The poster girls of Pakistan

Published: October 14, 2012
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The picture that we’re presented is black-and-white, the debate that we participate in is simply “Either you’re with us or you’re against us”.

“Am I less precious than Malala?” says the caption on the photo.

“Am I less patriotic? Then why don’t you speak out for me?”

The photo shows a rosy-cheeked girl with silky brown hair and a maimed leg, who has been purportedly injured in a drone attack. This is Laiba, the poster girl of the Taliban-sympathisers, propped up in response to the outpouring of grief and sympathy for Malala, who by this time has been consecrated by liberals as a heroine who stood up to the Taliban, the epitome of all hope for girls’ education in Pakistan.

The point that Laiba makes is simple: why mourn one girl shot by the Taliban when you don’t mourn the several injured in drone attacks?

Laiba, in her heart-wrenching deformity, which we feel no child should have to bear, decries the lack of media coverage given to drone attacks, and speaks to a mindset which lays Pakistan’s problems at American doors.

Only, there is no Laiba, the drone attack victim.

The photo, as everyone by this time must know, is a fraud– Laiba was shot at by the Frontier Constabulary, not maimed in a drone attack.

Not that that makes a difference. The idea is to create sympathy for the Taliban by showing this little girl’s face and everyone knows, when moulding opinion in war, the facts matter much less than the associated emotions and ideologies.

And who can illustrate the point better than Malala on whom the future of girls education in Pakistan appears to rest, despite the fact that many of those pinning their hopes on her today barely knew she existed until last week. At one level, it is sickening to see a girl struggling for her life being made into a symbol with over-hyped blogs and over-the-top statements – is it really so hard to make the point against the Taliban with reasoned, rational argument, without recourse to emotion?

Can hope for girls education in Pakistan really rest on one 14-year-old? In this emotionally charged atmosphere it seems blasphemous to ask this question specially since the little girl in question is hospitalised for brain injury, but that is precisely why I do it. Malala has been sanctified – she is too sacred now for us to ask any questions about her. I do not mean to belittle her achievements or ‘sacrifice’, but to highlight how easily emotions are manipulated by the media, particularly when they resonate with already deeply held beliefs. And the problem with such sanctification is that, instead of persuading people to change their opinion on issues, it encourages them to harden the opinion they already hold.

Both these girls are being used as poster childs – one by the pro-Taliban segment, the other by the enlightened lot. Of course, Malala was struggling for a cause she believed in whereas Laiba’s poster is a complete fabrication and she probably has no idea how her picture is being misused. The point that I want to make is that these two are being used to drive an even deeper wedge in an already polarised society.

Sometimes it appears that there are only two types of Pakistanis: the liberals with their humanistic values masking a let-them-eat-cake attitude and expansive but avaricious worldview; and the Islamists with their flawed logic, easily spotted mendacities and their mentality of being always under siege.

But that is reductionist, binary thinking.

The picture that we’re presented is black-and-white, the debate that we participate in is simply “Either you’re with us or you’re against us”. It would appear that if you’re against drones, you’re also against girls education; that if you’re religious then you’re automatically a Taliban sympathizer. Like the Ishq-e-Rasul day last month, the terms of this debate are meant to polarise and create deeper bifurcations, and the religious and humanistic vocabulary associated with them obfuscates the real issues, leading us away from the rational, political questions that we should be asking.

Stories about children who are attacked in times of war – regardless of the side they belong to – are heart-rending. But they do not clinch the argument and should not be allowed to limit the debate.

We need to move away from symbols and toward meaningful dialogue.

Read more by Batool here, or follow her on Twitter @batool1767 

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Batool.Zehra

Batool Zehra

A sub-editor on the magazine of The Express Tribune.

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

  • A Journalist peer

    Batool, the second half of your article, trying to draw a parallel between the fake Laiba posters with posters for Malala is just disheartening. If someone as well educated as you cannot see that taking a lie and trying to compare it with something that is the truth (if perhaps idealistic and exaggerated) is pretty much the same as the Taliban apologists who compare the Malala attack to drone attacks – well, what hope does Pakistan have? Shameful. Sad.

