Tag Archives: Malala

Books, not bullets – U.S. politicians have a choice to make: they can either invest in military and war or in education and hope.

By Allison Grossman, Senior Legislative Associate at RESULTS, an international grassroots advocacy organization dedicated to ending poverty.

Books, not bullets. That’s the message that 17-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate and global education activist Malala Yousafzai brought to lawmakers during her very first visit to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

“U.S. politicians have a choice to make: they can either invest in military and war or in education and hope. Without education it’s impossible to achieve the peace we all seek. Education for all is the only answer,” she said.

I was lucky to spend the day going door to door on Capitol Hill with Malala, her father Ziauddin, and Malala Fund president Meighan Stone. And I’m lucky do the same work year round with RESULTS and our network of passionate, committed volunteers across the country. Like Malala, they are using their voices to change the world.

Read more » Malala Fund Blog
See more » http://community.malala.org/malala-visits-capitol-hill-to-urge-us-support-for-global-education-1217072849.html

Malala Yousafzai receives Nobel Peace Prize 2014

The 2014 Nobel Prizes are presented, including the Peace Prize, which has been awarded to Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai. This live stream has now ended

By Telegraph Video and PA, video source APTN

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for speaking up in favour of girls’ education, has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 17-year-old, who is the youngest person ever to receive the honour, was handed at gold medal and a diploma at a ceremony in Oslo, joining the ranks of laureates including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King and Aung San Suu Kyi.

The teenager was jointly awarded the peace prize with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi for her “heroic struggle” in favour of girls’ access to learning.

Malala began speaking out for the rights of girls at the age of 11, and came to prominence after surviving an assassination attempt in October 2012.

Read more » The Telegraph
See more » http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/11284445/Watch-live-Malala-Yousafzai-receives-Nobel-Peace-Prize-2014.html

 

When the mountains were red

By Nadeem F. Paracha

Many Pakistani Pushtuns find themselves in a spot of bother when some political commentators and analysts define extremist organisations like the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as an extension and expression of Pushtun nationalism.

Though religion has always played a central role in the make-up of Pushtun identity, Pushtun nationalism (especially in the 20th century) was always a more secular and left-leaning phenomenon. It still is.

This nationalism’s modern manifestation was founded on the thoughts and actions of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan) and expressed through such left-wing parties as National Awami Party (NAP), Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) and the Awami National Party (ANP).

However, for nearly three decades now, or ever since the beginning of the US/Pakistan/Saudi-backed ‘jihad’ against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Pushtun identity (at least in popular imagination) has been gradually mutating into becoming to mean something that is akin to being aggressive, fanatical and entirely religious.

Yet, till 2008 the county’s Pushtuns were enthusiastically voting for secular Pushtun nationalist parties like the ANP, and till even this day, there are a number of Pushtuns who are openly canvasing to eradicate not only religious violence and extremism from the Pushtun-dominated province of Khyber-Puskhtunkhwa (KPK), but also busy working towards debunking the belief that Pushtuns are by nature fanatical, driven by revenge and radically ‘Islamist’ in orientation.

Such Pushtuns point out the unique Pushtun-centric secularism of men like Bacha Khan and how left-wing parties like NAP were once KPK’s most popular exponents of electoral politics.

They blame the Pakistani ‘establishment’ for corrupting the notion of Pushtun nationalism by radicalising large portions of the Pushtuns through radical religious indoctrination and the Saudi ‘Petro Dollar.’

The idea was to neutralise Pushtun nationalism that had been the leading player in NAP, a party that also included Baloch and Sindhi nationalists, and was suspiciously eyed (by the establishment) to have had separatist and anti-Pakistan sentiments.

In the last decade or so – especially ever since extremist violence gripped the country, and with the KPK and the tribal areas that surround the province becoming the epicentre of this violence – various Pushtun parties, groups and individuals have been aggressively using political, social and cultural platforms to challenge the perception that religious extremism found in certain Pushtun-dominated militant outfits have anything to do with Pushtun culture or nationalism.

But so far it has been an uphill task and unfortunately the word Pushtun continues to trigger images of bushy, violent fanatics exploding themselves up in markets and mosques or beheading ‘infidels’ in the hills and mountains of KPK and the tribal areas.

Continue reading When the mountains were red

Malala speaks at UN, vows not to be silenced

By: AFP

NEW YORK CITY: Pakistan teenager Malala Yousafzai told the United Nations on Friday that she would not be silenced by terrorist threats, in her first public speech since being shot by the Taliban.

