Malala Yousufzai: My ‘small video star’ fights for her life

Published: October 10, 2012

Don’t be fooled by her gentle demeanor and soft voice. Malala is also fantastically stubborn and feisty — traits that I hope will enable her recovery. PHOTO: FAZAL KHALIQ/ EXPRESS

I had the privilege of following Malala Yousafzai, on and off, for six months in 2009, documenting some of the most critical days of her life for a two-part documentary. We filmed her final school day before the Taliban closed down her school in Pakistan’s Swat Valley; the summer when war displaced and separated her family; the day she pleaded with President Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, to intervene; and the uncertain afternoon she returned to discover the fate of her home, school and her two pet chickens.

A year after my two-part documentary on her family was finished, Malala and her father, Ziauddin, had become my friends. They stayed with me in Islamabad. Malala inherited my old Apple laptop. Once, we went shopping together for English-language books and DVDs. When Malala opted for some trashy American sitcoms, I was forced to remind myself that this girl – who had never shuddered at beheaded corpses, public floggings, and death threats directed at her father — was still just a kid.

Today, she is a teenager, fighting for her life after being gunned down by the Taliban for doing what girls do all over the world: going to school.

The Malala I know transformed with age from an obedient, rather shy 11-year-old into a publicly fearless teenager consumed with taking her activism to new heights. Her father’s personal crusade to restore female education seemed contagious. He is a poet, a school owner and an unflinching educational activist. Ziauddin is truly one of most inspiring and loving people I’ve ever met, and my heart aches for him today. He adores his two sons, but he often referred to Malala as something entirely special. When he sent the boys to bed, Malala was permitted to sit with us as we talked about life and politics deep into the night.

The author, right, with Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin.
(Adam Ellick, the author, right, with Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin.)

After the film was seen, Malala became even more emboldened. She hosted foreign diplomats in Swat, held news conferences on peace and education, and as a result, won a host of peace awards. Her best work, however, was that she kept going to school.

In the documentary, and on the surface, Malala comes across as a steady, calming force, undeterred by anxiety or risk. She is mature beyond her years. She never displayed a mood swing and never complained about my laborious and redundant interviews.

But don’t be fooled by her gentle demeanor and soft voice. Malala is also fantastically stubborn and feisty — traits that I hope will enable her recovery. When we struggled to secure a dial-up connection for her laptop, her Luddite father scurried over to offer his advice. She didn’t roll an eye or bark back. Instead, she diplomatically told her father that she, not he, was the person to solve the problem — an uncommon act that defies Pakistani familial tradition. As he walked away, she offered me a smirk of confidence.

Another day, Ziauddin forgot Malala’s birthday, and the nonconfrontational daughter couldn’t hold it in. She ridiculed her father in a text message and forced him to apologise and to buy everyone a round of ice cream — which always made her really happy.

Her father was a bit traditional, and as a result, I was unable to interact with her mother. I used to chide Ziauddin about these restrictions, especially in front of Malala. Her father would laugh dismissively and joke that Malala should not be listening. Malala beamed as I pressed her father to treat his wife as an equal. Sometimes I felt like her de-facto uncle. I could tell her father the things she couldn’t.

I first met Malala in January 2009, just 10 days before the Taliban planned to close down her girls’ school, and hundreds of others in the Swat Valley. It was too dangerous to travel to Swat, so we met in a dingy guesthouse on the outskirts of Peshawar, the same city where she is today fighting for her life in a military hospital.

In 10 days, her father would lose the family business, and Malala would lose her fifth-grade education. I was there to assess the risks of reporting on this issue. With the help of a Pakistani journalist, I started interviewing Ziauddin. My anxiety rose with each of his answers. Militants controlled the checkpoints. They murdered anyone who dissented, often leaving beheaded corpses on the main square. Swat was too dangerous for a documentary.

I then solicited Malala’s opinion. Irfan Ashraf, a Pakistani journalist who was assisting my reporting and who knew the family, translated the conversation. This went on for about 10 minutes until I noticed, from her body language, that Malala understood my questions in English.

“Do you speak English?” I asked her.

“Yes, of course,” she said in perfect English. “I was just saying there is a fear in my heart that the Taliban are going to close my school.”

I was enamoured by Malala’s presence ever since that sentence. But Swat was still too risky. For the first time in my career, I was in the awkward position of trying to convince a source, Ziauddin, that the story was not worth the risk. But Ziauddin fairly argued that he was already a public activist in Swat, prominent in the local press, and that if the Taliban wanted to kill him or his family, they would do so anyway. He said he was willing to die for the cause. But I never asked Malala if she was willing to die as well.

Finally, my favorite memory of Malala is the only time I was with her without her father. It’s the scene at the end of the film, when she is exploring her decrepit classroom, which the military had turned into a bunker after they had pushed the Taliban out of the valley. I asked her to give me a tour of the ruins of the school. The scene seems written or staged. But all I did was press record and this 11-year-old girl spoke eloquently from the heart.