    There is a place for binaries – its when a group of terrorists shoot a girl in the head for speaking out against them and in support of education. There is only one correct answer there, and it is sad to see journalists try to create false balance where none need exist.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/pugnate Noman Ansari

    Excellent article. I hate this nonsense where people are trying to make us feel guilty somehow for feeling remorse for Malala.

    Sometimes we mourn the loss of one person more than the other. It is normal when someone has touched our hearts. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/pugnate Noman Ansari

    If someone as well educated as you
    cannot see that taking a lie

    Wow buddy. Way to condescend.

    What does that even mean… someone as educated as you? It is like you are saying… oh, in spite of your training, you still can’t see it.

    I am surprised you haven’t posted under your actual name… after all a ‘journalist peer’ as courageous as you…

    It is sad to see an anonymous online poster push forward their patronizing agenda under the guise of friendly thought exchange. ;) Recommend

  • B.Ali

    indeed pakistan is devided between secular extremists and religiouse extremists , and rest of the nation extremly confused betwean these two extremists, i like ur arguments( batool)Recommend

  • Ahsan

    Attack on Malala is a American Conspiracy for Operation in Northern Wazeeristaan (PK)……
    Malala was Attacked by American CIA Agents…..
    America was Insist for Operation in Wazeeristaan Since 2011…..but Pak Army and Pakistani people reject it…..
    Then America make a four step plan to Weak Pakistan and to Capture Pakistan’s Attomic Power by Operation in Wazeeristan…..

    1st Step is: kill a Famous person who is against Pakistani Taliban….
    2nd Step is: Start a Campaign against Pakistani Taliban….
    3rd Step is: Bomb Attacks in Different Cities of Pakistan…….
    Finally to Start Operation……

    In first Step they wanted to kill a Famous person who is against Taliban……so that way they can pave the way for Operation……..so they choose the previous Chairman of Supreme court bar Aasma Jahangir…….
    but previous Confederative minister Doctor Mubashir Hassan Divulgence that plan into a press conference……..after the leakage of that news America deferred that plan……….Then they choose Malala Yousaf Zai for that sacrifice……..now they succeed in 1st step………. For as much The American Newspaper (The New york times ) make a Nominal Story of Ahsaan-ullah-Ahsaan (Interpreter of Tehreek Taliban Pakistan)…….Declan Walsh a Journalist of “The New York Times”….He start a fake Breaking News of Conversation between him and Ahsaan-ullah-Ahsaan……….
    .
    the 2nd step is to Start a Campaign against Pakistani Taliban……….that step is going well by the Local and International Media….and for fully success Banners are hanged in Lahore and in whole Pakistan by Unknown persons…in which they Demand from PAK Army to Start Operation in Northern Wazeeristan……
    .
    the third Step American CIA will do Bomb Attacks in Different Cities of Pakistan……..now on 12 October there are three bomb attacks in Pakistan…..(Daira bugti, Balochistaan)….(Sibi)….and ( Orakzai Agency, KPK)…………now there will be more bomb attacks……
    .
    and the final Step is to Start a new Operation to Weak the PAKISTAN………
    .
    If she Died…. Obama will be the killer of Malala Yousaf Zai…..Recommend

  • Tch tch

    Isnt the fact Laiba was shot by FC even worse
    She was shot in broad daylight in Peshawar in a busy road. The entire city was in siege back then. Our local media never reported this, like most news from KPK. But a dozen people were shot similarly. We had checkpoints all over the city and armed convoys you had to steer clear of. At one time the traffic was gone, you could speed from one end of the city to the next. When I saw a Friday congregation almost empty in Peshawar I knew things had gotten really bad.
    Thankfully things are better now.

    While rest of Pakistan is calling for blood people in Peshawar are just tired. We are the first major city in the firing line. While all pakistani bemoan suicide bombings etc, In KPK a disturbing % of people actually felt them, smelt them. The panic you feel. The frantic call to relatives. Over 80% of the terrorism has struck KPK, naturally people are far less gung ho here.

