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The Malala backlash

Published Jul 16, 2013 07:37am


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WHY has Malala Yousufzai’s speech at the UN on July 12, her 16th birthday, created such admiration all over the world, only to be met with a nasty backlash against the young education activist in Pakistan?

Perhaps the negative reaction of many Pakistanis to the young girl is the carping of jealous nobodies, but it bears examining because it says something profound about Pakistan.

The reaction to Malala’s words was swift in Pakistan; barely hours after she made her inspirational speech, people began complaining about its contents, the fact that the UN had dedicated an entire day to her, and the adulation she was receiving from world leaders by her side. Ignoring the text of her speech, which spoke out for the rights of girls and women and implored world leaders to choose peace instead of war, the naysayers tore down the young woman, her father, and Western nations for supporting her in her quest for education.

The insults flowed freely: Malala Dramazai was a popular epithet that popped up on Facebook pages and Twitter. The whole shooting was staged by “the West” and America, who control the Taliban. She was being used to make Pakistan feel guilty for actions that were the fault of the Western powers in the first place. Posters were circulated that showed Mukhtaran Mai and Malala with Xs through their faces, and berated the two women for speaking out about their experiences in order to receive money, popularity and asylum abroad.

Another popular refrain was “drone attacks”. Why had Malala not spoken out about drones at the UN? Why did everyone care so much about Malala and not the other girls murdered by drones? Why did America kill innocent children with drones and then lionise the young Malala to make themselves feel good that they actually cared about the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan?

It was a shameful display of how Pakistanis have a tendency to turn on the very people they should be proud of. Prof Abdus Salam fell victim to this peculiar Pakistani phenomenon, as well as the murdered child labour activist Iqbal Masih, Rimsha Masih, who recently received asylum for the threats to her life after the blasphemy case, and Kainat Soomro, the brave child who had been gang-raped and actually dared to take on her attackers. Pakistanis have very deliberately abandoned these brave champions of justice, and each time one more joins their ranks, the accusations of fame mongering, Western agendas, and money ring out louder and louder.

The insults to Malala had a decidedly sexist tone, the comparison to Mukhtaran Mai — another Pakistani hero — making it obvious that rather than embracing female survivors of hideous, politically motivated violence, Pakistanis prefer them to shut up and go away, not to use their ordeals as a platform to campaign for justice.

What does this say about Pakistani mentality? Firstly, it illustrates the fact that most Pakistanis are very confused. As British journalist Alex Hamilton said, “Those who stand for nothing fall for anything”. Because we don’t know what to stand for, we fall victim to conspiracy theories, wild imaginings, and muddled thinking about what is so clearly right and wrong.

Secondly, people who deflect from Malala’s speech to the issue of drone attacks may believe they care about drone victims, but it is hard to find what if anything they have actually done for those drone victims besides register their displeasure on social media. Instead, it is a way of deflecting the guilt they feel about their own impotence, their own inability to make any substantial change or impact in this country.

In psychology this is called displacement: these people who feel anger and frustration about themselves channel it into feeling angry about drone victims, or angry against Malala Yousafzai, or anyone who challenges their firmly held belief that this world is controlled by forces greater than themselves. They dislike the challenge to the justification for their own inertia and inactivity, and so they strike out.

Critics are ignoring how Malala pointed out that terrorists are misusing Islam for their own selfish ends: power and control. She rightly stated that Pakhtun culture is not synonymous with Talibanism; a popular narrative used to justify the marginalisation of tribal peoples (and the use of drones and human rights excesses by the military in carrying out operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan).

These statements contradict the political arguments offered by Pakistan’s incompetent leadership in lieu of real solutions to the militancy, and the justification for acts of aggression perpetrated by Western and Nato forces on the Pakhtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A note of warning: Malala and her cause must not be hijacked by opportunists, money-makers, politicians, or those who wish to use this pure young woman for their own selfish ends. In celebrating Malala, the world should not forget about the thousands of girls who are still in danger from extremist violence in Pakistan. Nor should she be taken up as a cause célèbre by celebrities and other do-gooders to feel smug satisfaction that they are helping her cause by posing for a photograph or attending a dinner with her (Personally, I feel that a young girl who can survive being shot in the head by the Taliban is strong enough to withstand being exploited by anyone).

Malala’s beautiful words must be a source of inspiration for solid action on the ground in the areas most affected by the conflicts she describes. Whether you support her or not, nobody can deny the urgent need to bring education and peace to Pakistan. Don’t ignore this message, even if you feel like shooting the messenger all over again.

The writer is a novelist.

Twitter: @binashah

Author Image

Bina Shah is a writer and columnist in Karachi; she is the author of the novel Slum Child and A Season for Martyrs.

She tweets @binashah

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

Comments (159) Closed

Susan Koshy Jul 16, 2013 10:28am

Thank you Ms Shah for writing about this phenomenon. Malala's speech was remarkable. Many many many leaders of nations and citizens had the opportunity for teachable moments from her speech at the UN. She spoke with immense courage and clarity which is so absent today. She spoke with immense awareness about simple truths.

malik Jul 16, 2013 10:29am

Pakistanis are brainwashed people; brainwashed by religion,culture and by society. They love to find conspiracy in everything. Regrettably there is not much we can do to change this mindset.

venkataramana Jul 16, 2013 10:36am

I am an Indian who happened to watch Malala speak at the U.N,live.As a grandfather myself,I felt proud of her.I am not surprised with the reaction she got from her countrymen,but feel really sad.And why should she speak about the drone attacks when her own President has consented for them and the bespoke Pakistani forces do nothing about it.Personally I think that the issues she spoke are far more important than the drone attacks,though they are highly condemnable.

M.I.B Jul 16, 2013 10:38am

Ms. Shah, you have done an excellent job writing this article. I couldn't agree with you more on the self destructive mentality of the Pakistanis (albeit, the radical muslim world). Every bad thing is either a 'Conspiracy' or on the other hand a 'Miracle' (moujza). So, everything can be dealt with safely without any real thought or effort, by saying 'Subhan Allah', 'La hol wala', or 'Astaghfarullah' etc. etc.. (The Pakistani feel good words :)

Malik Jul 16, 2013 11:02am

I heard Malala's speech live on TV and also read Pakistani newspapers. I did not read anywhere any condemnation of Malala or criticism of her speech anywhere in the Pakistani media. There can be some isolated critical comments which generally are in every situation, but the writer mostly highlighting them to make a point for her article, is plainly sad. The writer did not give any example instead of just general criticism. Largely, Pakistani media was very supportive and proud of her achievement. I think Malala is a single positive good news coming from Pakistan. The writer could have chosen some other avenue to criticize the lack of awareness of the women conditions which of course is pathetic but not through Malala as she does not need another medium to raise her voice.

Prof. Nasik Elahi Jul 16, 2013 11:12am

Pakistan is awash in delusional thinking. The criticism of Malala is just the latest example. The problems facing the country are so overwhelming that conspiracy theories and sins of ommission and commission by outsiders have become packaged excuses that serve to ignore the root causes of the inner turmoil.

