other religious parties? I leave the response to this one to you all. So is Pakistan doomed or is there any hope?
Oct 21, 2012 06:26am
May God give these apologizing fools some sense. They are running around like zombies trying to justify an act by a monster.
Oct 21, 2012 07:40pm
Hypocrisy here, hypocrisy there, hypocrisy everywhere. Killing a human is an act of terror, be it Malala or tribals in wazirstan, naxal prone areas of India. Killing an innocent is killing. What I find amusing in NFP's articles is his deafening silence on "collateral damages" in bombings and drone attacks. Religious crackpots are bad, so are liberal crackpots. world would be better off without religions and without drones buzzing 24/7 over heads and terrorizing people around there.
Oct 21, 2012 10:55pm
But 95%+ are terrorists or their supporters who are hanging around them.
Oct 21, 2012 07:09am
Right wing needs something Anti American to play with and since Afia case was a big opportunity to do that so they drummed it up day and night. So is the case with blasphemous movie. Since Malala case has nothing to do with US they concocted the story of drones and the mantra of this war is not ours. It is time someone take on TTP without passing the buck or playing ping pong. How many more people we have to lose for us to make a firm decision?
Oct 21, 2012 11:02pm
Till the decent Muslims have the courage to say," I don't care what and how Kuran is interpreted, I will NOT support the enslavement of the women," the terrorists and their coward supporters like Imran Khan, JI, JUI and others will not stop spinning any thing in to a American,Jewish and Hindu consipiracy to defame and attack the good religion of Islam. These cowards will try to turn every thing as if it is America's fault. What did America and Drones have to do with attempting to kill a little innocent girl and bragging about it. And for what? That she just wanted education? WAKE UP PAKISTAN.
Wali K. Niazi
Oct 21, 2012 11:14pm
NFP- Allow me to copy my previous comments in your last column : Wali K. Niazi October 19, 2012 7:51 pm Oxford educated ,first class cricketer ,married to the daughter of one of the richest men in the world, reasonably rich himself, he could have continued an opulent life style in the UK and for that matter in any other place in the world, yet he opted to come back to his roots.Has declared his assets, income tax he paid, never lied, never shied away from telling the truth, never endorsed sharia laws, strongly condemned attack on a 14 year old girl
Oct 21, 2012 11:14pm
So,can one say safely that the Malala episode is a dose of strong anti psychotic medicine for a society that is collectively sick??
Oct 22, 2012 05:37am
This is so political.. and you should not write about it please.. because you always write bias when you write on politics..
Satish Sharma
Oct 22, 2012 12:36am
I disagree -- nothing changed .. nothing will change. Those who believe will give credence to the story that all Malallas are the same -- and should behave the same!
Oct 22, 2012 12:56pm
Let me replace the words "collectively sick" with " yet to evolve,immature" society? And,at this juncture, showing signs of incredibly crude behavior? Since evolution- biological one or maturity comes on with time, I would like to hope that "land of the pure" will evolve too? Hopefully,this distress it is suffering now will hasten the process?
Oct 22, 2012 12:28am
And,that is an elevating thought? And,an anthropologist should know what she is speaking about?
Shanza Shireen Siddiqi
Oct 22, 2012 12:55am
The thing that it does have to do with drone strikes is that the protests against drones were blocked by the PPP, army, Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif, using this as an excuse. The 'shareefs' in the Punjab have used the event to gain political momentum. Shahbaz Sharif is also the irresponsible person propagating the lie that the US and Musharraf are to blame for this: "Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited Malala Yousafzai at Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology a few moments earlier. CM spent quite some time with Malala's father and her maternal uncle. CM was very touched on hearing how the sad incident occurred. CM stated that Malala is the pride of our nation and I find hard to believe that any Pakistani or a Muslim can carry out such a dastardly attack. CM shared that, to him, the pain Malala is going through is because of the ill-thought policies pursued by Musharraf. Also, CM recalled the time when Malala was invited as a guest of honour at the Prize Distribution Ceremony of Inter toppers at Lahore and she started her speech by saying that, "Swat ki bachiyan bahadur hain aur kisi se nahee darteen". At the moment, CM announced naming the Danish School Attock after Malala Yousafzai and also announced a quota for students from Swat in this Danish School" -http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?137970-CM-Punjab-Visits-Malala-Yousafzai . Every political party in this country has condemned her shooting as NFP admits in this article, he's just busy picking on I.K and the PTI for personal reasons, as usual. NFP also conveniently ignores the starkly aggravating PML-N element highlighted above, he doesn't even mention the party? That's just not good journalism : "NFP" aka V for vendetta.
Oct 22, 2012 01:23am
NFP , the malady is very deep. In a country where Ilm Ud Din is a Gazi and a hero for knifing to death ,a publisher found blameless by court ; you can only expect Mumtaj Quadri's and would be assassins of Malala to find validity and justification for their actions in Koran. There will be no dearth of their supporters and apologists too. They all truly believe that they are doing a great service to Islam and Pakistan. This is what has been taught to them by the system in power. No use in singling out TTP. Things will not improve until the basics are done right . Trouble is if they are done right the edifice on which the country is erected will start to crumble !!!
