Posted on 13-10-2012
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Until this week, few people outside of Pakistan and the Swat Valley had heard of Malala Yousafzai.  As she now fights for her life, the victim of neanderthal reactionary thugs, the 14 year old has become a global icon.  The Taliban was notorious for turning women into chattel – good for cooking, bearing children and not much else.  Their Pakistani counterpart is no better.  For a while they held the Swat Valley under their sway while the gutless government in Islamabad dithered on confronting their created Frankenstein monster.

Yousafzai began blogging about life under the Taliban in 2009 while the Swat Valley was still under Taliban control and became a vocal advocate for female education.  In May 2009 the Pakistani army finally moved in and flushed out the Taliban from Swat.  By 2011 she was a celebrity in Pakistan, openly appearing on TV shows and was  nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize.  Her blogging identity no longer anonymous she promptly became the target of death threats from Taliban adherents.

So on October 9 came the assassination attempt.  The backlash against the Taliban has been in Pakistan has been severe.  They were trashed on social media and in public rallies.  Yet, even though Pakistan’s foreign minister called this a turning point, all the thunder will not amount to much for now.  This blog has been harsh on Pakistan’s use of Islamic terrorists to further foreign policy goals in Afghanistan (hiding Mullah Omar and co. in Quetta) and India.  Pakistan’s religious parties offered only lip service to Malala’s fate before railing against American drone attacks.  Yet the American drone attacks, troubling as they are, occur only because Pakistan’s army will not move against terrorists perched in own country.

Girls schools and independent women are primary targets of the Taliban.   As a result,  girls like Malala who refuse to be cowed down are an existential threat to these thugs.  The Taliban remains unrepentant and has renewed the threat against her.  And yet, people like Imran Khan want a “political solution” with these assholes.  Nazi comparisons can be a bit overwrought, but I cannot resist noticing similarities to Franz von Papen’s belief that he could box in Hitler after bringing him to power.  The fight against the Taliban will not be won until there are harsh political consequences for their supporters, Pakistan’s educational system is upgraded to bring its teeming underclass out of the sway of the mullahs (whose madrasas are often the only available educational option) and Pakistan’s army gives up the dream that it is possible to support these thugs against its neighbors without being stung by the backwash.

I mocked the Nobel Peace Prize award to the EU yesterday.  I still stand by that.  It should have gone to someone like Malala Yousafzai.  To hear Malala in her own words see the video below. Also see this heartfelt article by Owais Tohid:

 

 

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