Ravi Jul 16, 2013 11:13am

Malala is gem of Pakistan, anybody speaking against them are jealous or they don't want to believe that a muslim woman can have voice and can speak against taliban. Most of the Pakistanis whether clerics, common man prefer to remain silent spectators to their atrocities out of rear or they support their actions and hide behind usual excuses of conspiracy theories created by taliban supporting lobby. She is brave and strong girl, Pakistanis should be proud of her as she is ray of light among a society slowly drifting to stone age and into darkness.

Umair Jul 16, 2013 11:17am

Given that the whole thing is a hoax itself, a lot of people are not worried about what she says.. more than that, they are worried how she has potrayed pakistan as a country where a girl gets shot so that others cannot go to school. My question is if she is much of an activist, why in the world is she not in Pakistan helping other girls of that region. Would have been better if she talked about the drone attacks, but that would not happen. Because she did not write the speech.. she is been used as a another way for the US to come and protect Pakistan from their intelligence funded Talibs. Shame on our press to give air on Malala thing.. guess you get $$ too.

Saifullah Jul 16, 2013 11:44am

dear Sister I really appreciate & adore your heart touching words. you are right she just use for their own selfish needs. just Malala can,t change the world there are many girls are danger and killed many couple days before in Quetta Baluchistan. were they not women and human? I wish you write more and more and may God bless you. I wish we be in touch I really learnt too much from Your article.

Sonal Jul 16, 2013 11:48am

It was a hair raising speech - truly inspirational. And to think that she's just 16! She will go a long long way... If the Taliban let her live, that is.

It's disgusting that people say it was drama. I think we should give a person who had the will to live after being shot in the brain a little more credit than that. Pakistan, you disgust me with this reaction to what was clearly a genuine attempt to better things for women, and for the cause of education. This was Pakistan's first chance in a long time to be proud of something!

A shah Jul 16, 2013 11:51am

We truly are a failed nation.

abdulmalik Jul 16, 2013 11:54am

Conspiracy theories, rejection of others achievements even though they benefit Pakistan had brought us to this point where we are unsure of our very existence. If these tendencies are not controlled, no hope at all.

Kalim Jul 16, 2013 11:58am

very well written.

Mir Ali Jul 16, 2013 12:14pm

A brilliant analysis. Thank you :-)

Shoaib Jul 16, 2013 12:20pm

Woman! Calm down!!

Asfandyar Khattak Jul 16, 2013 12:21pm

Nicely summed up. Particularly, the psychological aspect of the issue discussed in this article is very important. Thanks God we still have saner voices in our society.

rich05 Jul 16, 2013 12:34pm

we have a saying in kerala, when a elephant pass through a village dogs bark malala is a hero by any yardstick, she stood up to criminal even after being shot, how many pakistnis can claim that, she stood for education, let these so called net hero stand against drone attack and be counted, and go to tribal areas and camp against terorrist who kill innocent people, do they have the guts?

the other hero of pakistn is the mullah (i do not know his name) who stood with rimsha against the mullah who falsely accused rimsha, these are people pakistnis should tresure

Richie bombay

B Khan Jul 16, 2013 12:40pm

I agree with the author. It is sad to see how average Pakistanis react to media attention given to people like Malala, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Mukhtaran Mai. Instead of realizing the gender bias and other ugliness existing in the Pakistani culture, we start blaming these brave women for bringing a bad name to our country. How immature of us. We should be thankful to these women that they have the guts to show us who we really are. We as a nation should have the guts to admit our faults and try to change.

t Jul 16, 2013 01:18pm

"A note of warning: Malala and her cause must not be hijacked by opportunists, money-makers, politicians, or those who wish to use this pure young woman for their own selfish ends."

This is exactly what is happening if you may look around closely and hold your bashing towards your own people.

Not every other person is a conspiracy theorist in pakistan. They do see things and connect the dots which probably others are missing or too naive to realize.

And by the way, no one is against the education for women in Pakistan. And many locals work in various ways to support that. But to have a Malala Day that even by those who kill more women and children in our land and other's than the so called Taliban or other terrorists; only confirms this as the cover up strategy for their wrong doings. Its a perfect example of machiavellian politics!

Shazia Bangash Jul 16, 2013 01:20pm

Malala was a hero when she was just a 12 year old blogger; she was a hero when she was shot and fought-on. And today, even though she is manipulated by genocidal countries to speak at imperialist institutions where her scripted words are disseminated by NATO's propaganda 'news' corporations, she still remains a hero to me.

Abdul Basit Jul 16, 2013 01:22pm

Okay,it is crystal clear that US and its Allies is using Malala to create a soft image about itself. There are many anomalies about the incidents which made her famous. no matter what you say its a big staged drama to distract ppl from the Fact that USA and its allies are killing innocent ppl around the world and speaking against that is a bigger cause. Mala issue is not even a issue women can easily get education in Pakistan. if its in some rural area by some wderas or sardar's that's something resolvable and there are alterenatives... But nothing is more important than the lives of innocent human beings.. So i request you to get out of Malala box and write for your ppl. Many thanks

Owais Jul 16, 2013 01:33pm

Dear novelist please describe malala's surgery, how could one could recover such quickly from a head surgery. Don't say it was malala's braveness that did it.

Anonymous Jul 16, 2013 01:52pm

Bullshit article.. same rhetoric arguments..

Irtiza Jul 16, 2013 02:03pm

I would only partially agree with this analysis. The reason that there is a backlash about Malala is not just because the people are deprived and demented. It's primarily because the West has made it a point to iconize our Malalas and Mukhtarans while completely ignoring our Builqees Edhis and Bapsi Sidhwas.

Not to degrade Malala's spirit in any way, a more pertinent question is why only the oppressed women capture Western media's attention for immortalization and not the un-oppressed women whose contribution to society is by no means any less.

Adnan Jul 16, 2013 02:15pm

As a matter of Fact, Malala should be thankful of Talibans, without them she could not have such fame, money in her life and was going to lead a life of another ordinary, ignored and oppressed woman of Pakistan.

Mrs. Ahmed Jul 16, 2013 02:20pm

Hi, Dear optimist, I really like the etopya you are living in. Good you always see the bright side...but we cannot avoid the darker side of things. We are also agreeing to the notion not being used as a popularity stunt, or the young girl being exploited, she is just a little girl, playing a puppet....this is what we don't like, exploiting our land, exploiting our country and now exploiting our children to read the text for them. That is what is wrong....she went and settled abroad, she wrote for BBC, made a documentary with BBC, and then shot and brought back to britain....You are missing the bigger picture. If she is brave enough and want to do something...come back to Pakistan...and change it from within....

Raheem Jul 16, 2013 02:48pm

Nothing new. Nice rant. We know the psychological issues of our nation. Instead of poking wounds, what are your efforts to try heal them? It is a fact that our thoughts arent in majority but that doesnt mean you disregard and reject your own people. While understanding some of the points they are making, we should engage and educate them. Sarcasm will never work.

Kashif Ahmad Khan Jul 16, 2013 02:55pm

How can one be alive after having bullet on head. Dear author why do you hesitate to accept that Malala is nothing a but tool used for propaganda warfare. Well! I've been observing that Pakistani civil society is becoming the mouth piece of US and serving its interest.