She noticed how the soldiers drilled a lookout hole into the wall of her classroom, scribbling on the wall with a yellow highlighter, “This is Pakistan.”

Malala looked at the marking and said:

“Look! This is Pakistan. Taliban destroyed us.”

In her latest e-mail to me, in all caps, she wrote, “I WANT AN ACCESS TO THE WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE.” And she signed it, “YOUR SMALL VIDEO STAR.”

I too wanted her to access the broader world, so during one of my final nights in Pakistan, I took a long midnight walk with her father and spoke to him frankly about options for Malala’s education. I was less concerned with her safety as the Pakistani military had, in large part, won the war against the Taliban. We talked about her potential to thrive on a global level, and I suggested a few steps toward securing scholarships for elite boarding schools in Pakistan, or even in the United States. Her father beamed with pride, but added:

“In a few years. She isn’t ready yet.”

I don’t think he was ready to let her go. And who can blame him for that?

This post originally appeared here.

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Adam.Ellick

Adam B Ellick

A New York Times video and print journalist who covered Pakistan from 2009-2011. He is currently on leave at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. His website is www.adambellick.com"

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ahmed faraz bugti

    i m very sad to hear about malala
    may Allah curse on those who fired on malalaRecommend

  • Mubashar Shah

    Malala Yousafzai is doughtier of Pakistan & also doughtier of world Good bless you.Recommend

  • http://nuclearsupremacyforindiaoverus.blogspot.com Satish Chandra

    There are Taliban factions sponsored by the CIA and this bullet was from a faction sponsored by the CIA.

    The following is my 6-part comment on a column in New Indian Express. An hour later I found that 4 of the 6 parts had been deleted (I had to post it in 6 parts because each comment can only be up to 1,000 characters long), leaving the comment with holes in logic, incomprehensible and worthless with all of the most important information removed. Only stupid people working for the United States such as the author of the column are allowed in the Indian media, confirming once again that only the simultaneous nuclear destruction of New Delhi, Washington and New York will change this situation:-

    http://newindianexpress.com/opinion/article1287359.ece Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    Thanks for this wonderful insight into this delightful person. Praying for her recovery and hoping this wakes up our nation to the atrocity that is named Taliban.Recommend

  • George Washington

    I am a Western male person. My skin is pale. I am an ordinary American middle aged man. I am very sad for Malala and her family. I pray for her recovery. I am sorry that men such as the Taliban exist. Here in the USA we also have men like this… religious crazy men who attack innocent people just because they think differently. I pray that the world will be rid of these religious crazy people. We must all love one another. This is the true message of all spiritual teachings. We must all love one another. I am sick and sad over what was done to this precious girl, Malala. I am angry that she is not given the same opportunities as boys. I am angry that girls are not allowed to be educated in some parts of the world. I am angry that the world is deprived of the natural wisdom and leadership of women. And I am very angry that these precious girls are assaulted and injured by men. Girls and women are the flowers of humanity and they should be treated with utmost respect and care. We don’t put them on a pedestal and make them separate by saying this. We are just respecting our mothers and sisters and daughters. They are special and wonderful. Their hearts are strong and loving. They make us noble with their love and affection and kindness. They are so much stronger than us men. It is our duty to protect them and cherish them. I am so upset about what what was done to Malala. I am going to cry now. I am very sad. Please get better, Malala. The world needs your beautiful spirit to stay with us here and help us with your grace.Recommend

  • Madeline Taylor

    May Malala know that millions of people the world over admire her and are sending their loving and healing energy her way.

    We stand with you, Malala. We stand up for you, Malala. We will protect you.Recommend

  • Parvez

    ………let us not forget the other girl and the teacher injured in this incident.
    Malala Yousufzai is decidedly an exceptional person and brave beyond her tender years. The TTP are cursed but those behind the TTP are doubly cursed. Recommend

  • Mahmood khan

    malala yosafzy humary bahan a hor sary pakistani ki bhaty a hom hor sara pakistan ahalla tahalla sa dowa karty hain k o homary peyary bahan ko seyat dy hom jab a news dhaka to hankhy hanso sa khali e nae howe allah sa dowa a k mery peyary bahan ko jald sa jald tek kary malala hom hor sara pakistan aap ka saat a aap jald tek o jahy gy hom aap k lihy peyary allah je sa har nemaz ma dowa kary ghy inshallah aap jald teeek o jahy gy every pakistani love,s you Recommend

  • peter kazungu

    a sign of cowardice by the taliban. get well soonest Malala and the rest.Recommend

  • Haseeb Talal Khan

    As a true humanist, i am very sad at that incident in which the STAR OF A NATION, was attacked and shot. In my opinion, she is the real hero, rather the cricket stars or politicians, she is the one who is at the helm facing the real difficulties, of being a female in that particular area, where Taliban decides the future,..specially for women..my heart weaps for her and my tears are about to flow out of my eye socket’s, because she is the real hope amidst all the negativity we use to hear every day from that part of the world…MALALA, i do hope that your stubborn nature will give you courage to fight, so fight for every individual of Pakistan, fight for those who pin hopes on you, as a true ambassador and a great individual…

    Today I salute you for all your positive efforts, and keep on doing that unless we will find a way to get rid of these ignorants around us…May Allah be with you and your father…

    Aameen…Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    I’ve a few questions for the above commentators and I ask them in all honesty and hoping that my comments will not be censored.

