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Screen shot taken from TTP video shows Adnan Rasheed training a death squad, being formed to assassinate Pervez Musharraf. – Photo courtesy Zahir Shah Sherazi
Screen shot taken from TTP video shows Adnan Rasheed training a death squad, being formed to assassinate Pervez Musharraf. – Photo courtesy Zahir Shah Sherazi

PESHAWAR: A senior Pakistani Taliban commander has written to Malala Yousafzai, the teenage education activist shot by militants, accusing her of “smearing” them and of promoting “satanic” values, while urging her to return home.

Gunmen from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) shot Malala, now 16, in the head in her home town in Swat last October after she had campaigned for the right of girls to go to school.

She made a powerful speech to the UN on Friday in her first public appearance since the near-fatal attack, vowing to continue her struggle for education and not be silenced by the militants.

In an open letter released Wednesday, Adnan Rashid, a former air force member turned TTP cadre, said he personally wished the attack had not happened, but accused her of running a “smearing campaign” against the militants.

“When you were attacked it was shocking for me,” Rashid wrote in English.

“I wished it would never happened (sic) and I had advised you before.”

According to AP, Rashid said the letter expressed his own opinion not that of the TTP.

But he added: “Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in Swat and your writings were provocative.

“... It is amazing that you are shouting for education, you and the UNO (UN) is pretending that you were shot due to education, although this is not the reason... not the education but your propaganda was the issue,” he continued.

“What you are doing now, you are using your tongue on the behest of the others.”

The letter was sent to reporters in northwest Pakistan and its authenticity confirmed to AFP by a senior Taliban cadre who is a close associate of Rashid.

It is understood Malala has not received the letter herself.

Rashid accused Malala of seeking to promote an education system begun by British colonialists to produce “Asians in blood but English in taste”, and said students should study Islam and not the “satanic or secular curriculum”.

“I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and Pashtun culture, join any female Islamic madressah near your home town, study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim ummah (community),” Rashid wrote.

Malala was given life-saving treatment in Britain, where she now lives with her family.

Rashid was sentenced to death over a 2003 attack on Pakistan's then military ruler Pervez Musharraf, but escaped from custody in the mass jailbreak in Bannu April last year.

He said he had originally wanted to write to Malala to warn her against criticising the Taliban when she rose to prominence with a blog for the BBC Urdu service chronicling life under the militants' 2007-9 rule in Swat, in northwest Pakistan.

The Taliban have destroyed hundreds of schools across the northwest, an area on the frontline of the country's bloody struggle against militants.

But Rashid said the attacks were necessary because government forces used schools as hideouts and bases.

Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister turned UN special envoy for global education, who has supported Malala since she was shot, issued a caustic response to the Taliban letter.

“Nobody will believe a word the Taliban say about the right of girls like Malala to go to school until they stop burning down schools and stop massacring pupils,” he said in a statement.

Last month, militants blew up a bus carrying female students in Pakistan's southwestern city of Quetta, and then stormed a hospital where survivors had been taken for treatment. At least 25 people were killed in the attacks.

Malala's brave fight back from her injuries and speech at the UN have made her a leading contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. But the response to her in Pakistan has been mixed.

Many have hailed her as a national heroine but others have criticised her for promoting a “Western” agenda.

Comments (55) Closed

Hiba Jul 17, 2013 09:18pm

I think Arabic should me made compulsory in all Pakistani schools up until matric. When folks read and understand the Quran for themselves maybe they will understand what it is about rather than killing innocent folks for disagreeing with them.

Usman Jul 17, 2013 09:21pm

This is laughable!!! Who does he think he is kidding? Now that she has gotten more famous, he suddenly 'regrets' it??

Ahmed Jul 17, 2013 09:28pm

Ki mere qatl ke ba'ad us ne jafa se taubah Haaey us zood pashemaan ka pashemaan hona

Mustafa Jul 17, 2013 09:34pm

Ki million qatal ke baad uss na jafa se tauba Hai uss zood pashaiman ka pashaiman ho na

Amna Rizvi Jul 17, 2013 09:52pm

The Western savior complex has hijacked Malala's message. The West has killed more girls than the Taliban have. The West has denied more girls an education via their missiles than the Taliban has by their bullets. The West has done more against education around the world than extremists could ever dream of. So, please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala.

Anees Jul 17, 2013 10:01pm

another drama? or another episode of the same drama?

Saleem Shah Jul 17, 2013 10:18pm

Malala Yousafzai should return to Pakistan so she can be further slandered by ignorant Pakistanis and then shot again by the savage Taliban. I would advise her to stay in civilized land of Britain.