Akbar Khan Jul 16, 2013 03:02pm

Well said! Those speaking against Malala or what she stands for are ignorant and mostly uneducated. I am surprised that the "Taliban" culture is against education since the word Taliban itself is a translation of "student", or is it something else? Unless we educate our children and "mothers to be" there will be no progress. I fail to understand why there is no regard for daughters, mothers, wives, sisters, etc in Pakistan, let alone women in general. This is a negation of the human and Islamic values>

NASAH (USA) Jul 16, 2013 03:10pm

Because the parents of Pakistani adults don't teach them how to say thank with grace when complimented.

Irfan Husain Jul 16, 2013 03:10pm

An incisive analysis of the sickness running through the Pakistani psyche. Instead of being proud of Malala and her wonderful UN speech, we stew in our own incompetence and impotence, cursing her for rising above our pettiness.

Irfan Husain Jul 16, 2013 03:12pm

An incisive analysis of the sickness infecting the Pakistani psyche. Instead of celebrating Malala's UN triumph, we stew in our own mediocrity and impotence, and curse her for rising above our pettiness.

Kamran Jul 16, 2013 03:14pm

Very True!

This has become a peculiar characteristic of our hypocrat society. We always feel happy in NOT doing anything but really more worried about taking away the credit from others.

May God help us to change our attitude!

Seedoo Jul 16, 2013 03:20pm

You seem to be trying to wake the nation up with logic and reasoning. This is not fair. The nation of Pakistan is fast asleep. When someone tries to wake the people up, we use overused mantras like "Islam is a religion of peace", "Muslim Ummah", "American Drone Attacks", as morphine patches to ease our pain and put us back to sleep.

Kindly leave us alone and let this nation sleep in peace.

ivehadit Jul 16, 2013 03:30pm

Shame on those who cannot see the courage in that young girls eyes.

Perhaps Pakistanis are hiding their own insecurities behind these ungentle sentiments. A young girl, shot in the head by a gruesome insurgency for seeking education, something that Pakistan does not provide for millions of its own kids, brought back to life by Western medicine, cannot but feed into all kinds of insecurities.

Noor Jul 16, 2013 03:30pm

Malala should be looked at as a symbol, an icon, of resistance. She, symbolically, represents all those who stand against extremism and violence, instead of moderation and dialogue. She should be an ideal for all the Pakistani people, young or old. Hers is a story that history should repeat.

All the naysayers will not stand a minute in front of the Taliban or other Zaliman, if God forbids the time comes for them!

furqan Jul 16, 2013 03:37pm

Your opening sentence suggested me it is a baseless article. Moreover, the reason of the backlash has been answered in your own questions. Why she has not mentioned drone attacks. Her whole village attacked by drones and she did not mention. It was a well written script by some media personnel to portray Pakistan a country against female education. Why US and UK do not give asylum to the whole of war stricken FATA and other parts of the world? Why only one girl? No girl died in drones and no girl died in 12 years of occupation and war?

akram Jul 16, 2013 03:47pm

I agree wholeheartedly with the author, the critics of Malala are simply the most backward and regressive elements of a poorly educated society, who understand neither the light nor the path that Malala is showing them to enlightenment.

They may understand one day. But Malala for me has truly captured the Pakistani spirit of doing the right thing come what may. And she is absolutely right that the Taliban are misusing religion for their own selfish ends.

Ali S Jul 16, 2013 04:09pm

The speech was absolutely great. It was a pleasure to see the confidence with which she spoke.

And even though, most of the things she said were true, one question that the critics are asking as well is " Why didn't she mention the drone attacks "? That is a valid critique as they also kill the children and threaten their security which is something that Malala stands for and something that is very sensitive to her countrymen. If she had mentioned that. It would have been a flawless speech.

@kal_nini Jul 16, 2013 06:31pm

Just had an exchange with Bina Shah on twitter about this article...and wow...amazed at the inability to accept criticism or another point of view. I was accused of everything from Talibanism to stealing the kitchen sink before I got my second sentence in. I think I know one Pakistani who needs to see the therapist Bina Shah writes about in the article.

Khan Jul 16, 2013 06:59pm

So, why don't you get up and speak or do something about the drone attacks? Not mentioning in her speech the name of Badshah Khan, the Great preacher of non-violence, tell a lot about her political ambitions. And that make me really sick.

Saad Jul 16, 2013 07:05pm

I have nothing against Malala and admire her for speaking against the Taliban. But this speech has done nothing. The UN can continue making speeches and resolutions while people continue dying for freedom and rights.

Fehmida Mirza Jul 16, 2013 07:10pm

Why did America kill innocent children with drones and then lionise the young Malala to make themselves feel good that they actually cared about the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan?

If anyone is complaining about this then that individual in every sense is correct and not a naysayer.

Fact: Malala's speech was beautiful. Fact: Pakistan is affected by foreign forces.

Ahmed Jul 16, 2013 07:28pm

You liberals don't get it do you? It's all a conspiracy. Everything is a conspiracy. So what if we look like complete nut-cases to the rest of the world. At least we will die knowing that we know more than everyone else.

ROHIT PANDEY Jul 16, 2013 07:40pm

A five year old,caught with his or her hands in middle of the night with hands in the cookie jar is likely to DENY it happened at all...primitive form of defense against unpleasant psychologists/psychiatrists are likely to say...

The Pakistani public opinion sounds very much the same-the DENIAL of a larger malaise!

Good luck Malala and good luck Pakistanis-Muslims!

Komal Faiz Jul 16, 2013 08:15pm

At times its not jealousy or things like that. Educated people are analytical about things concerning Pakistan. Some people arent doubting malala's courage or capabilities, they are questioning why and how such instances are cashed by international politics. There's nothing wrong in that!

Tanvir Jul 16, 2013 08:20pm

Let's see how many injured or orphan children have been picked up by the West from the drone attack and presented at a UN forum for pleading to save their lives in their homelands being defended by their parents & brothers in the tribal areas. May be those children cannot speak English and not educated enough! Their injuries & family losses don't count. Also, why was not a Pakistani leader asked to accompany Malala to the UN podium? Wasn't it a snub to Pakistan to have the British Prime Minister accompany her to the UN? Simply, because the West is very selective & selfishly opportunist about its causes.

bubba Jul 16, 2013 08:21pm

Malala and drone attacks tend to remind some Pakistani's on how inept their govt/military are - something they prefer to avoid. Also - like the weather it's something that easy to talk about knowing that whatever your views there is nothing you can say/do that's going to have any impact.

BRR Jul 16, 2013 08:33pm

It is easy to blame the victim. Harder to blame the culprits. They blamed M.Bai, now Malala, and they will continue to not blame the killers, the rapists, the murderers. This is the moral capacity of contemporary Pakistan - brave people indeed.

Soomro Jul 16, 2013 08:37pm

My question is: why only one girl is being promoted so much and we even cannot know the names of those innocent girls and even younger then Malala Y. who lost their lives with those powers aggression with drones and wars and chaos which they spread in our dear country. and why we can't send all to Birmingham hospital for their speedy and full recovery who got severe wounds in these wars and chaotic situations around the country from the PEOPLE of Hazara to Chilas.