    We want peace. Each operation just makes things worse here. See Malalas video in NYT she knew more then most what an Army operation entails,
    I think you people will understand when you will have Laibas in Lahore and Islamabad.Recommend

  • Tch tch

    And the counterpoint to Malala of Swat is Shakira of Swat. Look at a picture of her and then think whether you want that on your conscience not that many of the Pro war lobby has any.Recommend

  • http://lonepkliberal.wordpress.com Loneliberal PK

    Whenever we attempt to raise ever the slightest bit of awareness about the threat of terrorism and why it needs to be considered in our equations, it is immediately drowned out by a cacophony of anti-Amreeka rhetoric.

    When there’s a report about civilians killed in a drone attack, I mourn that loss too. I don’t react by immediately flooding my Facebook page with pictures of scary-looking terrorists and their victims. You know why? Because it would be cheap and undignified, and would appear as an attempt to trivialize the current tragedy.Recommend

  • Shahid Yasin

    I don’t understand why we confound simple matter by creating fake divide There are neither liberals nor Isalmists. There are only extremists whatever mindset they belong to. The overriding concerns should be; nobody should be allowed to impose his mindset on others by force or killing those who don’t agree with you.
    This is an overarching principle on which we should build our societyRecommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @A Journalist peer:

    Well said. It is that failed false equivalence argument by the author, which seems to be repeated over and over by other writers at ET, yearning for an imaginary ‘middle ground’ on crucial issues and giving polarized sides same weights, when they are not. For all the faults and biases of the left, they are few and minute in comparison to the twisted rhetoric, and more dangerous reaction, as their opposite majority counter-parts. I’m against the drones on humanitarian grounds, but realize the duplicity on Pak’s part in allowing it and its effectiveness on actually getting the militants that Pak has failed to do, but as the author correctly noted, many on the far right exploit it for their pro-Taliban defense and that is a huge problem. Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    @A Journalist peer: I’m against drone strikes and against the Taliban. Where do I fit? I think that is the basic point the author is making – that we’re being polarized beyond debate. The Taliban will shoot me for real whilst the other side will stop listening to me for having a different view on the problem. On an intellectual level is that not the same? Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    VERY SAD. INDEED.Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    despite the fact that many of those pinning their hopes on her today barely knew she existed until last week.

    No, she was quite famous after the Swat takeover, first writing a blog/diary under an alias for BBC Urdu, and then after by her real name when the Taliban were driven out, supposedly. All the news mediums interviewed her and she appeared on TV morning shows, especially after she was nominated for an international children’s award, finally winning a Pakistani civilian medal for peace and bravery, the first of its kind in Pak made for her, and named after her.

    She got sensational attention, and reasonably so, compared to others, because of her accomplishments (raising the threat against girls’ education which clearly became an after thought among Swatis and Pakistanis who downplayed its importance to pander or justify religious extremism) and outspoken conviction against the Taliban (she openly calls for no one to ever patronize the Taliban, yet Pak leaders and pundits continuously do, like minister Bilour). Her celebrity status personalized her to a local and global audience, and the targeted attempt on a single school girl (as opposed to attacking the school or the girls as a group in usual terrorism) was perceived as a new (its rare, not new) outrageous low level the Taliban stooped to in their broad daylight attack (because apparently they’re still viewed with some religious moral relativism in Pakistani eyes), which was shocking and worthy of major news. Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    is it really so hard to make the point against the Taliban with reasoned, rational argument, without recourse to emotion?

    In Pakistan, yes, it is very hard. There are many Pakistani apologists irrationally and shamelessly sympathizing with the Taliban and other militant and terrorist groups. They don’t bat an eye-lid when hearing their attacks on numerous of unnamed Afghan and Pakistani or other civilians. Some downplayed Swat’s eminent takeover, denying reality claiming ‘conspiracy’, or literally supported the Taliban for bringing in ‘true Islamic Shariah’. Such mindsets are the reason for the half-heartedness displayed in taking action against all types of religious extremism within Pak. If it were not for the Swat flogging video (which emotionally outraged Pakistanis and the international community, even though some Pakistanis still thought it was a ‘conspiracy’), the belated action by the army to oust the militants may not have happened despite all the previous rational evidences and reasons to have stopped them, which – surprise, surprise – was ignored. Recommend