“They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed,” Malala said on her 16th birthday, which she spent making calls for greater global efforts to get children into schools.

“The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, courage and fervour was born,” she said in a speech given several standing ovations.

The passionate advocate for girls education was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she road on a school bus near her home in Pakistan’s Swat Valley on October 12 last year.

She was given life-saving treatment in Britain where she now lives, but the attack has given new life to her campaign for greater educational opportunities for girls.

Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister and UN special envoy for education, hailed Malala as “the bravest girl in the world” as he presented her at the UN Youth Assembly.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/news/1028531/malala-speaks-at-un-vows-not-to-be-silenced

TTP talks: Legitimising terror

By: Saher Baloch

The annual report of Human Rights Watch (2013) on Pakistan reads exactly the same as the ones published before it. Only the brutality of those involved in the killings and the apathy of those observing has increased tenfold. Apart from that, the report has nothing ‘positive’ to report from Pakistan.

The reason why there is nothing ‘positive’ in the report reflects the fact that our state continues to move backwards, learning nothing from past mistakes.

If learning was the case, the recent offer of talks by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who have single-handedly ruined thousands of lives in Pakistan, would have been refused by the state immediately.

As it is, we are already in a state of war with the Taliban, who continue to attack children, students, teachers, journalists, minorities, and any one who does not accept or follow their brand of Islam.

To be precise, it is progression and a progressive mindset that the Taliban and likeminded groups are against. I felt it necessary to spell it out because it is important to understand, that militants are against each one of us, including every ideology or sect that they feel threatened from.

In 2012, militants killed around 325 people from the Shia sect, shot a student Malala Yousafzai, apart from torching over a hundred schools in different areas of Pakistan. This is not all, as there are countless other incidents where shrines have been attacked, apart from the ruthless targeting of the Pakistani police. Verve and confidence are not lacking in these people at all, as after every attack that destroys a home, a family or a school, the militants have openly taken responsibility for their actions.

Continue reading TTP talks: Legitimising terror

Canadian Senator Salma Ataullahjan on Pakistan, Pakhtunkhwa & Malala Yusufzai in the Globe & Mail

Malala Yousafzai drew a ‘red line’

BY: SALMA ATAULLAHJAN

I recently met the parents of Malala Yousafzai in Birmingham, England. Malala, who should be learning and laughing and doing what teenaged girls do, is instead lying in a British hospital, recovering after being shot and wounded in Pakistan by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education.

Malala and I are both Yousafzai Pakhtun women, from the same town and the same clan. We are a generation and two continents apart, but the 15-year-old girl’s courage, determination and maturity has triggered hope and inspiration in me at a time when I felt that all was waning in the land of our birth, Pakistan.

When I was 15 in the historic city of Peshawar, in the province of Pakhtunkhwa, my sisters and cousins could never have imagined a day when simply going to school would jeopardize our lives. We were brimming with confidence and optimism. Girls and young women were emerging to take positions of responsibility in government, social development and politics. Our colleges and universities were centres of learning and debate. I studied at a convent run by Irish nuns, and we spoke English and wore Western-style uniforms.

Continue reading Canadian Senator Salma Ataullahjan on Pakistan, Pakhtunkhwa & Malala Yusufzai in the Globe & Mail

Liberal Activist Marvi Sirmed survived assassination attempt in Islamabad

Twitter alert: Marvi Sirmed attacked!

By Web Desk / Umer Nangiana

SLAMABAD: A columnist and human rights campaigner, Marvi Sirmed, escaped unhurt when the car she was traveling in came under attack on Friday in Islamabad as suggested by users of social network Twitter.

Columnist Nusrat Javeed tweeted that Marvi’s car, being driven by her husband Manzoor Sirmed, was fired at. However, the couple remained “unharmed but shaken”, tweeted another user.

Geo News Urdu tweeted quoting Marvi as saying that she has survived the attack and has informed the police about it.

Marvi Sirmed told The Express Tribune that as they were traveling, they encountered a car with black tinted windows parked in front. Someone pulled out a gun from within the car and fired twice at them. Marvi said that they ducked and turned their car around. At this point the assailant fired at them once more. She said that they approached the nearest police checkpost, but by the time they returned to the scene of the crime, the assailant’s car had disappeared. Marvi said that she did not know who could have attacked her.