    1) Many Pakistanis support the Afghan version of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But, do not want their ideological twins in Pakistan to take over and impose a similar system of governance. Don’t you support Afghan girls to study, just like you want Pakistani ones to? Taliban are good for Afghanistan, but not for Pakistan?

    2) You are appalled by the attack on her life, yet many Pakistan celebrated Qadri when he killed a Blasphemer. Many many more, supported the politicians who put up a bounty on the guy who made the video “Innocence of Muslims”. So when you give excuses for murder and violence, its fine, but its not fine if the Taliban do it?

    3) They too have a right to get offended, don’t they? They can take action on people who feel have insulted them, who are trying to bring Islamic laws to Pakistan, correct?Recommend

  • Aheelam

    This incident has left not just Pakistanis but all the people who know malala teary-eyed.
    I just can’t stop crying.
    We all are praying for you Malala..You’ll be perfectly fine soon InshAllah and that will be a slap on the bunch of morons who did that with you!
    God bless you ,girl!Recommend

  • Junk

    @ Anoop
    -Nah,no sane person supports Taliban.There might be difference of opinion in way of tackling them ie many Pakistanis think dialogue with them is better option rather than use of force as it’ll further aggravate the situation
    -obviously one can not deny the existence of bunch of people who supported Qadri but that reaction was INSANE just like the reaction after anti-Islamic movie.im a normal pakistani and interact with many locals on daily basis.i never encountered anyone supporting these acts.
    -and they’re trying to bring barbarism and ‘terrorism’ only not ‘Islamic laws’ and one thing I can say for sure,both things are poles apaaaart!

    As far as Malala is concerned,May Allah grant her speedy recovery!whole pakistani nation is praying for her!Recommend

  • Haseeb Talal Khan

    @ Anoop…

    I really dont understand what will you achieve by asking those question which doesn’t have any reference with Malala’s case. I do partially agree that people take sides on both sides, based on difference of opinion, and you cant judge a case based on the opinions of one group or another…

    I frequently travel all over Pakistan, through different modes and have a clear understanding of the people’s opinion on the above mentioned issues, and for my utter surprise, over whelming majority of them doesn’ t support Taliban be it at tribal area, frontier, balochistan or any part of Pakistan. Majority of the people want to send their daughters and sisters to study but due to their fear for their lives, they dont send them, and they dont like Taliban Government system and their ways of so called islamic principals which are against the true teachings of Islam..thats their own brand of Islam which is not understandable to everyone over there…

    The action of Qadri was a real shame and unacceptable, and was condemned too, but media never portrayed the positive side of it…so the people who only follow media, they saw only that part of the story only…

    Anoop, i dont want to offend you but as a Paksitani, i feel obliged to clear your queries, i understand that people only your part of the world hear stories from our media and make opinions on that, but there is always other uncovered parts of the story which never reached you due to the biased media….i am not trying to be judgemental and giving you excueses, just trying to clarify…hope it clarifies you too….cheers!! Haseeb.Recommend

  • Neelofar Asghar

    May Allah, the daughter of Pakistan recovers soon. We all are praying for her.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Junk:
    “Nah,no sane person supports Taliban.”

    Then there are a LOT of insane people in Pakistan.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/27/pakistani-public-opinion-ever-more-critical-of-u-s/

    I quote from the PEW survey:”The percentage fearing India has increased by 11 points since then, while the percentage naming the Taliban has decreased by nine points.”

    Its like you don’t know your own country and get on the defensive rather than answer the question. Do you or don’t you support the Afghan Taliban? If not why not TTP?

    “i never encountered anyone supporting these acts.”

    Its like me saying I don’t interact with a lot of poor people in an average day in India and hence they don’t exist or less in number.

    Saying such mindset is in a minority shows denial. Blasphemy law for example has been around for decades after Zia. if the majority do not want it, why is it still around?

    Majority of people might not support killing in the name of Blasphemy, but accepting it as a punishment by the very same people is the starting point for the nut cases.

    “and they’re trying to bring barbarism and ‘terrorism’ only not ‘Islamic laws’ and one thing I can say for sure,both things are poles apaaaart!”

    Oh, not this again! The “This is not Islam” line.

    Buddy it is.. Be it Saudi Arabia, Iran or many other Islamic countries, this is pretty much the trend. How many more cases of countries descending into Islamic mode do you need to be convinced that this is Islam?