Rabiya Jul 16, 2013 08:39pm

Pakistanis are a very bitter nation now. They don't expect any rays of hope and when there are any they deny them - just so their hope is not roused in vain again.

A H Nayyar Jul 16, 2013 08:48pm

Beena, salute to you. You have said it well, and said very appropriate things about the people who are shamelessly criticising Malala. Power ro Malalas of the world.

Syed Ahmad Jul 16, 2013 08:57pm

The real daughter of Pakistan is Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Moreover any attempt by US/NATO/UN to eulogize and make heroes out of traitors and CIA assets would be resisted and challenge by the whole muslim world and Pakistan

Gary Sher Jul 16, 2013 09:10pm

Ironic the naysayers used Facebook and Twitter to demonise western decadence! They have a point about the lack of attention paid to drones.

Arian Jul 16, 2013 09:16pm

Very well said Ms.Bina Shah. We all agree with the proposition proposed by Malala and that is education for solution of such mentality both in Pakistan and in my country Afghanistan. In such dark state of mind only the ones who lead the society carry the torch. But unfortunately all our leaders since the inception had nothing to care about but their personal gains. This has left us in pitch black from generations to generations which is the ultimate cause of brother killing brother and we (the people) as a tool to be misused.

H. Ali Jul 16, 2013 09:55pm

Yeh that's correct!!! if education problem is solved in our country than no such claims will come.........People will understand things in a better way.......

Yusuf Jul 16, 2013 10:09pm

This is no more than a rant, about the anti-Malala Rant.

omarqadir Jul 16, 2013 10:34pm

Absolutely spot on and what a wonderful Piece of writing. The woman is real change in any society, and sooner of later it shall be in Pakistan as well.

Nataliya Jul 16, 2013 10:51pm

I have been appalled by the response by our nation since all of this has happened and you have summed it up very accurately. I have had this strong uneasy feeling reading many of the comments how sexist our society is becoming. We really do not encourage women and girls to stand up for themselves and are more attune to celebrating those that sacrifice themselves. Thanks for writing this.

Tehmia Jul 16, 2013 11:41pm

Something freshening to read,thank you.

asfi Jul 16, 2013 11:47pm

malala dramazai: very true

jawad ali Jul 17, 2013 12:10am

very well summed up, don't know why we cannot appreciate anything good and always dig up something to criticize.

Suleman Jul 17, 2013 12:33am

No Bina Shah, we cannot accept what you say. You are a woman, and a testimony of one woman doesn't count.

LOL, jk! To hell with conspiracy theorists, women haters, and Taliban lovers. We stand with Malala and her cause. Keep it up Bina Shah.

Mustafa Jul 17, 2013 12:36am

@ BINA SHAH: Your article reflects prejudice against a 16 year old girl who made excellent presentation at the UN but you want to blame her for not doing more. Your statement "The whole shooting was staged by

Parvez Jul 17, 2013 12:42am

That was sensible and balanced and your explanation on our behaviour was spot on. Malala's speach was in one word, powerful.

Jamshed Khan Jul 17, 2013 12:48am

What is the answer to the following genuine questions quoted in this article?

Another popular refrain was

Hamza Jul 17, 2013 01:42am

Shukriya, shukriya, shukriya for this thoughtful and cogent response to the ridiculous rhetoric of some of our countrymen. It has been incredibly disappointing and confusing to see the juvenile, half-backed and malicious criticisms of Malala everywhere in the country. These reactions are a real "symptom" of just how upside-down our mainstream mindset has become. It's heartening to see I'm not the only Pakistani scratching his head at people's reactions.

syed Nazim Jul 17, 2013 02:32am

You have no courage to face reality, how can you allow defense of Mala

MWB Jul 17, 2013 02:40am

I have to agree with the most of the contents on this article. I for Myself havent seen the Malala's speech and didnt comment on it, neither passed a judgement such as whether she is an agent, faked injury. What I know is that a girl from Pakistan's troubled area have made to UN which shows how much capable people of this beloved country is. In addition, What made me more happier was she spoke for education even though she hasnt served which is mostly an excuse put forward by people who have hatred for her. You can say it is our biasness against her which is prompting us to ignore what she says with good intentions, the message, and rather people are going bersek with hate speeches. To those people who are of notion that she hasnt.served people, Give her sometime, she is 15. She'll definitely go for what you want her to do the most.

umar ishaq butt Jul 17, 2013 02:45am

Well done. Nice article for people to understand.

Satyameva Jayate Jul 17, 2013 02:45am

Well thought. Well expressed. I think there are two kind of people: 1. Those whose eyes became moist while watching Malala speak. 2. Those who chose or were sick enough to fall for "psychological displacement".

atif khan Jul 17, 2013 02:50am

I am shocked ashamed and disgusted by some of the content on FB against her. Does low literacy level (especially women) , gender inequality, freedom to vote (in FATA and KPK), acid attacks, blowing up of schools ... (the list can go on).

These are realities of some areas within Pakistan. Instead of speaking against it, people are condemning the very people who are standing up and saying no. These are not CIA, Mi5 created, these are realities, how can the Pakistani people deny them.

Have we forgotten the petition that political parties signed in KPK and FATA in some areas where it was decided that due to security concern women would not vote.

Wake up before it is too late (maybe it is?).

Khan Jul 17, 2013 02:54am

As British journalist Alex Hamilton said,

Zeeshan Jul 17, 2013 03:09am

i agreed! we shouldn't use bad language for her... but i guess people are more angry on the conspiracy. i liked ur sarcastic way to discus whats happening on FB n tweeter for malala. But i'm sure there are more sarcastic lines to prove what is conspiracy to make malala hero. and the question is not what she spoke in UN but how and who took her there. if you think its just because she stand for women education so i'm so sorry. here i would like to say we need to understand what is politics. might be you will not agree with me, but compare to politics behind this conspiracy her speech was not inspirational. it was dictated.

ss Jul 17, 2013 03:13am

When will the muslim ummah institute an award with money twice the amount of Noble and Oscar prize money for their own heroes?

Why do the crave awards from institutions/countries they love to hate? The oil rich muslim countries can do that easily.

ahmad Jul 17, 2013 04:35am

@furqan: for your information malala belongs to swat and there is no single drone attack yet in swat....

Faisal Jul 17, 2013 05:43am

I believe you have been living in a world different from the ones we have been living in. When the western media coins derogatory terms like 'Islamists' and 'fundamentalists' and twists the meanings of 'madressah', 'talibaan', 'shariah' and islam itself, any Muslim would second judge their every action. The matter of note is that the west is no fan of Pakistan or Islam. The general sentiment is that Pakistani's and Muslims are backward people, following a millennia old tradition which has no place in the world now. When the Blackwater roams free on Pakistani streets and R. Davis enjoys another day after killing Pakistani people, when the US pays millions to our media to win a propoganda war and billions to our politicians and generals to continue its never ending war, when our children are dying at the very hands on the people cheering Malala on, Pakistani's will see something more than what you see. You may have closed your eyes on what happens in Pakistan but those who mistrust the Malala incident are cautious of being bitten twice. Malala may be a hero to the west but her speech was too well scripted for my liking. It was written to win the hearts of the west. Not the hearts of those in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Education and food become relevant only for those you can keep alive Ms Bina Shah. The tragedy of Malala is that it is a ruse to distract from a pure act of evil being committed on our soil. If you have an ounce of humanity left in you, write on what matters, not what makes your western friends happy reading your articles.