Continue reading Liberal Activist Marvi Sirmed survived assassination attempt in Islamabad

‘Save Sindh Committee’ wishes Malala Yousafzai a speedy recovery

Sindh Bachayo Committee presents bouquet to Malala Yousafzai in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

Birmingham 21 October: Sindh Bachayo Committee (Save Sindh Committee) presented a bouquet and conveyed a get well soon message to hospitalised Pakistani school girl and campaigner of girls education Malala Yousafzai. Due to the tight security, the delegation couldn’t meet Malala personally.

Continue reading ‘Save Sindh Committee’ wishes Malala Yousafzai a speedy recovery

Malala asks Pakistan to recreate itself

The attack on Malala has pushed liberal Pakistan to re-ascertain its face. However, the important thing to see is whether Pakistan restructures itself as a liberal moderate democracy.

THE TALIBAN attacked Malal Yousafzai due to her denial of their barbaric codes of self-described and imposed religious taboos. Unlike on the brutal murder of Salman Taseer, the people of Pakistan vociferously denounced this heinous act and stood by her – a good omen for the country, which is living in misery between devil and the deep sea.

Pakistan, which has been historically an Indus country in the past, and once was known as Sindh, have a deep background of secular ethos that until the recent past remained unchanged. The beginning of perversion in Pakistan kicked off with the adaptation of state-religion. In the social and cultural context, it began when the people of Pakistan were pushed through socio-cultural engineering by imposing Arab terminologies in spite of the local ones – replacement of Maseet with the Arabic word Masjid for a mosque and word Khuda with Allah for the God. It was the cultural fanaticism, which came first through sponsored Tabligh (preaching) and was gradually introduced during General Ziaul Haq period when he started altering historical Indian cultural roots of Pakistan and resisted possible Iranian influence- thus the Arabic terminologies, and Salafi school of thought was blended with the Sunni Hanafya majority of the country.

Continue reading Malala asks Pakistan to recreate itself

Pakistan and the threat of extremism Turning point? Despite outrage over Malala’s shooting, the dark forces are gathering again

ISLAMABAD – MANY say they now realise it has taken a 14-year-old schoolgirl to teach Pakistan the meaning of courage. Back in 2009 Malala Yousafzai began chronicling the dark grip of the Pakistani Taliban on her homeland, the pretty Swat valley in the country’s north. She had a clear-eyed conviction that girls had a right to an education, something the Taliban did their best to prevent, even after their local rule was broken in an army offensive. She called the Taliban “barbarians”. On October 9th the barbarians took their revenge, shooting her in the head. She is now in a British hospital, in Birmingham, with a specialist unit for war injuries. Doctors are impressed by her resilience.

Back home, says Nusrat Javed, host of a popular political show, “Malala has liberated Pakistan.” Pakistanis have voiced unprecedented anger against the Pakistani Taliban, calling for the peaceful majority to reclaim the country’s destiny from gun-toting, head-chopping extremists.

The question is whether political, military and religious leaders have Malala’s gumption. Most condemned the attack without condemning the Pakistani Taliban. A few went further. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, who had already taken a more aggressive stance against extremists in recent months, sounded ready for action. After visiting Malala in hospital in Pakistan, he said: “We refuse to bow before terror. We will fight, regardless of the cost. We will prevail.”

Continue reading Pakistan and the threat of extremism Turning point? Despite outrage over Malala’s shooting, the dark forces are gathering again

Long Live Malala Yousufzai, Long Live Pakhtoon resistance. Death to her attackers & to this terrorist mindset. Sindh salutes Malala.

Taliban says it shot ‘infidel’ Pakistani teen for advocating girls’ rights

By Haq Nawaz Khan, By Michele Langevine Leiby

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A 14-year-old Pakistani activist who won international acclaim for speaking out for girls denied education under the Taliban was shot and seriously wounded Tuesday on her way home from school, authorities said.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on ninth-grader Malala Yousafzai, who officials said was shot in the head by at least one gunman who approached a school bus in Mingora, a city in the scenic Swat valley in the country’s northwest.

Yousafzai was flown by helicopter to a military hospital in Peshawar, where officials said a bullet was lodged near her spine. Surgeons were unable to operate immediately because of swelling in her skull. ….

Read more : The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/taliban-says-it-shot-infidel-pakistani-teen-for-advocating-girls-rights/2012/10/09/29715632-1214-11e2-9a39-1f5a7f6fe945_story.html