    Its more of a personal preference really. You think you know Islam better than all of the above mentioned countries and the Mullahs who support Sharia law and Islamic rule? Dream on.. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @Haseeb Talal Khan:

    Thank you Haseeb, that was a nice reply. I know where you are coming from, but my questions still remain unanswered.

    You missed my point with regard to the Taliban. Pakistan Taliban sprung from the embryo of Pakistani policies in Afghanistan. And, many Pakistanis still support the Afghan Taliban, yet can’t seem to tolerate their brethren in Pakistan.

    Why this hypocrisy?

    “so the people who only follow media, they saw only that part of the story only…”

    If what you are saying is indeed true then Pakistan would not be facing many of the problem it is at all in the first place.

    http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/27/pakistani-public-opinion-ever-more-critical-of-u-s/

    In the latest PEW survey, 27% of the people who were questioned said they admired LeT, a Terror group, in 2011. That means 1 guy out of every 4 in Pakistan supports a Terrorist group. It doesn’t have to be active support, but even passive one will do.

    My 3rd point was regarding the recent violence and bounty episode regarding the movie “Innocence of Muslims”. Do or do you not support the violence/bounty? More important what do the majority of the Pakistanis think?Recommend

  • Faizan afzal

    I strongly condemned the cowardly terrorist attack on the young brave Malala Yousafzai. She is pride of our nation.Pakistan direly need such daring
    youngsters who can stand firm against the outlaws.
    The positive image, which she portrait-ed in-front of the world that we are
    peace loving and education loving nation is seriously damaged by this satanic incident.
    I appeal the Government and law enforcement agencies to take immediate action against the culprits and make them a lesson for others and to make sure the security of all the citizens esp youth icons like Malala , Ali Moin etc necessary . God bless Malala with Health and sound life ahead.Recommend

  • Mazhar

    I have only tears to thank you Adam. God bless you!Recommend

  • ibrahim Khalil

    Very sad news for everyone. May ALLAH cure her wounds with no affects on her health. Malalah! we all stand before you, respect your stand infront of bullet and sure you have sent the message of education all over the world. My concern here is the mindset of Taliban/Who ever involved in this actrocity. The question is what was the core reason behind shooting her? What logic was applied to this brutal act? Somebody please provide here if there is any statement given by TTP after shooting. Recommend

  • http://nuclearsupremacyforindiaoverus.blogspot.com Satish Chandra

    @George Washington:
    This comment has been posted by the CIA to ‘neutralise’ what I said above about this bullet having come from a faction sponsored by the CIA.Recommend

  • Aviator

    @Anoop:

    You made a good point, a sizeable of section of pakistan have and still do support terrorist groups, especially in the 80′s, 90′s and the 00′s, they were seen as heroes in the fight first against the Soviets, and then the American led invasion in Afghanistan. The result is that they have now turned into a monster and attacking the very people that supported them.

    However on your last point I strongly disagree, that this is the trend in many Islamic countries. I have visited Morocco and Turkey, they are some of the most enlightened and peaceful societies I have seen, poles apart from the way Islam is practiced in Pakistan! I would urge you to visit such countries yourself before you make sweeping generalisations.Recommend

  • irfan

    malala khuda apko sehat dey
    or ap phir pehly jesi ho jao
    khuda apki hefazet kry ameen malala mai ny aj tk kisi ko itny dill sy dua nhi thi ajj dey rha hn
    khuda ap sehat dey or tum jaldi apny gher lout aoRecommend

  • Heidi Gordon

    Please let us all know how we can support this family, both emtionally and financially? I am sure their need is great now.Recommend

  • http://wwww.writespacetime.wordpress.com Madeeha

    This was so honest. Thank you.

    I met Malala at some point during her transition, when she was still figuring out her new role and voice. She has so much spirit, it has to get her through. Words like “destiny” come to mind.Recommend

  • http://www.afshispeaks.com/ shamiam

    I am very sad to hear about Malala Yousufzai .May Allah, the daughter of Pakistan recovers soon. We all are praying for her.Recommend

  • Maria Ali

    Cried my heart out yesterday upon watching Malala yousafzai on a stretcher, blood stained and wounded. All our prayers for her instant recovery, health and long life. Losing her would be losing our last hopes for survival of our country and nation as a whole. But the damage is already done. Damage to her physically is one thing, but damage to her soul and her belief in her country and nation will be everlasting. She might never be able to regain the confidence with which she talked eye-to-eye with camera and the confidence wth which she walked to school amongst Taliban. And what about another yet more intense damage done , Pakistan again being represented as a terrorist state where its own innocent people are on stake in the hands of other Pakistanis. In the eyes of world and international media, once again, we are ruined, badly.Recommend

  • Ikram Ullah

    May ALLAH give this brave cute little girl long and healthy life with complete recovery. AmeenRecommend

  • WISEGUY340

    go to the real threat .its not just talibaan — there is someone behind it allRecommend

  • WISEGUY340

    no no no .its not what it looks like find the real threat of it allRecommend

  • Imad Uddin

    Masha Allah her operation was successful! Get well soon. I hope she would be in a stronger position to achieve her aims and raise her voice after surviving this incident! Once again terrorists have drawn a clear line between the nation and themselves. Recommend