HM Jul 17, 2013 10:19pm

He should have been hanged for his terrorist activities. The people who helped him flee from prison should also be behind bars.

malole Jul 17, 2013 10:19pm

Regret? There is no regret here. Actually I see it as a threatening letter. To live her life she needs to change her life according to their 'edicts'. Same attitude is shown by TTP against all the rest of us. We are just infidels and they are only true 'Muslims'. And our leaders don't get tired of trumpeting talking to these people.

US CENTCOM Jul 17, 2013 10:22pm

Who are you trying to fool Adnan Rashid? Did you forget that your now fired spokesperson, Ehsanullah Ehsan, gave a statement about targeting and shooting Malala; promising that they will not mess up next time and she will be dead! When the heat was on, they issued an eighteen pages long explanation of their evil deed. Now you say it was not Taliban who shot her and her classmates. You are just a bunch of cowards who attack and kill innocent women and children. To gain a few minutes of fame, you now write to Malala who stood up at the United Nations and presented a positive view of Pakistan, and spoke about the rights of women and the rights to gain knowledge that her religion, her culture and her country has given her. We will not give you the gratification of shedding the guilt off your shoulders. You are a convicted criminal who kills innocent people. And that is where you stand.

Abdul Quddus DET-United States Central Command

Lola Jul 17, 2013 10:36pm

Tell the pervert who has killed other children to go hang himself. He and his kind are lower than worm feces and should not be considered human.

Nizar Jul 17, 2013 10:41pm

The title "Taliban Commander expresses regret...." is misleading and false. He is not at all remorseful but rather admonishes her for promoting education, but rather calls on her to stop the propaganda against the terrorists. People like him are the reason our religion, country and every people of this faith have been maligned. Our Prophet had exhorted muslims to acquire education even if one had to go to China. He was not referring to so called Islamic education imparted by the madressahs that is poisoning the minds of people.

NASAH (USA) Jul 17, 2013 10:59pm

"He said he had originally wanted to write to Malala to warn her against criticising the Taliban..." -- because we Taliban have no answers to even a child's 'criticism' except to silence the child's tongue with a shot in her head.

Because the Taliban had no answer to the criticism of a 14 year old Pakistani girl's -- that was more powerful than a no-argument Taliban's Kalashnikov and it was hurting them real bad..

Ali Khan Jul 17, 2013 11:04pm

So Mr Adnan, is it alright to blow up of girls schools? is that Islamic? Why does Malala only have to learn the book of Allah? Can she not also learn English and Maths and Chemistry? It will be pretty difficult to learn those subjects without a girl's school.

NMA Jul 17, 2013 11:12pm

Dont tell me these guys are also jumping on the bandwagon.........

G.A. Jul 17, 2013 11:20pm

Shamelessly shooting teenaged girls. If the TTP think they are raising a voice against injustice and oppression than so is she against the TTP's oppression. No other organization in history has ever taken on an unarmed school girl militarily.

HONEST BELIEF Jul 17, 2013 11:32pm

The Commander is a coward. Why do they have to use guns against a young girl's freedom of speech. They can use propaganda against propaganda. They are the killers of women and children as much as the USA during drone strikes. However they are killing their own people.

Ali Jul 17, 2013 11:34pm

Mr. Adnan Rashid, please note that Main stream education is not against Islam, instead it is proving to be eyes opening and strengthening our belief system. Please be advised that such scientific education leads to a better world by creating resources and better health.

Mubashir Cheema Jul 17, 2013 11:35pm

He said he had originally wanted to write to Malala to warn her against criticizing the Taliban

Lots of "free advice" from someone who belongs to a group that kills people for criticizing the Taliban. And then he complains about the education that the rest of us are receiving.

AKZIS Jul 17, 2013 11:40pm

I second the words of Adnan Rashid regarding studying Islam instead of secular curriculum.

The speech @ UN and the rest of the speeches cant be of her, she's too young and immature to speak as within the speech.

Shooting her is highly condemnable and in no means permitted in Islam, but the agenda that she's promoting on someone else's remote control, is very hazardous too.

Her father, who is now earning worldwide fame + filth much money never thought that he would reach this place in his lifetime. He's playing a dangerous game on the price his daughter's prestige.

Dichichi shyam lal Jul 18, 2013 12:04am

Malala is a simple child. From Taliban commander, we know that she is extremely bold and fearless and has conviction of her ideas. Even the people who wanted to kill her are having second thoughts. That is her worth. That is why she is respected and admired world over.

Azhar Jul 18, 2013 12:14am

Losers ... someday soon the darkness shall be replaced by light and then these evil minds will repent on what they had been doing all their lives, crimes against humanity and Islam.