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Jul 17, 2013 05:48am

@Mrs. Ahmed: Agree with you completely. Mukhtaran Mai had the courage to open a girls school in Pakistan.

xPakistani Jul 17, 2013 06:02am

@Ali S: Drone attacks are with the consent of president, high official of government and armed forces of Pakistan - no country regardless how powerful, including American cannot go so freely and attack a country - and if they don't have permission than what is purpose of Pakistan armed forces - isn't their job to protect Pakistan from foreign invasion - why don't you blame Pakistan armed forces being coward.

Ali Jul 17, 2013 06:40am

Good work dear author. I think criticizing Malala is like denying the fact that there are severe problems facing our society. Author is spot on in saying that there is an urgent need to bring education and peace to Pakistan.

Nabarun Dey Jul 17, 2013 06:48am

She is a born leader. She might lead Pakistan someday provided Pakistan let her live that long.

MIB Jul 17, 2013 06:52am

@furqan: Drones are good for the Taliban and their supporters. More power to drones for eliminating what Pakistani forces have failed to take care of.

Akil Akhtar Jul 17, 2013 07:09am

The reality is that Pakistanis can see when someone is used for propoganda against Pakistan and Islam and when someone is genuinely acknowledged. Why they do not acknowledge Edhi or others like him who have done so much for humanity. Edhi was even detained at US airport. The problem is our educated who go nuts when they get any attention from the white man.

Mustafa Jul 17, 2013 07:17am

It is absolutely naive to blame Malala for not protesting about drone attacks when government of Pakistan and hundreds of politicians are already protesting about drone attacks plus these drone attacks are taking place with full knowledge and secret consent of government based on intelligence and necessity. Malala's plight was almost a deadly attack on her by Talibans for preventing her equal opportunity like young men for education. Neither government of Pakistan nor Pakistani politicians have protested to anyone about this treatment of girls or done anything to protect the rights of girls seeking education. Blaming Malala for not protesting about drone attacks is just a slap on her face and by those who will continue to treat women as chattels.

Ali Abbas Jul 17, 2013 07:19am

@Ali S: I am not sure why you believe that all speeches should cover each and every topic; improtant or otherwise. Malala's speech was focused on education and lack of opportunities for children to receive education. There is outright hostility towards education in Pakistan especially for girls. That was the focus of her speech and she spoke well.

Ali Abbas Jul 17, 2013 07:24am

The reason there is so much negativity towards Malala's speech is because our country is a morally bankrupt country. Pakistan has become a pathetic excuse of a country and in my opinion if we do not change our trajectory we do not do not deserve to exist as a country. Pakistan is a constant source of spreading misery to the whole world and is a constant source of shame for Pakistanis who have to face non-Pakistanis.

mkq Jul 17, 2013 07:31am

@furqan: "Her whole village attacked by drones". This is factually incorrect. Malala is from Swat, and there have never been any drone attacks over there. Rather her village was attacked by the Taliban, who wanted to impose their way of life and terrorize the peaceful people living there.

Don't see any reason why Malala should mention drone attacks. Her struggle is about the right and access to education for girls, which was denied to her by the Taliban who closed and destroyed schools in Swat and wherever their influence is. Its sad that most Pakistanis cannot see that.

Sudheendra KULKARNI Jul 17, 2013 07:31am

Superb article. Makes all the right arguments, and with persuasive passion. As an Indian, I am proud of Malala - who is now a world citizen - and I hugely admire such high-quality writing in Pakistani newspapers.

Zafar Jul 17, 2013 07:38am

Well said Bina Shah salute to Malala , to you and all those progressives and humanists who believe in live and let live

Dr. Khalid Butt Jul 17, 2013 09:24am

Great child. May Allah bestow our nation with such children.

Umar Jul 17, 2013 10:16am


Paki Jul 17, 2013 11:02am

@Mrs. Ahmed: Mrs Ahmad, if your daughter was in Malala's place, would you have said the same thing including asking her to come back and likely get shot again?

leon Jul 17, 2013 11:25am

there are many other important things than discussing Malala's speech over here...

Ahmed Jul 17, 2013 12:25pm

A very well written and thought provoking article. The writer deserves appreciation and applause .we pray for more brave and courageous people like Malal , what we want the darkness or light , what does our religion and other religions teach and so the enlightened society , I salute the united nations and all the world leaders and people who arranged and participated and encouraged Malala ' the sign of light and enlightenment , Criticism is the un deniable right but with rationality , does not education gives light t understand one self , the society , the religion and humanity , oh all the people of this globe , let's join for peace and betterment

ahmed Jul 17, 2013 12:30pm

Just looking at her words, she said education for girls, education for all and that is what she is standing for. I support that with no questions. What is 'wrong' with our educated lot is that they try to find reasons and causes behind every story. See here are a few questions: Did anything changed since her shooting, I know a few more female teachers and students were killed, schools were closed. Did the image of Pakistan improved because of Malala, I know the hate has increased and Pakistan in general has been termed a hell for women, worst country in the world, child killing terrorist state etc. The truth is there are a number of women who without having a privileged background are striving and thriving in this very country, Malala is one of them and she should be a face for these women.

sama Jul 17, 2013 12:34pm

@t: "No one is against education of women in Pakistan" as said by - t , most of the Pakistanis are like Mr. t unable to accept reality and living in some imaginary world.

Mahwish Jul 17, 2013 12:45pm

This article is trite. She's a "novelist", not a psychologist. I'm almost always amused when someone talks about "Pakistani mentality" as if they're above it. This article is so if I'm supposed to take some girl who says "Personally, I feel that a young girl who can survive being shot in the head by the Taliban is strong enough to withstand being exploited by anyone" seriously. Personally, I feel that this author is as pretentious and disconnected as they come -- who thinks that she's a writer just because she knows how to string five words together. How do these people get published?

A R Jul 17, 2013 12:58pm

Can you please not generalize the entire population of Pakistan in your poorly written article?

Oh, but now you may go and say I'm writing you this comment because I'm a Pakistani with a typical Pakistani mentality. When, if you think about it, YOU seem to be very self loathing of your own identity and people.

Ahmed Jul 17, 2013 01:05pm

You say: "What does this say about Pakistani mentality? Firstly, it illustrates the fact that most Pakistanis are very confused." How did you conclude from Internet posts of some misguided, uninformed people that "most Pakistanis" are confused? Such statements only reinforce the wrong perceptions about us as a nation.