Oct 21, 2012 12:17pm
i sometime dont understand what kind of clarity people are looking for. When I listen IK, i can understand his stance, agree or disagree is a different story. Sometime we are looking for yes or no answer which is not a solution. According to my understanding based on my professional experience, complex issues have multidimensional solutions and IK explain each and every step clearly.
Oct 22, 2012 03:00am
When media was decrying about plight of Aafia, you were concerned about other Aafias and you actually wrote article why media is not concerned about other Aafias. But when other people express concern about other Malalas, you dismiss their concern. Isn`t this hypocrisy
Oct 22, 2012 03:04am
Both of you are right. The problem is with those who put on the "spin". But it is the wall of "no question/no criticism" that allows them to do so. Apparently, if one invokes the name of God, he can literally get away with murder, as we have seen.
Amir Saeed
Oct 21, 2012 01:10pm
And all those who want Waziristan operation should be conscripted to fight there. NFP should lead.
Oct 22, 2012 03:23am
No. It is just one of many wake up calls but is not strong enough. It is just something soft and appealing that electronic media has chosen to take on. The fad will fade away soon. If what you have called 'sick society' had to react, they had reacted the first time someone took up arms and misused name of the religion.
Oct 22, 2012 03:34am
Zardari is opposing Drone Attacks & Pakistan Foreign Office is Protesting Drone attacks with US after every successive strike. So what is Imran Khan saying that is so different. He is only fearful for the well being of his party workers. Taliban who didn't flinch to fire upon a helpless 14 year old child, why would they spare PTI workers If Imran starts ranting against TTP. What benefit can PTI possibly get by supporting TTP? It is Mullahs that are secretly in cohorts with TTP not PTI
Oct 21, 2012 08:35pm
who decides what is the correct or wrong interpretation of islam? All muslim countries have claimed that they are following the correct interpretation with disastrous results. After all, TTP just claimed that Malala is anti-islam. Even if you succeed in defeating current version of TTP, how can you prevent future TTPs from raising?
Oct 21, 2012 08:41pm
The people who have tried to show TTP and the likes to be an army of God have no where to hide face, They cannot now defend. One lil girl has made a huge border between good an evil. Either you are good or you are evil. a tehreek who is force to silence a lil girl only shows how strong and mighty their values and principles are. These weeklings have nothing to do any religion.
Oct 21, 2012 09:11am
Whenever NFP takes on IK, he does so as a disgruntled fan rather than an all out critic. This is something NFP's detractors in PTI haven't picked. Secondly, in the comments section of all NFP articles, some of his critics keep calling him pro-MQM and some pro-PPP. Make up your mind! Truth is, he is a secular Muslim and a progressive democrat. At least that's how he always comes across to me in almost all of his articles.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:39pm
Fascist liberal is a contradiction in terms. The TV hosts are quite amusing. Interesting television no doubt. There's nothing like democracy.
Oct 22, 2012 04:29am
When someone shoots at a 14 year old girl and then tries to justify it, its a black and white question. Is such a person a savage -the answer to this question is a yes or no. Sorry, any shades of grey are not acceptable.
Oct 21, 2012 04:54pm
The other name of the cowardice is the consensus.
Oct 22, 2012 04:34am
ya, we have seen the fate of other american allies like Japan, south Korea and Isreal. None of them is a basket case. So stop putting the blame of your failure on others and get your own house in order.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:29pm
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:42pm
It's funny.
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:41pm
People killed in drone strikes are not all terrorists.
Oct 21, 2012 04:35pm
In the 20th century alone, secular regimes in their secular states such as the Soviet Union, Communist China,Cambodia, and middle east 'secular socialist dictators' have killed more people than pretty every religion combined throughout history including Christianity and Islam. Just Google it if you dare.
Oct 21, 2012 04:32pm
What concerns me about Imran Khan is what NFP pointed out in his last article regarding a dictatorial streak in the cricketer. Qadhafi and Castro both came on the backs of populist movements. We have all seen the results for 4 decades. In light of this, perhaps Salman Rushdi's liking Imran to Qadhafi may not be too off the mark. Question is can IK heed the advise of Caliph Abu Bakr who asked his people to correct him if he deviates from his path of good governance?
Oct 21, 2012 04:28pm
"To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal"Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor, former U.S Secretary of State, Noble peace prize winner.Before 9/11, Pakistan had only one suicide bombing.
Oct 22, 2012 12:40pm
The women in my life have held bed pans for me to throw up when I was sick. Walked me to the toilet when I was too weak to walk. Given me a fresh change of clothes when I came walking in from drenching rain. Kept a warm dinner for me when I come back home late in the night. To me women mean NURTURE CARE AND CONSIDERATION. I am sure plenty of Muslims see them the same way I do? Just learn to treat them right? Not just the tragedy struck,good looking child called Malala?
Oct 21, 2012 04:21pm
I have a coin in my pocket. I like one face but I hate the other.