Arslan Bashir Jul 18, 2013 12:15am

Hypocratic ... On first he says that she was not shot for Education and then explains his autocratic views of Education.

Khalid Jul 18, 2013 12:23am

Its too late for a regret. Malala had already earned the fame...

Agha Ata Jul 18, 2013 12:58am

I am sure that very soon The Taliban commander would deny that he said anything that is mentioned in this article. And i would repeat what Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister said that nobody would believe anything what Taliban say, until they change their attitude and stop attacking school children and destroying schools.

FreedomFighter Jul 18, 2013 01:01am

I hope that this Adnan Rashid will be shot to head. He would really deserve it - not this little girl.

Azhar uddin Jul 18, 2013 01:02am

He is just another fanatic 'fundo'., prince of darkness. Showing regret but still against the education of girls. Every girl should have choice what she wants to learn other than Islamic study courses. Talibans can't tolerate it.

Evil Sobers Jul 18, 2013 01:10am

Full letter of Taliban Leader written in English received by Express Tribune, can be read here:

khan Jul 18, 2013 01:17am

ek or darama bazee

gangadin Jul 18, 2013 01:51am

Since when has this one eyed jack named gordon brown become a custodian of eductaion of muslim women? He should concentrate his efforts on white women in britian that are screwing around at random and dumping kids all over the place.

Imran Jul 18, 2013 02:17am

Adnan Rasheed, did you get educated in a Madrassah?

nathan Jul 18, 2013 02:20am

kill him with a missile strike. sorry for the woman and children who die as collateral damage to blow up someone who deserves it

omar Jul 18, 2013 02:47am

Wow, the truly brave warrior has spoken. I wish we had not shot you - little girl - because you are now telling the world what savages we are. Come back - so that we can have another go at you.

Malala, you are doing a great job presenting a different face of Pakistan. Please keep up the great work. Great speech to the UN too - not a word of vengeance.

Paul Felix Schott Jul 18, 2013 02:52am

Malala has made a powerful speech not to just the UN on Friday it was to the World.

Malala wishes all to look for peace not war and that are Lord GOD Jesus Christ bless all that help others.

To kill for any reason is wicked. The wicked have for two thousand years tried to wipe are Lord's name from the history books.

The wicked have and will keep on trying to wipe from the history books and kill all that take a stand for the good the tell the truth as did Jesus Christ.

Taliban letter urges Malala to return to Pakistan. Have no fear Taliban the day will come soon enough when Malala will return to Pakistan most all Pakistan will want and welcome Malala home, as the new Leader of all of Pakistan.

May our Lord GOD Guide and watch over Malala and all that want and look for Peace and to help the poor, needy and weak.

Many have prayed for Malala to live i ask now for all to pray to our LORD that she be a Good, Wise and Strong Leader to her Country men and women.

The Lord's Little Helper Paul Felix Schott


Have no Fear GOD will judge all on Earth soon enough. GOD's Wrath all the wicked will know sooner than they think more air mail on the way from heaven above watch it is coming.

Revelation 16: 1-21

Silajit Jul 18, 2013 03:44am

NO problem. We also wish we could advise you against what you are doing and we also wish that a drone attack that wipes you out does not happen. :-)

Khan Jul 18, 2013 04:35am

"He had joined PAF in 1997. He was around 24 when he was arrested in early 2004." Was he 17 when he joined PAF? What is the age limit for military recruitment?

fahad Jul 18, 2013 05:03am

for Lord sake Mr rashid and co do not relate Pashtuns with your so-called violent and barbaric jehad

tony Jul 18, 2013 05:07am

Does Adnan Rashid has any clue, what he is talking about. He and his followers cannot be human if they feel this way. Get out of the country.

Romeo Jul 18, 2013 05:22am

What a deafening silence for hizzoner The commander, Adnan Rashid!! No posting of comments to criticize his word?

People like him and his ilk are going to explain and spread Islam. Good luck to those "converted" Muslims! They will never learn what Islam is!

And to these people, bravo for shooting a 16 year old defenceless schoolgirl for trying to get education! I have yet to find a braver group!

fahad Jul 18, 2013 05:37am

down with ttp and mullahz

Sanam Jul 18, 2013 07:40am

Its hardly surprising - a man like that who has such an inate fear of the capability of women, will do anything to make a woman feel bad and disloyal about trying to better herself and her situation. His real fear is not that she will not honor Islam better than he but that she will learn to read holy texts and other books and realise that God made man and woman equal not woman as a slave or 2nd class citizen to man. Its feeble minded cultures lead by weak fearful men who have subjected females to denigration. I am glad I live in a culture where our men are strong and confident enough not to feel threatened by a woman.

imran Jul 18, 2013 07:56am

Its just so sad that we have lost an entire generation to this senseless violence. What brilliance might have come forth had we invested in our people, spent our energies as a nation building a society that respected rule of law. Who do we blame, dictators or so called democrats? What a shame, what a loss.