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

    The Taliban say the girl they shot considered Obama her ideal leader. How many girls have been killed by American invaders in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. including Pakistan by drones? The Taliban are, first and foremost, patriots fighting the invaders; their appeal to Islamic orthodoxy serves, like references to the use of beef and pork fat in British cartridges in the 1857 War of Independence, to motivate and mobilize people. Her comment showed a level of propaganda and enslavement almost equal to that in India about which I wrote: ‘The CIA, which rules India through RAW which has hundreds of joint secretaries — see WhatYouShouldKnowAboutRAWDOTblogspotDOTcom — has India in its pocket including all political parties, media, armed forces, civil servants and the general population as the British had India in their pocket.’ See JoinIndiaWarOfIndependenceDOTblogspotDOTcom and ‘RAW’s Trafficking Of Indian Children To Israel To Be Used As Food’ : RAWsTraffickingOfIndianChildrenDOTblogspotDOTcom Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/430/faraz-talat/ Faraz Talat

    When there’s a drone attack, they complain about the drone casualties.

    When there’s a terrorist attack, they complain why nobody’s talking about the drone casualties.

    Are we supposed to talk about terrorism at all, or would that simply make us ‘liberal fascists’?Recommend

  • Tch tch

    @Loneliberal PK:
    And running ISPR photos of Malala in her present condition are not Cheap and Undignified.
    Isn’t COAS using her as a prop undignified?
    Her attackers are Swatis holed up in Kunar (per reuters report) yet we will soon be marching into NWA using her as a pretext. And the inconsistencies in ISPR and RM press briefing and “Taliban” statements are reaching absurd proportions.

    And as another point was it wise for BBC and the NYT and our local press, and the Swat Qaumi Jirga(Including her dad) to put her life in danger by portraying her as an Anti Taliban icon.
    An eleven years old put in the firing line. And when you did that couldnt our government at least provide her security. Spare someone from the 100+ protocol following every minister.
    (If you see her interviews her views were far more nuanced, condemning the Army many excesses freely)

    Some of the rhetoric may be reflex anti americanism but most of it is against our govt propensity for pointless Military Misadventures, which are far worse then Pak-US drone strikes.Recommend

  • Ali

    Malala is the victim of a war
    If you want to save Malala end the war.
    Not extend it.
    Common sense.
    Drone victims are also victims of the same war so there is a lot of similarity here.
    PRO WAR PRO US HAWKISH LIBERAL ELITE, STOP TRYING TO USE THE SACRIFICE OF OUR MALALA TO EXTEND YOUR WAR.Recommend

  • Jamshed

    many fake pictures like that also appeared during violence in burma against muslims .. though many were fake .. but there are also many genuine drone child victims …. which u ignored .. Recommend

  • Ali

    @Loneliberal PK:
    Except, people are not trying to ‘raise awareness’ they are calling for more operation ramp up military campaign on the already exposed tribal population at threat from militants, Pak army as well as drones.
    Stop using Malala’s sacrifice to forward your war. Recommend

  • Haroon

    Yes, I don’t know what happened to this girl but for sure, we all know that there are hundreds of innocent children out there who either lost someone or got killed themselves in drone attacks.
    Even this girl, even if she was shot by FC does it make it ok for us to ignore her? Who will speak for those children who do not get the publicity? Aren’t all Pakistani children equal? Should we discriminate them on the basis of one being celebrity whereas others not?Recommend

  • Parvez

    Is this an attempt to muddy the waters ? I don’t think so because you are one of the better writers that I regularly read and I hope I’m right. I feel your argument is somewhat up there in the clonds, while it should be down here on the ground.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Yes, that is true. This is wrong to use a wrong pictures for right cause. A few correct pictures can be found at http://www.hangthebankers.com/children-of-the-drone/

    To add this, one should not wonder why there are not so many pictures of drone affected people since our media is not just biased but also get paid to turn the story one way. Besides, I don’t really hope that this comment may pass through biased moderation team.Recommend

  • Maaz

    We encountered a series of fake photos on Burmese muslim Rohingyas. my hunch on fake photos especially the one which is being circulated on social media showing a fake photo of a young drone victim: fake photos for a legitimate cause are first created and then circulated on the social media. people who supports that cause then start sharing it without establishing its authenticity. after few days, the creators of the same photos share the picture with original story and prove it to be fake. Impact: (1) we associate the legitimacy of a cause with a photo, since the photo turns out to be fake, it puts a question mark on the legitimacy of the cause as well or at least people start questioning the authenticity of information on which someone forms an opinion about a cause. (2) sharing fake photos intentionally/unintentionally deeply discredits those who support the cause. Conclusion: Your credibility is at stake. Confirm, if you can, the authenticity of such posts before sharing it.Recommend

