Anti-Taliban outpouring for Malala attack, silver lining: US

Last Updated: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:46

Washington: The outpouring of nation-wide sentiment in Pakistan against the Taliban following its attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai is a "silver lining" from this horrible tragedy, United States has said.

"Well we`ve seen in the past in Pakistan that when the Taliban commits truly heinous and outrageous acts like this, it galvanises popular opinion against them not only in the cities, but also in those towns and neighborhoods where they plot and hide," the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters here yesterday.

"So obviously, the degree to which the Pakistani people turn against them help their government to go after them. That would be, perhaps, a silver lining from this horrible tragedy," Nuland told reporters in response to a question at her daily news conference.
Meanwhile in an op-ed in Huffington Post, the former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, wrote that Malala, who is struggling for her life in an hospital in Pakistan should be adopted by the world.

"As she fights the Taliban -- who labelled her campaign for girls` education an `obscenity` -- her courage should be celebrated and we should think of her as everyone`s daughter.

"Giving messages of support for Malala from all over the world, I have asked Pakistan`s President Zardari to pledge that Malala`s suffering will not be in vain," Brown wrote.

"A few days ago I received a promise from him that his government will now do everything -- providing teachers, resources and financial help for families -- to get girls to school.

"We agreed that the office of the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education would send a delegation to Pakistan to agree practical proposals to turn the promise of education for every girl into a reality by the end of 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goal of education for every child," he said.

Brown in his op-ed quoted what Malala wrote in her blog three years ago when she was 11.

"I was afraid of going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools. On my way from school to home I heard a man saying, `I will kill you,`" she had described.

Banned from school, she told the world that "my real name means `grief stricken.`"

"Now as her name is broadcast across the world as an icon for courage and hope, I am determined that her shooting produces much more than just the talk of change. When I met President Zardari we agreed to draw up a plan to put Pakistan`s five million out-of-school girls and boys into the classroom.

"A week before, I also met the new Pakistani foreign minister and finance minister and pledged global support if they would move further and faster to achieve education for all," Brown said.

Pakistan needs to be shocked into action, with the Taliban shamed and forced into accepting the basic freedoms of every girl, he said.

"From this International Day of the Girl Child forward, Malala`s fight for life should become the whole world`s fight for not only establishing every girl`s right to education but also achieving within three years a school place for the neglected 32 million," Brown wrote.

The US-based Muslim Public Affairs Council yesterday condemned the Taliban`s appalling attack against Yousafzai, who was advocating for education.

"This heinous attack on a young girl should refocus the world`s attention on the Taliban`s oppressive and restrictive force within Pakistan," it said in a statement.

The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) -- a body of Islamic jurists -- in a statement strongly condemned the attempted murder of Malala.

"We call on the Pakistani authorities to earnestly pursue the perpetrator and anyone who participated in this crime in any way, and to bring him/them to justice.

"All extra judicial killings are wrong and must not be done by anyone, whether individuals, groups or governments under any name or pretext, whether religious or secular," it said.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:44

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