  • Pauline Tansey

    We hope you get better very soon. You are a very brave young person. Recommend

  • http://nil Sahil

    Assalam alaikum and Hey to Anybody.. please dont feel sadness to yourself, try to glad and catch that person, which one had shot malala, every one think about yourself, i living in swat nwfp pakistan, all world know about here situation, everyone scares from armies, here is no taliban or terrorist, how a body will shot another with front of armies, no one cant shot someone, how someone will shot kids or girls ete all around armies and polices in perfect or famous market with people, it is work of army man or isi it both can do this work. i know malala yousafzay is the best and intelligent girl, she want her study further, she want to do for pakistan,i greeting to her.. Recommend

  • Rahim

    Sad to hear about Malala…. May Almighty bless her with quick recovery and complete health. Aamen!Recommend

  • Fayaz Dar

    Wonderful article made me cry. Thank you Adams.Recommend

  • Ali

    I pray ALLAH to save Malalay and in shaa ALLAH it will be so.
    let me ask you all, have you ever talked about people died in Drone attacks? have you ever talked about innocent children like Malalay who died and die in Drone attacks? have you ever talked about innocent Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine, Indian Muslims and so many others? why?????Recommend

  • Ali

    @Satish Chandra:
    Agree with you. this is all for the USA. i deny the existence of Taliban, there is No Talib but people working for USA and our govt. is well aware of these people but they cant do anything why because they have their own interests and that is Dollars… Recommend

  • SC

    @Anoop:

    My friend, the situation is more complex than you or I can comprehend and it has culminated over a period of 4 decades of war, unrest, foreign meddling and vested interests in an area which has always remained “tribal”, (imagine amazon). So when the capitalist society wanted to take on socialist, the theater was set there, in the geographic locale that stretches over Afghanistan and tribal Pakistan. Since you need a strong motivational factor to force a soldier to offer his life for your objective, religion or nationality are generally the only two good enough reasons which force people to offer their lives in hoards and Islam happened to be the religion of the region, hence we get Islamic Taliban. Had it been a hindu / christian region, you might have got the likes of Shiv Sena Brigade, or LTTE, or KKK or SS, whatever. Now this beast, which has been rared for last four decades by vested interests, (lets not play naive, but CIA, ISI, RAW, Mosad, MI6, and I don’t know who else all have had their share and role). It is but natural that there will be spillover, and in this case, the ideology has spread out of the control of its handlers and is now widespread, but beauty of Islam is that since it is true, it survives the tests of time and re-emerges in its true form every time it appears that it has lost its charm. Even in persons like Malala, you can see what a true muslim is; brave, fearless, fair, just, ambitious… and I can assure you there are millions of such people on our side, so don’t fret too much about this bunch of thugs who claim to represent “us”, but are nothing more, but thugs… and we are dealing with them…. In the mean time, it would be fruitful of you to consider the role of your government in all of this and share your thoughts on that…Recommend

  • ASHA

    Have anybody thought about the effect of this attack on the life of hundreds of silent little girls…
    This act of terror will have a negative impact on the education of girls, parents will be hesitant in sending their daughters to school.
    If Mallala was outspoken about the ordeal of her education, for me the silent little girl who will not be able to complete her education is as important. Due to this tragic incident hundreds of girls will not get basic education. Mallala spoke about her dreams but now hundreds of dreams and aspirations are at stake. Every child has a dream, if one dream crumbles down my heartaches.
    Did the advocation of Mallala bring any change or will it be the attack which will hinder the right of basic education of hundreds of little girls ?Recommend

  • SC

    And on behalf of all the Pakistanis and Muslims that I know off, “WE CONDEMN TALIBAN, (AFGHANI/PAKISTANI), AS MUCH AS WE DISMISS ALL AND ANY OTHER OUTFIT WHICH USES VIOLENCE / MANIPULATION / INTERFERENCE AS ITS TOOL TO PROPAGATE ITS IDEOLOGY AND THAT INCLUDES USA / NATO / ISAF / INDIAN ARMY (KASHMIR) / ISRAEL ETC AS WELL.

    Our religion demands of us to live peacefully in this world with other inhabitants, while believing in one Creator and Sustainer, who has revealed his message through various prophets in all the eras of human history, while following His guidelines and instructions to achieve individual and communal peace and harmony and as per principals of humanity, which happen to be agreed upon by the entire human race, i.e. right to exist / live, right to believe, right to express, right to educate, right to succeed, right to develop, right to be equal, right to “strive”, (literal arabic translation: Jihad and this strife is not only confined to war, but generally covers communal strife for creating a desired society as per above principals).