Zain Jul 17, 2013 01:25pm

@Jamshed Khan: The answer is that why should she speak about drone attacks? How is a speech about women education related to drone attacks? Sure, we all feel for innocent drone victims (btw recently drone attacks have been very precise), but what has that to do with women education? Had she spoken about that, someone might have complained why did she not mentioned victims of the ongoing Shia Genocide. Had she mentioned that as well, someone might have complained that flood victims were not mentioned.

Sure, all these issues are important in their individual capacities, but Malala's stance from day one, before she was shot, before she became famous, before Swat operation, when she would write an anonymous diary as Gul Makai, has been about WOMEN EDUCATION.

Your anti-American stance is fully justified, but don't take it out on a young girl who is simply asking for education. Also read this: it will help understanding how heroes are made, and some deserving people get ignored:

nrmr44 Jul 17, 2013 01:42pm

@Mustafa: English is read left to right, sir!

Hasan Jul 17, 2013 02:10pm

Do you think there should be more war in Malala's home town/country? Would have been more beautiful, had she talked about the problems everybody faces due to war in the area.

Majid Jul 17, 2013 02:23pm

The negative reaction illustrates that not just young girls need educating but most of Pakistan does.

Omar Jul 17, 2013 02:32pm

@Mustafa: Dude, you need to brush up on your reading skills.

Dr Farrukh Chowdry Jul 17, 2013 02:48pm

There is an effort by fanatic religous extremist parties to snatch power by undemocratic means.They want to go back to stone age and for them woemean are worse than animals. We have to eliminate them by force. A good example is the move by Egyptian army to crush Muslim extremities in Egypt. We should crush the Taliban and all their of shoots by army actions.

Burhan Jul 17, 2013 03:34pm

Good One!

Mazhar Hasan Jul 17, 2013 03:41pm

Honestly speaking we all got sick of the name MALALA. Since the shooting incident in which ironically her other class mates were injured too you only had to turn on any TV Channel only to find no other topic under discussion but Malala with no mention of the other injured class mates (for reasons best known to the media and the propagators of Malala). Every day, tens of innocent lives are lost, people falling victim to unknown assassins in the city of Karachi. Has the provincial government, the Chief Minister and Governor of Sindh the Prime Minister or the President of Pakistan as much as uttered a word of condolence or solace. Has there ever been a sincere desire by the Provincial or the Federal Government to exercise its authority, arrest the criminals and bring them to task? The role of the media has been equally questionable. It can take one to the skies and dump the rest. Everyday, hundreds of Malalas are dying in Karachi and Quetta and Peshawar. Not a word said, not a tear shed. Malala is at least lucky to be alive!

Irfan Ahmed Jul 17, 2013 04:07pm

@Soomro: Because

  1. That's life. Some people are lucky others are not. Its a whole different philosophical discussion if that viewpoint is correct or not.
  2. It is the ineptitude of OUR government and OUR media that doesn't report all those people who die due to drone attacks or suicide attacks. Please remind yourself and me when was the last time you saw a news report or a government memo that stated explicitly the names of the lives lost. Because I'm blanking out at this point. Why should the West show compassion or interest in our citizens when we as a nation, and our government, is NOT granting safety to them in the first place (be they from drone attacks or by criminals or terrorists).

And for the rest of you out there who blame Malala for being a crony of the West I am appalled by the lack of compassion you show for a fellow human being who was shot in the head and survived. Please spare your breath from going on a rant on why one should show compassion towards a 'dramabaz' when so many people have died from drone attacks, etc. As I may have to reiterate my earlier statement a few paragraphs above, it is OUR problem. We have brought it upon ourselves and not until our government grows a spine on issues such as drone attacks and take responsibility for the creation of our problem (the Taliban) can we progress from such ridiculous bickering over conspiracies. And if you do want to rant, then please feel free to do so but also take to the streets and do some worthwhile activism for your cause otherwise your words have no weight nor credibility. May you be your own judge. This hate on her is the incarnation of the Us vs. Them (West/ liberals) notion. But the simple fact is, she was most importantly representing herself and her cause in her speech. She might have felt to clarify some points of contention about her people but mainly she spoke of what was true to her: the cause for seeking education to empower and emancipate herself. And she felt the need to promote that UNIVERSAL right for every child in the world . Because that is what she relates to. For if I recall correctly her life was threatened by a gun-wielding man, not an unmanned drone. Rejoice for this is a girl from OUR country who had the courage to continue speaking for her rights and the right s of every child all around the world, even after having faced death. Kindly don't malign her cause by your hate.

MR Jul 17, 2013 04:39pm

@Jamshed Khan: To answer some - Why had Malala not spoken out about drones at the UN? -She is not Pakistan's foreign minister. It is pakistan's govt. responsibility to speak about drones. She was invited for a specific cause and spoke about that. Why did everyone care so much about Malala and not the other girls murdered by drones? -She survived, and had the courage to still write and speak about taliban, which many 'men' in pakistan cannot.. Why did America kill innocent children with drones and then lionise the young Malala to make themselves feel good that they actually cared about the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan? -Because they can, and because our nation/ rulers allow that to happen.

hopefully this will remove your confusion.

Farhan Jul 17, 2013 04:57pm

The writer of this article is so twisted in his own mind. He has fallen to his knees against the western media and their ways. Oh wait! Dont evey one idealise to be like their western counterparts including journalists. So ofcourse he will hail what ever the western world enjoys. And he will rejoice at their appreciation and he will tell the same story and believe every word they tell. Or he's just stupid! Have he ever protested against drones or what not through his pen. I guess not. So mister writer i dont know what has happend to DAWN that they need to include your article. Well i have a theory. Theres not many newspaper readers left in the country to make the company afloat so maybe they need some extra funding from outside. I dont knw, just saying. You decide. As for Mallala, my oppinion, its all made up. The westerns you dispise are giving u a slap on your faces by telling you that they care about your own child then you do. And you people are such fools that you agree. After all they are the western civilized world. How can they lie? Do you love your children more than anyone? Its for you to decide. From where i am sitting its not looking so good.

Pakistani Jul 17, 2013 05:01pm

She is just a child being used by CIA, those who have commented below should have seen her picture sitting with her father and CIA personnal, her father has used her child for his personal gains. Great GAME has begun, lets see what happens.

Mazhar Hasan Jul 17, 2013 05:29pm

@ Faisal: Splendid expression of what millions of Pakistanis feel. Could not have been better worded. I salute you!

TUFAIL Jul 17, 2013 05:49pm

Malala is a hero and so is her father. Pakistani nation should be proud of her. As far as Pakistani nation is concerned, I think those who use twitter or face book are not even 5% of its population and do not reflect the majority but it is concerning to see how some of the so called educated people think and feel. In every society east or west you will have people and typically a minority who would have this distorted type of self serving mentality . Lets face it, neither public nor the government could protect her but still she raised her voice against the forces that have shown mercy to anyone. She is a brave person and leader in making .