  • Arkwright_93

    Batool, I hail you.
    This article is the culmination of all my thoughts about media and its manipulation. period.
    And to the rest of you, true: every child in Pakistan is equal. true: they deserve justice.
    Then why dont you go up to them where they live and do something about it? I have seen people go up to people in conflict zones and giving them some form of sustenance to the best of their abilities while most of us prefer to sit infront of our computers and do nothing but talk.
    Wake up logo!
    Btw Taliban has killed nearly 16 times more people than the drone strikes alone have killed. And nearly 80% of drone strike deaths are those of militants, if nothing else i support the drones to wipe off Taliban.Recommend

  • ammara shah

    The worst part is that as usual, in this whole situation, as in most such activities in Pakistan, womenfolk are being objectified and abused, by all. Shameful really.Recommend

  • http://Gmail Nabeel Anwar Dhakku

    @Ahsan. Ahsan Sahab I wonder why brilliant minds like you are not at the helm of ISI? After all even the ISI Chief hasn’t such deep information as u have.Recommend

  • Saboor Syed

    Apologist piece. Both kids are victims to the hate peddlers and their virulent ideology that has done no good for the country and it’s people. Blaming drones alone is a convenient means of absolving those who’re responsible for the ground reality – the holier-than-thou ideology borne of the incestuous relationship between the Pak military and the mulla.

    Inspite of the painful cost of drone operations amongst the innocent, there can be a Real argument made for them. The attack on Malala has none whatsoever and to draw moral equivalence between the two is in short appalling.Recommend

  • Waft

    @Arkwright_93:
    If people stopped apologozing for Taliban and rationalizing their unforgivable acts of violence against fellow Pakistanis and realized that something has to be done about this very real threat maybe the government would have a few more options of dealing with them instead of just allowing drone attacks. If the popular opinion wasnt so pro-Taliban and Pakistan itself could do something about these mad men without madness erupting on the streets by their apologists drone attacks would seem quite useless. Recommend

  • Waft

    @ammara shah:
    No, not by all. In this case just by Taliban. I am a woman btw. Recommend

  • Waft

    @bigsaf:
    This false equivalence is exactly what the Taliban apologists want. This is a common manipulative tactic – diversion. Right now, the debate should be totally about what we are going to do about Taliban and their intentions to enforce their world view at the point of a gun. THAT is not because of drone attacks, it was there a lot before the drones and will stay here even if the drones go away if we dont deal with it. That is what we should be talking about now. What the Taliban apologists want to do is to muddy the waters and drag the debate away from this as if there can be ANY, ANY valid excuse to shoot a 14-year old girl for wanting girls to go to school. So lets try to stay on the topic, Batool. Recommend

  • Waft

    @Tch tch:
    I am sorry but providing private security to every citizen who wants to speak their mind is hardly a practical option, which is why if we want to be able to freely express ourselves in this country we have no other option but to get rid of the extremists. Is it really that hard to blame them for shooting a little girl? Recommend

  • Waft

    @Loneliberal PK:
    Thank you for this piece of common sense that seems to be tragically rare in this country.Recommend

  • http://bigsaf.newsvine.com bigsaf

    @Waft:

    Well said.

    I suggest, and I encourage the author as well, Batool Zehra, to read this new blog piece by one of ET’s staff, Jahanzaib Haque. There is simply no comparison to the rhetoric from Taliban patronizers which is really quite insane.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/14351/we-are-not-malala-we-may-be-the-taliban/Recommend

  • Tch tch

    @Waft: Blaming “them” wont make her better. Its a meaningless gesture. Demanding your govt find the perpetrators and bring them to justice is more meaningful.

    She wasnt a normal citizen . She was profiled by every major newspaper in the world and was the face of PA intervention in swat first time around.
    If she wasn’t at risk BBC would not have used a pseudonym. Was it wise of the parties involved to endanger a 11 yr old life and that too knowingly?

