Thane (Maharashtra)/Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh): Women, including students, the Muslim community in particular, took to the streets of Thane and Lucknow in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh respectively, over the weekend, to protest against an attack by suspected Taliban militants on a 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl.
In Thane, school girls and women took part in a rally against the attack on Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by Taliban militants. They said Malala should be brought to India for treatment.
One of the protesting students, Faiza, said that prayers are being offered for Malala’s speedy recovery.
“She was one among us, I will pray to God for her speedy recovery. I would want to request Pakistan to take her to India for treatment; India will pay for her treatment. We want such people in our country who fight for the rights of the women. Mumbai people will pay for her medication. I am standing in support of her because I also hate militants,” said Faiza.
Malala is still fighting for her life after being shot by Taliban gunmen in Mingora on October 9 for speaking out for ‘progressive education’ based on western mode of academics as for girls.
She was shot in the head and neck, but has managed to survive.
Malala was with at another student when she was shot, but there are differing accounts of how the shooting transpired.
The shooting was a culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the fearless, smiling young girl against one of Pakistan`s most ruthless Taliban commanders.
Talking to the reporters, a protestor Afsha urged the Prime Ministers of Pakistan to send her to India for medical treatment.
“The reason why we have staged such a big rally is because, we want to appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan to get Malala in Mumbai, so that we could give her medical treatment here, we are ready to meet the expenses of her family also since we want her speedy recovery. Malala initiated and took stand for the rights of the girls of her school, so we are with her and we pray to God that her health gets better soon,” said Afsha.
The attack on Malala has been condemned across the world and has fuelled ire among the people specially women of Muslim community, who have now taken to the streets for the rights of women.
Meanwhile, young students at Lucknow also took to the streets.
Talking to a reporter, a protestor, Heena said that the entire country is united as for the fight against crime and injustice.
“We prayed for the health of Malala. We are with her in this fight because the fight is against crime and injustice,” said Heena.
The Islamist group Ahle Sunnat passed an Islamic dictum known as a Fatwa condemning the Taliban who tried to kill the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.
Meanwhile, leaders from the Red Mosque, a complex managed by hard-line clerics in the capital, Islamabad, took a different stance.
They said that although the attack should be condemned, it had been carried out because Yousufzai looked up to America.
Washington has long pushed for action, military or otherwise, against the Haqqani militant network, one of NATO``s deadliest foes in Afghanistan, which is thought to operate mainly from Pakistani region North Waziristan.
Though the Pakistani government publicly condemns drone attacks, many Pakistanis believe it has done nowhere near enough to stop them.