Zymaidar Jul 17, 2013 06:09pm

Wonderful analysis. Malala is not the only victim here, Edhi, Chippa, ..... list is long. When someone will talk about drones attack, unsatisfied people will say, Oh this person is only talking about drones issue and not the issues of Kashmir, Palestine, poverty, Khatm e Nabuwat, child and bonded labours etc. And when some one will talk about all these issues, we Pakistanis will come up with some other slogan. We exactly dont know what to stand for. We want to see one peron solving all our problem in the least possible time and if it is not done then we will find a scapegoat. We are not realizing that this 16 years old girl has just started. If we will empower her, she has more courage than most of the people I know. How many readers on these forums can resist militants who are famous of mutilating bodies of alive and dead. She actually shut them out. I dont know what is our problem.

jahanzeb Jul 17, 2013 07:09pm

we should write a petition to have her and her father deported to pakistan and hand them over to taliban

Saad Jul 17, 2013 07:44pm

An absolute beauty of an article. Very well said.

Why? Jul 17, 2013 07:56pm

@Farhan: Tell me, Farhan, is the illiteracy rate in Pakistan not abysmally low? Are women and girls treated as they should? Are their rights given to them in this country where they live? I wouldn't say so. And all Malala was talking about was this. I don't see why you need to draw up conspiracy theories when all she's saying is true. Western media? Where does the western media come into this? Don't you see the problems Pakistan is facing? I didn't here her say anything else except point out some outstanding problem that need to be taken care of right away.

Calvin1997 Jul 17, 2013 08:13pm

well written article,... and this is exactly why most people in Pakistan really have no future except for electing useless leaders like themselves, and then blaming the whole world (CIA, US, India etc), for their own home grown problems...

a country created on foundations of religious divisions and discrimination has no future... this a sad lesson learn by the creation of this cesspool now known as "Pakistan".

AJ Jul 17, 2013 08:38pm

Thank you for this write up. I have been feeling immensely frustrated and depressed by the vitriol being hurled at a poor child who was advocating women

harkol Jul 17, 2013 08:52pm

Reform begins with the process of identifying what is wrong. Pakistan won't reform or change, as long as people always think they are the victims, not the problem agents.

Targetting Malala shows how deep runs the malice. They feel it is somehow her fault that Taliban shot her. It is her fault that world admires her. It is her fault that she survived an attack.

False Victimhood will beget actual victimhood.

AJ Jul 17, 2013 09:04pm

@Pakistani: I hope you know how ridiculous you sound saying that :)

ivehadit Jul 17, 2013 10:35pm

@ROHIT PANDEY: Rohit, rather than visiting Dawn pages to throw stones at what is a very brave and forthcoming analysis, and not having anything creditable to say, you may want to also pay attention to the horrifying news from your side of the border - 22 children died eating school food and the adminstrators and teachers ran away rather than staying to help the sick and dying.

darr Jul 17, 2013 11:11pm

@Zymaidar: Our problem is low self esteem and jealousy

Paki Jul 17, 2013 11:24pm

@Zain: Good answer to this dumb mind set we have; almost like an "All or none law". Even if Malala had mentioned the drones etc, we would have then asked why did she not mention the struggle for Kashmir etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for Kashmir but there is a time and place for everything. And I want to ask my fellow Pakistanis if they would have hammered Malala the same way if she was their daughter. Don't forget that she is just a child (even though the West may very well be exploiting her) but, MashaAllah, she had the guts to stand up to the uneducated Taliban.

akram Jul 17, 2013 11:33pm

Funny how all the taliban apologists are only concerned about the innocent victims of the drone attacks, but complete silence about all the innocent victims of the talibans murderous crime spree. That is before we talk about their involvement in the drug trade and bank robbery's. Were they not innocent too?

ALI Jul 18, 2013 12:37am
  1. Nice try but your comparisons are baseless.
  2. You dont go out and start telling everyone the problems at your home. does you ever considered that we are one of the countries where occurence of rape is very very less as compared to USA. NO!!! people like you just pick up one case and start defaming Pakistan in whole world. WE ARE NOT PERFECT, WE HAVE PROBLEMS AND WE WILL SOLVE IT AT OUR OWN. IN SHA ALLAH.
Ali Amjad Butt Jul 18, 2013 12:39am

Bina it is unfortunate that we as a people have a tendency to blame anything wrong on somebody is always the indians, the americans or a jewish conspiracy. So many of our problems are self created and inflicted and unless we conduct an existential of ourselves honestly we are going to be stuck in this blame game..qualty Education imparted to the masses over a sustained period is the only natural soloution to this malaise..Unfortunately that's never been a priority of the state :(

VKD Jul 18, 2013 01:25am


Mustafa Jul 18, 2013 03:51am

The following news release is an eye opener for all Pakistanis. They are doomed if they do not wipe out all militants and terrorists from the soil of Pakistan as soon as possible, If they do not take action, there is good possibility, Allah forbid, that the world communities may take action to wipe out enemies of humanity unilatelly.

News release from TTP:

In the open letter released Wednesday, Rashid said he personally wished the attack had not happened, but accused her of running a

Hasan Jul 18, 2013 04:45am

Bina Shah, you are entitled to your views as others. I fail to understand "Malala" and "Shahzeb Khan" phenomenon. They are neither the only victims of such crimes nor the only representatives of victims but there is something which makes them media (and judiciary) darling for right or wrong reasons. To me she is just a girl who "survived" an attack like thousands others - nothing more , nothing less. If she is a hero - then we have 180 million heroes in Pakistan!

EQ8Rhomes Jul 18, 2013 05:00am

Hats off to brave Bina Shah for standing up for all the Malalas and Mukhatars of the world. They come in all "colours" shapes and sizes. Many are men,too. Thanks, Bina.

Hasan Jul 18, 2013 05:16am

@Mahwish - you are spot on!

RJ Jul 18, 2013 06:02am

@Mustafa: What are you raving about? read the article, understand it and then make a sensible comment!

RJ Jul 18, 2013 06:13am

Malala stands for the emancipation of women - this is simply not acceptable for a society which has treated women as chattel for a thousand years.

Imran Jul 18, 2013 06:27am

@ss: The current 'Ummah' is a useless bunch that has not contributed a bit of good to anyone but plenty of whining.

Imran Jul 18, 2013 06:37am

@Faisal: Stop whining about R Davis & Drone attacks Faisal. Taliban and their likes are the only ones that get upset about those issues. What about your guys going in and blowing up Shias in their masjids and bomb blasts occurring everyday, killing women and children. When you cannot clean your own house, someone else will clean it. The stink is over whelming.

hamid Jul 18, 2013 06:55am

@Pakistani: what is your reaction when u see a real CIA official meeting with your politicians both secular and so called religious minded. If you have courage and vision pls answer me

TI Jul 18, 2013 06:55am

@Pakistani: Wow! You are so smart! Did you figured that all out by yourself? This thought process is epitome of ignorance.

Razz Jul 18, 2013 07:50am

Most of the Pakistanis don't think negatively of Malala but JI and its affiliates. Same people are for Aafia, against drones, for Taliban, against minorities, for Lal Masjid and against Malala. But these people did never & will not win the elections in Pakistan. Alas, They are the best pressure groups I ever knew in the history as they were able to influence Politicians to make quite a few bad laws. Liberals must get up n counter them very strongly otherwise they will keep Pakistan hijacked.