    And IT IS THE states responsibility to provide security to its citizens not just VVIPs.Recommend

  • Vijay

    @A Journalist peer:
    You are a tool. I am not sure whether this comment is going to get published or not but that’s true. Recommend

  • Shaheryar Ahmed

    great batool
    m agree vid u
    i think this drama creat for makin ground to attack on swat Recommend

  • She

    What happened to Malala was extremely sad, an innocent girl was shot which is not ok at all. I have no sympathies for TTP. Taliban should be condemned for this.

    BUT what about several other deaths by TTP..those million of people who were killed in suicide bombings. The sad truth is only if media has given those suicide bombings enough coverage, a responsible action would have been taken and what happened to Malala would not happened. Apart from being a TTP victim, I believe singing Malala for all day round is total non sense.Recommend

  • She

    Unfortunately we live in a world where such things are a routine..Looking at today’s news updates,
    Five militants, FC official killed in encounter near Peshawar
    Five killed in Quetta violence
    TTP rivals ‘not targeted’ in Darra bombing

    I wonder only one thing, ”WHY a bullet shot is so extra-ordinary for Malala and ordinary for everyone else being killed by TTP?Recommend

  • Hanif Juma

    It’s a brutal attempt where Taliban claimed that they did do this and even if Malala get well they will reiterate for such act. We should condemn on this attack as there is no similarity with collateral damage caused by drone attacks in N. Waziristan though innocent people may be commiserated by civil society but at the same time there is a big reason of this damage, because terrorists inhabit covert in amid of local pashtoon population and they have been provided shelter from local people as of pashtoon ritual tradition, likewise of Karachi and some other parts of Pakistan where Pashtoon who so ever, moderate or fundamentalist; gives cover to Taliban. Collateral damage will always take place in assault like in Malala attack here also collateral damage is seen and two other girls were injured though they were not targeted. Recommend

  • Hanif Juma

    Dear She , Whenever it will be claimed a targeted action on a person or group; this will be treated extra ordinary as compare with random attack.Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman

    @Tch tch:
    Even the fact that Laiba was shot by an FC bullet, it does not make it equivalent or as abhorrent as Malala’s attack. For the two to be equivalent, FC would have to have gone house to house looking for a specific girl named Laiba because she was supporting a cause against their ideology. They would have then shot her point blank and run away with her soaked in blood. The FC’s commander would have to have issued a statement next day announcing how proud he is to have attacked the little girl, and that if she had not died, FC would make sure she is killed the next time. Those comparing the cold-blooded Taliban murderers with the government/FC/Army are simply part of the sick mindset.Recommend

  • Sassan K. Darian

    @Ahsan:
    lololololololololol… GET SOME HELP! FAST!Recommend

  • Sassan K. Darian

    @Ahsan:
    Is that why the Taliban have taken responsibility and have said that if she survives that the next time they will be sure that she is killed??Recommend

  • shuja ul islam

    does any of you even realize how PATHETIC we seem to the rest of the world whn we argue about who should get our sympathy or not..!!Recommend

  • Ammar

    There is simply no comparison between Drone victims and Malala. Here’s why ;

    People (specially Taliban apologists) think that Malala is only highlighted in the Media cause she was shot by Taliban and Media is biased against Taliban and is pro west. WRONG.

    Malala is not the first girl shot by Taliban. Talibans have been killing school girls and destroying schools past many years. Have you ever seen any so called SPECIAL TREATMENT for those victims from the media ? No. Same is with the victims of drone attacks. They only come as a news like TALIBAN KILL 3 GIRLS.. or Drone Strike Kills Three etc.

    So what makes Malala so special ? it’s what she has been doing that makes her special, her struggle for bringing a positive change in tribal areas, her struggle for education, her struggle for changing this tribal illiterate society. That is why any hurt on her made headlines.

    So my request to Taliban apologists would be to stop comparing because no one is compare-able to Malala, none in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Tch tch

    @Ammar: Disregarding your lack of language skills or of a basic understanding of grammar. You are wrong on the facts. Malala wasn’t from the Tribals areas was from Swat. Swat has one of the highest literacy rates in all of KPK, thanks to investments in Wali swat times.
    I do suggest to see her documentary in NYT . Who exactly ransacked Malala school?. It wasnt the Talian.