    Malala represents the true spirit of Islam and we respect and love her for that and wish had an iota of strength, character and courage to follow her suit when and where it matters. She is a ray of hope, the hope that all is still not lost and we still have such seedlings, which if nurtured properly, shall culminate into the tall handsome trees of character and resolve needed to overcome this human craving for indecency, gore and violence. Recommend

  • Haseeb Talal Khan

    @ Anoop:

    As you mentioned above three queries, i ll reply one by one…

    the first query says:-

    *You missed my point with regard to the Taliban. Pakistan Taliban sprung from the embryo of Pakistani policies in Afghanistan. And, many Pakistanis still support the Afghan Taliban, yet can’t seem to tolerate their brethren in Pakistan.*

    i agree that in order to destroy USSR, in Afghanistan, and with the great help of America, & these mujahideen’s were created as martyrs with a vision to bring Zia’s kind of Islamisation which is not in true essence of Islam, and now they are the same treated as terrorists and all. People support them, i agree to an extent, that most of the tribal people like them because they have a fear to their lives,and their opinion might be influenced by the society also. but in general most of the people’s dont agree to them, yet the percentage you mentioned that 27%, people do support them. In Pakistan, the literacy rate is around 45%, in actual, so if 27% of the 55% (roughly), support them, it has nothing to do with the educated society, but still i am not in favor of this overwhelming majority, who supports them…and so we dont want to tolerate their brethern in Pakistan too…so partly it clarifies to your second query as well….

    the final query of your’s regarding the controversial movie “Innocence of Muslims”, the movie should be condemned in every possible way but not at the cost of damage to public property or destruction of other religious (minority’s), preaching places…..so we should protest in a peace ful way to convey our message to the world, the other part regarding the bounty, which was announced by a state minister is a real shame, who are we to judge people, on the basis of their actions, to decide whether they sould be murdered or killed? keeping fingers crossed, and try to make this world a better place to live for everyone….Recommend

  • Sumaiya

    She’s so cute MashaAllah! May Allah bless her a healthy life..
    WHAT THE TALIBAN ARE DOING HERE IS NOT ISLAM!!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • gp65

    @Aviator: “However on your last point I strongly disagree, that this is the trend in many Islamic countries. I have visited Morocco and Turkey, they are some of the most enlightened and peaceful societies I have seen, ”

    I am not sure what parameters were used to describe Morocco as one of themost enlightened societies in the world. In any event, neither countries describes itself as Islamic though Muslims maybe a majority there. Anoop’s point appeared to be that the countries that have laws that they themselves describe as Islamic are inconsistent with what the other gentleman’s version of ‘true Islam’.Recommend

  • http://pakistanstoday.com/what-about-other-malala-yousafzais/ Adil

    What about other Malalas being massacred in drone attacks ?
    http://pakistanstoday.com/what-about-other-malala-yousafzais/Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    sad, sad, sad.Recommend

  • ASHA

    @Adil:
    this is the point when innocent women and children are killed in drone attacks no president,no Ban ki Moon, no political leaders raise their voice and if they do raise it its so meek hardly audible and not at all supported by any action. Mallala will get justice, treatment and everything what about these innocent girls and women which door should they knock???Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com Anoop

    @SC:

    “Had it been a hindu / christian region, you might have got the likes of Shiv Sena Brigade, or LTTE, or KKK or SS, whatever.”

    Quote me one single verse from a Hindu Text which the Shiv Sena uses to breathe fire. In spite of the bloody partition, the communal tensions running high, India declared itself a Secular Republic with equal opportunities. A Sikh is PM today.

    This is not an accident. The Hindu ethos is of non-violence. Do you think Gandhi was an accident? Do you think Buddha was an accident? They only represented the larger Hindu ethos of non-violence. Why else do you think India is home to the largest population of non-vegetarians in the world?

    Same with Buddhism. Some Religions and ideas just aren’t prone to violent interpretation.

    “It is but natural that there will be spillover, and in this case, the ideology has spread out of the control of its handlers and is now widespread, but beauty of Islam is that since it is true, it survives the tests of time and re-emerges in its true form every time it appears that it has lost its charm. “

    If you truly believe in that good for you. I am just glad that Islam is re-emerging in Pakistan, not in a united India(if Partition hadn’t happened).

    I wonder what grouse did the planners of 7/7 London Tube bombings have. There was no Kashmir, no Afghanistan. Still the Terrorists killed dozens in London.

    All in the name of Islam.

    Osama regularly quotes from the Quran. So, do many of the violent Mullahs.Recommend

  • khan

    @Anoop: Your 3 question are excellent. Please write more on commentaries in major newspapers online in Pakistan and other muslim countries. I am a muslim and your questions are effective.Recommend

  • Abhinav

    @adil and @Asha

    The difference is that talibans specifically targetted Malala with purpose of killing her. Recommend

  • Abhi

    @ASHA
    How can you say Malala will get justice? Do you think remaining alive after attack is justice? Do you thik the talibans who fired at her will ever be caught and punished? or do you think she deserved it because she was opposing sharia?

