Malala & Issues Related to It

Topics: Pakistan, North-West Frontier Province, Taliban Pages: 6 (2098 words) Published: October 27, 2012
Two days after Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by militants from the Pakistani Taliban, Her shooting went not only against the teachings of Islam, but also against Pashtun traditions, in which you would never think of hurting a woman — let alone a 14-year-old girl on her way home from school. As a father, naturally I pictured one of my own children lying in that hospital. What happened to her was against all human emotion. But now Malala has become a symbol of Pakistan. She is a role model, someone who stood up for education at a time when schools were being blown up. The area in which she lived, the Swat Valley, had been taken over by the Taliban, who opposed Western education. They thought it was polluting the minds of girls, in particular, and banned them from going to school. Malala opposed this. And for doing so, she was singled out and shot. What the attack on Malala shows us is the sheer brutalisation and radicalisation of Pakistani society. What the attack on Malala shows us is the sheer brutalisation and radicalisation of Pakistani society. Eight-and-a-half years ago we were taken into a war by General Pervez Musharraf when he sent the country's military into the region of Waziristan that borders Afghanistan. That was the beginning of the downward spiral. Until then we had no militant Taliban in Pakistan, although we did have sectarian militant groups, created during Afghan jihad in the eighties by Pakistan's intelligence services, the ISI, and financed by the CIA. It took two years, from 2004 to 2006, for the creation of the Pakistani Taliban. Today, under the generic name of Taliban, there are six different types of militant groups fighting the Pakistani state - and it is crucial to understand who and why. First there is the ideological Taliban, who want to set up a state based on their concept of Sharia law, enforced through the barrel of a gun. This group makes the religious parties involved in politics in Pakistan look moderate. But it is very important to know that when the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan (1996-2001), there were no takers for their ideology in Pakistan, not even in the tribal belt on the Afghan border. I maintain that this particular ideology of Taliban is a tiny proportion of the extremists. The second militant group under the Taliban are Pashtun nationalists. While the tribes of this ethnic group often fought each other, they have, throughout history, always united to resist foreign invaders. The British had 80 years' experience with the tribal Pashtuns, leaving behind a rich history of interaction with them. In Pakistan's 2002 elections the coalition of religious parties called the MMA swept the entire Pashtun belt because it condemned the Nato invasion of Afghanistan. Just as in the British and Russian invasions, when Nato invaded there were Pashtuns who united to join the resistance, calling themselves Taliban. Then there is a third group: remnants of the jihadi organisations who were brainwashed to believe that fighting the Soviet occupation was a religious duty. They were controlled by the Pakistani establishment — until the moment Pakistan sided with the American war on terror. Many rebelled against the establishment and started calling themselves the Panjabi Taliban. The next group is a product of the massive collateral damage that has occurred in the tribal areas as a result of drone attacks and Pakistan's army military operations. Those affected picked up arms because, according to the Pashtun tradition, revenge is an integral part of the code of honour. When family members die in a bomb attack, a Pashtun will look for revenge by joining the militants. Malala Yousafzai (Pashto: ملاله یوسفزۍ‎ Malālah Yūsafzay , born July 12, 1997)[2][4] is a school student and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her education and women's rights activism in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban has at...
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