    @Jawad U Rahman: Oh the FC is up to its neck killing and dumping people in KPK and Balochistan, also summary execution. Most of these people arent even linked to any militancy. PA has summarily executed many children even of Malas age in sweep operation in Swat. I can back these assertions with easily available references.
    You have no idea what you are talking about.Recommend

  • Sadia

    is the only important person in Pakistan has someone who has been an activist or done some very great job for USA or so? are other people and their lives not worth such protest? they should be killed anonymously or live with disabilities for they had not done any great job? this question is not only for the govt but also emotional Pakistanis who forget all other issues when a new issue arises and just focus on it. its so easy to divert their attention from one issue to another. Recommend

  • Hausan Ziadh

    This is an excellent article. Batool you definitely speak my mind. I am sick and tired of hearing this news for a good number of days. Our media is biased. There are so many unsung heroines all over Pakistan who die everyday….what about them? Where are the egalitarians?
    She was like any other Pakistani who gets shot with or without reason.
    People who are victims of target killings are also humans and as precious for their families.
    Three girls from the same family died in the recent factory in Baldia Town, along with so many other innocents. Weren’t they Malalas too for their families?
    Its not about women, its about every human being who is a victim of terrorism.
    Media should get over it and move on. Malala is in good hands now and above all she survived.
    So please move on to other pressing issues in the country!Recommend

  • Ammar

    @Tch tch:
    I don’t know who destroyed Malala’s school but Malala was shot because of her struggle for women education. I don’t see any other reason why was she attacked ?
    and as I said before she is not the first child shot for this purpose, Taliban have been killing children in waziristan and peshawar earlier as well with no special media treatment for any of those victims. So there is no comparison b/w malala and drone victims.Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Midhat

    You said it! I condemn the attack on Malala and absoultely loathe the Tailban Ideolgy. But if at the same time I condemn the attacks on civilians by drones, why is my sensibilty being questioned? I dont question the coverage Malala has been given, for after all she stood up against evil, but what I fail to understand are the double standards. Was the life of 16 year old boy named Tariq Aziz any less precious? He wasa brave one too standing up for the rights of his people. He was standing up against the attrocities caused by illegal drones. But How many people even know his name?

    And No I by no means want to belittle the achievemenst and bravery of this young girl. I despise the attack and the terrorist must be brought to Justice. But with the same reasoning if I condemn the innocent casualties caused by drones, that doesnot make me a Taliban sympatizer!Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman

    @Tch tch:
    YOU have not idea what you are talking about when you compare the two. Answer my question before establishing moral equivalence between the the mindless violence perpetrated by Taliban and what our brave jawans are doing to protect you and me. Also, if you are so enamored by the militants’ ways and methods, you should perhaps go and live in Islamic Emirate of North Waziristan instead of in the cozy home in whats left of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Intelektual

    @Tch tch:
    At the time of the operation normal people were asked to move away from war zones. IDP’s ever heard ov them ! Yes the ways of war are highly questionable and there is high collateral damage !! But wat is to be done when children are trained as walking bombs ! What is to be done when militants holding a gun reign supremeabove the law enforcing their versions of islam and autocracy !
    Were the KP’s not staunch supporters of Militancy ! were the tribal areas not safe heavens to neighbouring accross the border militants ! They should have known better whom to play host to !Recommend

  • MS Kasmi

    I am really sorry to say that u pakistanis are under america’s shoes… u r slave of america… why are you crying on Malala’s attack… don’t you see that america till date has killed around 175 children and around 800 innocent people in dron attack… howsh ke nakhun lo… malala ko chodo aur america ko bhagao… apna iman bachao…Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Satish Chandra:
    Why do you need a fake identity to comment .? Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Ali: ” Malala is the victim of a war”
    so you agree that a war has started . What should then be done 1. to surrender,2. to start dialogue/negotiate for peace or resist/ fight. first two options without confrontation is a sign of weakness and unacceptable as this will be threat to the survival of society with its values. The problem raised is the civilian death which might occur in case of fighting back which is to be explored and found out and not the confrontation itself.Recommend

  • http://tribune.com p r sharma

    @Ahsan: conspiracy theorist has never given any concrete evidence in support of their theories and you are not an exception.Recommend