    Your comment is as lame as the blog link provided by Adil who termed this as collateral damage! How can this be a collateral damage when talibans specifically looked for her and shot at her.Recommend

  • uzma

    I knew malala through news papers and i always like to read about her and gave her example to my cousins to encourage them to pay attention on their studies and i was shocked when i hear about someone shoot her.May allah give her complete health and even more strenght.Love you
    you malala you are in my pryers.Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    very sadRecommend

  • http://hvac-system-basics.blogspot.com/ Ali

    One thing is not understandable for me.
    Whole nation and even world is praying and talking about Malala ,
    but why we not care hundreds of other girls,innocent girls who gave their life ,whose lives are at stake and living in condition miserable even more than malala.
    Please for God,s Sake keep equality for all people.Recommend

  • SAC

    @Anoop: As I said at the outset, it is “complicated”. because as well in your response, we tend to mix up numerous issues in one go and while generalizing, figure out simplistic views as well as suggestions, all the while keeping our ideological guards “on”, to ensure avoiding “corruption” of our most sacred beliefs. **

    But the problem is that no matter
    what we do or strive, it does not
    change the reality a bit and facts
    remain facts, whether “discovered” or
    “interpreted correctly” or not.

    **

    So in a generic response to your comment, I sincerely advise you to increase your knowledge about the topics you are commenting upon incase you expect to be taken seriously in a rationale debate in an internaitonal community and try to develope some flexibility because you are simply enforcing “your own” views, without even considering the possibility of the fact that they have an equal probability of being wrong, because people on the “other” side may actually have their own “point of view”, which has an equal probability of being correct and diffferent from yours at the same time. If you still insist, to me there is no difference between you and Taliban in your approach towards life, but wait…. where the heck religion went, because u are hindu and they are muslims…. wooolah… that’s what I am trying to say… fascist mentality does not have a religion. So unless you are willing and capable of agreeing with or atleast respecting other’s point of view, you are heading towards fascism and this fascism has been called everything, from Nazi Fascism, which has strong christian beliefs behind, to hindu fascism which still is being driven primarily because of hinduism’s belief that majority of their own and all non hindu’s are untouchables, as much as it is being nurtured by muslim factions which have strong fascist mentality. So wouldn’t it be better if we fight fascism instead of bringing religion into it???Recommend

  • SAC

    @Anoop:
    aaaaaaannnd you are also free, infact welcome to quote quran as an alibi for your actions, but that wouldn’t make you a good muslim or would it????Recommend

  • ASHA

    @Abhi:
    I strongly condemn this act,as the situation is now it seems she will get justice but the hundreds of innocent people killed in drone attacks did they get any justice, any compensation any treatment at the military hospital?. Killing of one life is killing of humanity be it specifically or unspecifically, justice should be for allRecommend

  • http://www.healpakistan.org Danyal Naeem

    Women empowerment is the only way forward.

    We support Malala and her actions.

    For more visit us at: https://www.facebook.com/healpakRecommend

  • Bhooooo

    @ SAC : spot on analysis!!!Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    I pray that Malala survives this cowardly act of assasination whosoever is the perpetrator. She must survive so that her father can take her to south waziristan and be able to witness the deaths and injuries caused by the great hypocrat favourite Obama, who is reputed to personaly authorise every extra judicial killings in the tribal land personaly. Malala is needed by the state she lives in and the country she represents and above all her family and the tribe of yousafzais. Yousafzais are known for their resilience and enduance and are known in History for defying the forces of the Indian Emperor Aurangzeb, who was forced to withdraw from the land of swat and declared the state as an autonomous land. May the angels of God protect you.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Paki Existentialist

    She has destroyed Taliban by her simple act of defiance.Honestly she did more damage to this barbaric ideology than an army can do with their guns and tanks.

    @ Anoop,

    Buddy, Being an apostate I believe that all religions are a curse to humanity. However the ground reality is that TTP has nothing to do with Islam.It is a criminal gang yar.

    @Ali,
    She is an emblem of all other girls who face injustice. try to understand. And our response is so vocal because we think that TTP has attacked our ethos not her.Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Paki,

    The Taliban is not a myth but a reality and the other side of the coin is the USA outgoing to president who kept a 13 year old child in Guetanimo Prison, tortured him because he as a canadian born was visiting his grand parents in Afghanistan when george W went into Afghanistan with carpet bombing as a reprisal for the attack which the arab youth launched. This underage boy was kept, tortured and tried as a prisoner of war by USA military and sentenced Only last month he was transferred to Canada, the land where he was born.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Asghar

    Allah tala hamrai payari bahan ko seyat yaab krayRecommend

  • I am Awesome

    She has done something with courage, she did it very well. Curse that Taliban Maniac who shot her. Malala I hope she gets well soon. Recommend

