MALALA had been receiving threats but did not enjoy proper protection. As a nation we have to stand up to get out of the clutch of the Taliban and other terrorist groups of the same brand.

We have been promoting terrorists for decades and it has now become a monster. We are paying the price for what we have done in the past and this price will increase many folds in the future unless we correct our notions.

I consider myself helpless for I couldn’t do anything for my sweet sister Malala. May Almighty Allah save Malala’s very precious life, not only for her but for 190 million people as well for whom she is a hope.

A. ZULFIQAR AHMAD     Rawalpindi

Nation’s pride

THE whole nation’s eyes brimmed with tears as they saw the young Malala, the nation’s pride, being taken away to a hospital in such a critical condition. Recipient of the first-ever peace award by the government, she was an activist who was fighting against the Taliban in favour of young Sawati girls’ education. Her beautiful face was ever lit with innocence and an adorable smile, and now she lies in a dim dark room struggling for life.

This attack, on the one hand, moved me so much that I felt as she was my own younger sibling and, on the other hand, an outrage burst inside me against those who had considered it their duty to eliminate her.

It makes me wonder what kind of religion is it they are following and preaching, what is it that makes them so heartless, what exactly is the reason behind their atrocities, for no religion can ever sanction such violence and that too against such a young soul.

Although Mr Yousufzai, the brave and courageous father of Malala, was optimistic about his daughter’s recovery, as Dawn quoted, her future is still uncertain for the Taliban are threatening to attack her again once she recovers.

Apart from the government, we, as responsible citizens of this nation, should also join hands together in this hour of need and help provide protection to such honorable souls who reside among us. Physical protection is not all they need, encouragement can also prove to be a catalyst in this worthy deed they are doing. Our nation is undergoing one of the worst crises, both internationally and nationally. We need more Malalas out there who raise their voices and are not afraid of the consequences.

Regardless of personal and individual problems, we need to think about the greater cause. We need to unite and to do whatever we can to support them: either morally or physically. So let us come together, join hands, and stand united as a barrier against all those who are trying to injure our identities.

AREEJ SHAHID     Lahore

Anti-Islamic attitude

THE Taliban say they attacked Malala Yousufzai over ‘secular propaganda’. I wonder what will it take for Pakistanis of all hues — liberals, conservatives, secular, Muslims, Christians and Hindus — to rise up and say: ‘Enough already’. When will the collective conscience of Pakistanis wake up and declare that they will not allow the Taliban terrorist and criminals that are destroying this great nation to continue on their anti-human, anti-Islamic and anti-justice path of destruction.

Ordinary Pakistanis need to take reins of their destiny and remember that Allah states in the Quran that the lot of a people will not change for the better till they change what ails their hearts. The divide between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated the rulers and the ruled and the disconnect between the faith and its adherents in Pakistani society is crushing the national spirit of Pakistan. How unfortunate that Pakistani children have more courage than the adults to stand up to the oppressors. The children like Malala have more faith than the army, the politicians and the religious leaders to assert the truth and to stand up for justice.

Let her tragedy inspire and galvanize the silent majority. The blood of Malala and of her classmates cannot have been shed in vain. She is your daughter -- a peacemaker and a critical thinker. Please know that our prayers are with her and her family. Her courage has made us all proud and her tragedy has touched people around the world. For the sake of your children, dear Pakistanis stand up to the criminals that have taken hold of your country. Allah helps those who help themselves. Our faith is not about resignation but reliance, it is not about cowardice but strength. Your forefathers laid down their lives to make this nation a reality and you cannot allow apathy to take it away from you.

There is not a single power in this world that can rob you of the right to a free and secure future. If you stand up today for justice and truth and commit to the principle on which this nation was built regardless of your ethnic, religious and social differences. Remember if this ship sinks, it will take all of its occupants down with it, without exceptions.

SHAHINA SIDDIQUI President/Executive Director Islamic Social Services Association Inc.-Canada

Symbol of courage

MALALA Yousafzai hails from the small town of Mingora in Swat. No one knew her before 2009, when extremist took over Swat. But the same year she wrote a dairy for the BBC on the Taliban’s action in Swat.

For this dairy she was nominated for International Children’s Peace Prize award in 2011. Nomination for an international award was in fact the symbol of her courage, bravery and outstanding services under hostile conditions.

Although Malala did not win the prize but made Pakistan proud to became the first Pakistani girl who was nominated. Other than this, Malala appeared in the famous programme ‘Capital Talk’, arranged in Swat in operational days.

She expressed her wish for higher education to serve her country. But now she is fighting for her life. The government should do all to save her life.

NAZISH ISLAM           Karachi

Enough is enough

MALALA the brave is a leading campaigner against illiteracy. May she recover and live long to fulfil her mission. The government must provide her full security, as well as best possible education.

Why are some of our hi-fi politicians advocating the Taliban’s cause? Don’t they know their pervert thinking and policies? They are out to destroy the social fabric of pakistan and take us back to the stone age. I condemn this barbaric attack on a brave, innocent girl, pray for her recovery and demand an exemplary punishment for the perpretrators. Enough is enough. When are we going to rise up as a nation against such heinous criminals?

ANIS HAROON Former Chair, National Commission on Status of Women, and member of Women’s Action Forum Karachi

 

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