GIRI Jul 18, 2013 08:21am

talibal hasalready written the name of malala of the bullets,& calling her to trape to eliminate innocent girl ,who become icon in the world, its eliv stratigy

Ajit Kumar Das Jul 18, 2013 08:31am

This is a bizarre way of expressing 'shock'. If Rashid thinks the incident of shooting Malala should not have happened, a straight apology would have been more convincing. He has advised her to study the book of Allah and use her pen for Islam. But, then, Islam is a peaceful religion. It does not spread hatred, rather it propagates compassion. If he accuses her of running a 'smearing campaign' against the militants, he could have advised her against criticizing the banned organisation. But there is no justification to shoot the teenager to silence her voice. A.K. Das, India

Hasan Jul 18, 2013 09:04am

Wao, looking at the picture; So, Taliban are assured that at least to kill someone they don't need to wear Shalwar Qameez or traditional Islamic dress and trousers can be used for this HOLY cause. I must say Talibans are moving towards enlightenment

Ravi Ingale from University of Pune Jul 18, 2013 01:50pm

Its amazing isn't it!!!, the Terrorist group that never regrets of any terror incident of Pakistan and never send any letter to any Military general or PM of Pakistan they have regression for 16-year old School kid.

Ahmed Jul 18, 2013 02:48pm

Its just too Little too Late. This is another cover up of shameful disappointment. The first taliban reasoning just after the shooting was that their action was comparable to the story of Hazrat Khizar and Hazrat Musa's journey together from the Quran. Trying to prove they have divine understanding with the God. This shows there is a mental block to their thinking.

Yasir Jul 18, 2013 02:51pm

These cowardly animals are deluded and self righteous beyond belief.

Ahmed Jul 18, 2013 03:13pm

@Amna Rizvi: If the west is so bad, then what is good? The taliban? Or the vapid Pakistani elite like yourself? You enjoy the fruits of western civilization (the very internet you are using to broadcast your views e.g.) without any interest or even capacity to appreciate the hard work and inspiration and mindset that it took to come up with these fruits of western civilization that you are so quick to condemn?

Seedoo Jul 18, 2013 03:27pm

@Hiba: You really think learning Arabic would get rid of all the killing in Pakistan? If this is so, then Arabs must be the most people people on earth, as Arabic is their mother tongue.

Khalid Jul 18, 2013 04:34pm

@Amna Rizvi: Your comment only shows your ignorance & rudeness and also lacks logic. Being a woman, I thought you would have sided with our Malala. You have too much hatred in you. Get rid of the hatred and open your eyes.

Iqbal khan Jul 18, 2013 05:04pm

@AKZIS Shame on you

Imran Sheikh Jul 18, 2013 06:21pm

The fact is that Malala had to be flown to the UK for treatment both because of superior medical facilities there, and the fact is that people who think like Mr Rashid would try to kill her again in Pakistan. That the Islamic Republic of Pakistan should need to, and be unable to protect a Muslim woman against people who profess to be Muslims, and have to rely on non-Muslims for this, speaks for itself. How many non-Muslims have come to Pakistan for treatment or protection? Further, there are millions of madrassah students. Before inviting Malala or any other person to learn in that system one needs to consider objectively how many madrassah students have progressed to become doctors/lawyers/engineers/bio-physicists or other professions that benefit humanity, or does Mr Rashid not think the world needs such skills? The primary requirement of any religion is service to humanity, not an abstract study of it's theology. Through such service, one dies blessed. Mr.Rashid may, if he is clear on how his actions further Islam according to his understanding of it, explain this in an open letter, so that those to whom his actions seem contradictory to what he professes he believes in can consider his view point. Clearly, he is highly intelligent, with good planning and execution skills. he is deeply committed and motivated, and this does not happen without both heart and mind being convinced of the truth of whatever it is he believes in. Whether this conviction is the result of a rational analysis following deep study,whereby he has seen a deeper truth than is apparent to others,needs to be considered keeping an open mind.

bangash Jul 18, 2013 06:46pm

@Amna Rizvi: The TTP has harmed Pakistan and Islam far more than the "West" so get out of this useless anti-westernism and focus on real problems like the TTP and mullahs.

Sayeed Altaf Hussein Jul 18, 2013 06:58pm

@Khan: you can join at 16