Oct 21, 2012 08:27am
@ Mudassar ...and you are truly living up to the high intellectual standards of the PTI supporters...carry on :D @NFP.. great article again..wish you would write in Urdu as well because we need to change the mindset of the masses and the outreach of these English columns is only so much..
Oct 21, 2012 08:27am
Need to contemplate what should be our national response this incident and generally to the wave of extremism and terrorism. Will 24*7 condemnation of TTP is going to eradicate terrorism? Can operation in North Waziristan guarantee and end to militancy? Are the local tribes in favor of this operation or are we going to alienate them? And what if militants got refuge in Afghanistan like Fazlullah, All these and several other questions need to be debated in media instead of making this incident an opportunity for political point scoring.
Oct 21, 2012 08:31am
haha...please take you amour for MQM on their official website....and as for as author is concerned...his arguments are devoid of logic and rationale....it is so naive to criticise that this party criticize by naming the culprits and that party criticise the act but didn't by naming the culprit....Get a life...
Oct 21, 2012 08:30am
And further IK should also stop going to America to collect the "charity"
Oct 21, 2012 09:00am
They are trying to find political correctness in an act of terrorism targeted against a child. Since, they did not find any (surprised and ditched by electronic media), they are now not in position to admit they were wrong. Caught on the wrong foot, actually.
Oct 21, 2012 09:02am
Yes, you are right Shaukat Raza. I agree with you. I just pointed out a temporary shift that Altaf Hussain took but did not hold on to it for long.
Oct 21, 2012 08:22am
Once again, a lucid devastation of populist rhetoric. Keep it up Mr. NFP
Oct 21, 2012 08:22am
I think the author is writing about the reaction of parties to the Malala inceidence. Kindly take your grudges against the MQM somewhere else. Also, the "atrocities of MQM" did no include blowing up mass number of people in bazars, mosques and shrines. And certainly, not targeting 14year old school girls just because she wanted an education. And had MQM been as atrocious as you think, your favorite parties like PTI and JI would never have been able to hold rallies in Karachi. Why not try holding a rally in North Waziristan? You have just proven NFP right. People like you are a bunch of confused apologists with misplaced egos.
Oct 21, 2012 04:17pm
Such a long comment (of course I did not read it all) and look at what it brings. Negative responses. Deserved.
Shanza Shireen Siddiqi
Oct 22, 2012 09:22pm
Drone attacks cannot occur on Pakistani soil without Zardari's permission, and admission, so what Clive Stafford Smith is doing is different. PTI definitely doesn't support TTP or JI or that other party that NFP named while completely ignoring PML-N's sinister ways.
Raw is War
Oct 21, 2012 02:24pm
good article as usual.
Keti Zilgish
Oct 21, 2012 02:25pm
My personal opinion is that the only way to fight the taliban successfully is to first establish the requisite freedom to express any kind of criticism of the religion and the only reason why I have formed this opinion is after verifying that such was the case by which the Christian religion was put in its present place in the Western World.
Oct 21, 2012 02:47pm
Why should Imran Khan be treated with respectt ? With the kind of foul langauge he uses for his political opponents, he and his supporters should accept the same kind of foul language used against him. By the way another excellent article by NFP.
Oct 21, 2012 12:10pm
Basic direction should be correct. Then using the gut feeling is okay. But if Imran Khan thinks that yielding to Taliban's way of breaking law and ignoring Constitution is all right, then his gut feelings cannot be truested.
Oct 21, 2012 11:51am
Isnt it amazing that the solution goes with the name - "zalin khan" :)
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 10:34am
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." -- Blaise Pascal
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 10:18am
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 10:40am
"My admiration for the West is not at the expense of others; rather, it is an invitation to those others to acknowledge their illusions and go beyond their inferiority and liberate themselves from backwardness. Those others should admit their shortcomings, and make an effort to overcome them; they should stop denying the truth and closing their eyes..."
Oct 21, 2012 11:46am
People should not stoop to their level to prove their we are right.
Oct 21, 2012 03:14pm
Excellent observation. I have been trying to make the same argument - but get 'moderated' by Dawn.
Oct 21, 2012 08:49am
@mehreen, yes we do think and think deferent and do support the peace process and inshALLAH we will try hard to bring the peace back in the streets of Pakistan in peaceful manners. Hope you won't mind at all :-)
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 06:54pm
The entire history of Islam has been about political power. The common people live by the religion and are never involved in the struggles for power at the top. Abuse of Power and the Resonance Islam are mutually exclusive. They are not the same. Those who abuse the religion take advantage of others' good intentions, and others good name. The mullahs worry each day that someone somewhere in the world might be happy, and want to be there to spoil their happiness and joy. If the mullahs can have no happiness and joy, why should others?
Cyrus Howell
Oct 21, 2012 10:29am
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." -- Plato
Oct 21, 2012 11:45am
Time we learnt from Higher Than Mountains Friend.
Abdul Rashida
Oct 21, 2012 11:23am
One of the most prominent feathers in Islamic history