Yahya Shah Jul 18, 2013 07:54am

Can some one tell me what Malala done and when. If you go there are million Malalas in the hilly trains who activitated for education and there rights from the so called Taliban. Then why only Malala ?

Mirza Ahmad Jul 18, 2013 07:57am

Malala is a brave child and the pride of Pakistan. I am very fond of her and the guts she has shown

Sonal Jul 18, 2013 08:24am

It's disgusting that people think she is a CIA agent or doing drama, but regardless, she spoke more sense than all of Pakistan's politicians put together. Except Imran Khan maybe.

dr vimal raina Jul 18, 2013 08:24am

@Sudheendra KULKARNI: You are right sir. When as Indians we look at Pakistan, we are full of dismay and the fear of some unknown implosion that might happen there someday to singe us too. But the thought and the ideas that Malala represents, gives a lot of hope.There must be a grid of very good people in Pakistan as in India that supports the system. Yes the thought and idea that Malala represents is the 'world citizen force'. May her tribe grow.

dr vimal raina Jul 18, 2013 08:29am

@Mazhar Hasan: You may be sick of the name Malala but that name does not represent the girl. It represents the thought. It will haunt the stone age ilk forever. It will uplift and give hope to faceless people in many corners of the world; now and forever.

Shaukat USA Jul 18, 2013 08:29am

@xPakistani: With drone attacks US is helping Pakistan tackle the Taliban who are bent upon destroying Pakistan. I am ashamed to see that people forget what Talibans have done to Pakistan, not even the worst enemy of Pakistan could have inflicted so much damage.

Shaukat USA Jul 18, 2013 08:31am

@xPakistani: This is the problem with Pakistan. Blame others.

Syed Karim Jul 18, 2013 08:33am

It was a shameful display of how Pakistanis have a tendency to turn on the very people they should be proud of. Prof Abdus Salam fell victim to this peculiar Pakistani phenomenon, as well as the murdered child labour activist Iqbal Masih, Rimsha Masih ...

This is not a Pakistani phenomenon, this is a South Asian phenomenon.

What happened to Prof. Abdus Salaam is happening to Prof. Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh. Prof. Yunus, who pioneered the concept of micro-credit and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, has been demonized just last week by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

We know what happened to Mohandas Gandhi in India; he was killed by a Hindu extremist.

aku Jul 18, 2013 09:46am

Excellent analysis. We have become mentally sick. Even in the holy month of Ramadan we feel no shame in "tohmat". We are reaching the lowest ebb of moral or ethical values. But instead of cleansing ourselves we feel happier in criticizing all and sundry. No wonder why the rest of the world, even our Muslim brethern countries despise. Unless we learn to stand up and face the bitter truth, things will not change.

Sing bird Jul 18, 2013 10:24am

@Satyameva Jayate: Agree with you.

tahir.zain Jul 18, 2013 10:39am

The right wing obscurantist brigade accuses the Taliban of being american agents and at the same time lionises them for being 'true patriotic' Pakistani brothers.

Mutter grumble.. I wish the right wing would make up its mind!

RK Singh Jul 18, 2013 10:58am

she is a hero.

Yasir Jul 18, 2013 11:59am

When she says that girls don't have access to education in Pakistan, its portraying an entirely biased and unjust picture of Pakistan. Doesn't she see girls going to schools, colleges and universities. Everyone who is commenting in favour of Malala, have a look around and see how many girls do you see going to schools, colleges and universities. The whole picture will become clear to you. But she said, and will say things, that would propel her to stardom. Forget about the image of your country, forget about the truth. She would eventually get what she was after, a life of luxury in UK and fame.

Fraz Jul 18, 2013 12:54pm

Malala is our Heroine and she is a role model for the whole world. There are few thousand people in our country who have very distorted mindset about life as a whole and same bunch is ready to criticize any positive element.They are always waiting for dooms day and so are never happy nor can see others making progress.

Shereen Jul 18, 2013 01:39pm

I'm very delightful to read this article, unveiling the facts, the actual picture behind the scene. I have been in discussions with so many people but unfortunately they only knew what media perceived them. Good Job !

Faryal Jul 18, 2013 02:43pm

Just read the statement of TTP spokesman about the Malala Incident. According to him it should not had happened. It seems TTP is as confused in their policies as majority of Pakistanis are. They do one thing wrong then start justifying it with meaningless statements. Same is happening with Pakistanis, as a sample case they started loving Malala after the shooting incident then start hating her due to propaganda of fake incident and now again start loving her after her fabulous speech in UN. Most of us are still not able to make our minds about what is right and what is wrong. Some of us always find an international conspiracy behind every incident in Pakistan and some are keeping eyes and mouth shut over the statement of Indian official over the mumbai and indian parliment attacks. Wakeup Pakistanis, try to learn and bring courage to say No to Wrongs & Yes to Rights.

Aamina Jul 18, 2013 03:10pm

Islam respects women and considering that majority of the population in Pakistan is Muslim, disrespecting women is just a crime!

suresh Jul 18, 2013 03:36pm

@Pakistani: What can we expect from a person like you. You should read and listen to Abro's article and you will realise what a sham you are.

Maryam Jul 18, 2013 03:58pm

I am a Pakistani and I am all for education of women but I didn't fall for this Malala drama... Does that mean I'm jealous of her? I m insecure and angry because I can't do anything about it? Your generalisation just goes to show how one sided your thinking really is nothing else... I don't have anything against Malala but the fact that this whole issue has been blown way out of proportion by the western media does leave a few doubts in my mind... It's shameful that people who think they are smarter than the average(like yourself) are so naive( read stupid) to fall for everything western media feeds wanna know who a hero is? Dr AQ Khan , Abdul Satar Eidhi are the kind of people we call heros not someone who leaves the country and bad mouths about it in the go ahead and say that I'm jealous but truth is had I been shot I'd have still stayed in Pakistan,lived here and died here...

AK Jul 18, 2013 04:19pm

The article may not be very well written, but it points out an important problem in the popular mindset: attributing anything and everything to a Western conspiracy to discredit Islam and Pakistan. Firstly, our leaders and we ourselves as individual Pakistanis have done enough to discredit and shame our country on our own at different levels, on various platforms. Doesn't need a Western conspiracy to achieve that. What Malala has done is incredible, coming from such a young girl from a small town and there is no compulsion on her to talk about drones either. So far so good. What is not good is how this incident has been used by the Western media to deepen the impression all over the world that Pakistan is all about intolerance, violence, abuse of women rights and human rights and minority rights . That Pakistan is just another Afghanistan in the making and worse too, because it has nuclear arms, the Islamic bomb. Its true that we have all issues and we need to deal with them. But why is it that its only a partial, stinted, negative view of our country that is projected in the Western media ? If Malala had been appreciated only as a girl who stands up against the threats of a terrorist organization that would have been laudable. But when this incident is fitted into the whole ongoing politically motivated discourse on how Pakistan is a rogue state, officially supporting the terrorists, deserving to be droned, while nothing is mentioned of the losses we have suffered on a daily basis, of the interventionist American policies and of forcing us to be part of a war not of our making, that is not acceptable.