  • Tim

    @Anoop:
    1. Just saw the link you had posted http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/06/27/pakistani-public-opinion-ever-more-critical-of-u-s/. You are the glass-is-half-empty- kinda guy, people who thrive by pointing towards the negatives. Since you are so obsessed with this report, look more closely at the numbers … there are LESS FAVOURABLE inclination towards AFGHAN TALIBAN THAN TTP.
    2. Interestingly Pew Global has not done any research on what’s going on in the 7-Sister States in North-Eastern India. I’m sure they’ll find many interesting things there or even in Kashmir. But please tell me this, biggest-democracy-of-the-world, if 77% of Indians want the Kashmir issued resolved, why isn’t it being done? It IS STILL a disputed territory as the UN Resolutions of 1949 where India promised Plebiscite is still in the background? Shastri’s extension of the Constitution in 1964 … has no legitimacy.
    http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/09/10/chapter-2-india-and-pakistan/Recommend

  • Rex Minor

    Malala is no more in the land where she was born, grew up and gave so much in so limited time. There are no opaque emeralds not a clean fresh drinking water in Birmingham, nor the beautiful mountains an the skyline with special green water colour wild as well as fruit trees.The hustle and bustle of an industrial town with large population and moving vhicles and noise but no Pir Baba’s shrines and the most beautiful Natives of swat. This was not of her choosig but of her newmasters who prefer to take the maximum political capital out of the tragedy.

    Shame on the country of 180 million people whose leaders have not managed in more than half a century of independence to set up a simgle University hospital which provides maximum patients care as well as the facilities for medical students in all avenues of medical, surgical and for clinical research.

    Malala shall now be remembered in the land of yousazais, as the angel who championed the cause of girl’s education in her land in the 21st century.

    Rex Minor Recommend

  • Marianne

    This is clear evidence of the cowardice of the Taliban. They are not real men. A real man is not worried about an educated woman at all. Only very weak men are. The more the Taliban oppress and persecute women, the weaker and more cowardl they look to me. If Allah is praiseworthy, then he is deeply disappointed in the men of the Taliban, because they bring great disrepute to Allah’s creation.

    Malala, I pray that you will recover and that one day you will live in a country full of brave and strong men and women. A country where there is no place for the lowly Taliban so-called men who are not men at all.Recommend

  • Ella

    @ahmed faraz bugti:
    I deffently agree xx :)Recommend

  • Majid

    @Sumaiya:
    Dear Sumaiya for your kind information Malala was not attached by so called Talib or Taliban. It was a game of US and Pak Govt. to withdraw the attention of the Muslims from the film made against our Prophet (SAW). Remember it is done by the Blackwater.
    See the pictures when she was fired and now when she is at hospital. she has no symptom of bullet or wound. It was just a game.
    All who blame Islam or so called TAliban for this act should know that it was a game for initiating military operation in FATA and withdrawing the attention of Muslim from that film.Recommend

  • Osman

    @Anoop: Although people have already indulged into a discussion over the 3 questions you have posted. I just couldn’t resist holding back because I feel that as a principle you have misunderstood what the Pakistanis think, like and dislike with respect to the taliban. Though the questions put forward are how we (Pakistanis) are perceived by the world, but this is all what the media wants the world to believe about us.

    1) Pakistan doesn’t support the Afghan version of the Taliban rather as any other Sovereign Country Pakistanis respect the laws and governments of any other countries. It is not only the Taliban restricting the basic rights to Women, if you look around most of the African countries deprive their citizens of basic human rights, Countries like Saudi Arabia who are Oil Rich and allies of the USA are not criticized by the USA government of them depriving Women of their rights. Be it Pakistan or any other country doesn’t have the right to intervene into another countries matter. It is the people of that Country who have to stand for themselves and bring about a change for themselves and their Children’s future. As for Taliban’s in Afghanistan if the people support and give them power no country has the right to object their Rule of Power. As for Pakistan it is a sovereign democratic country and has its own Constitution and Laws binding on every Citizen and Foreigner inside of Pakistan.

    2) I would agree with you on the 2nd point, Pakistanis have lost the value of life in the last decade. It has become a norm to listen to 100 deaths in a drone attacks, suicide bomb, bus accident, fire accident or the sort on a daily basis. So murders, killings, value of human life has been lost by us. Though to this day there are many who still believe that the attack on Malala, murder of Salman Taseer or bounty hunting is immorally disgraceful and not what our divine religion teaches us.

    3) Again, reverting back to my answer of Point 1. Taliban if elected in elections have a right to bring in their laws and modifications to the constitution. Otherwise every individual within the geographical boundaries of our nation has to follow the law of the land. If this is overlooked there will be 100 more different groups with more than 50,000 – 100,000 individuals with firearms imposing their rule of law. No nation would accept that and neither any nation in History has accepted that.

    I hope that you’re able to understand my replies and understand that Pakistanis are not what they are being portrayed to the world by the International Media. We have literate, educated, ethical and valued individuals, businessmen, philanthropists, religious scholars, doctors, scientists and professionals in every field. Like any other person from any other country we have fans of MJ, Madonna etc. we love Hollywood/Bollywood movies, love the western cuisines, have international chains opening up in our country etc. Recommend