Take courageous stand against terror, exhorts Pak daily

Few have taken a courageous stand over the attack on Malala, said a leading daily that was worried over lack of political consensus against Taliban.

Updated: Oct 16, 2012, 13:06 PM IST

Islamabad: Few groups have taken a courageous and clear stand over the attack on teenaged peace campaigner Malala Yousufzai, said a leading daily that was worried over the lack of political consensus against the Taliban.

"Battle lines have been drawn across the political landscape, and few groups are taking as courageous and clear a stand as is needed," said an editorial in the Dawn Tuesday, a day after Malala, who was shot at by the Taliban, was shifted to Britain.

"The reaction in the first couple of days after Malala was attacked had inspired hope that a political consensus against the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan), not just violent extremism, might be formed.

"But that has not taken place, despite the public`s demonstrated anger at the terrorist group. And as long as political forces hold back, the military will have a reason to hold back too. The moment Pakistan should not have wasted is being squandered before our very eyes," it said.

The editorial said that one thing was clear that attack on Malala is not comparable to drone strikes.

"Nor is it likely to be comparable to other incidents the religious right might use to try to divert attention from the particular evil of this one. Because here is what this incident was: a deliberate attack on a specific teenage girl in retaliation for her activism for girls` education and opposition to Islamist militancy, a harmless, non-violent cause the TTP happen not to like," said the daily.

It criticised moves to make comparisons in an attempt to dampen the widespread recognition of the Malala incident for what it was - "the targeting of an innocent girl by an outfit that does not believe in the most basic of human rights and is prepared to attack even children to promote its regressive ideas".

Malala was shot at by the Taliban Oct 9 while she was returning home from school in the country`s northwest. The bullet was extricated by doctors in Peshawar and she was later shifted to Rawalpindi from where she was flown to Britain.