While watching CNN’s 2014 round up a few days back, I saw various anchors give a brief detail of what they thought was most significant for them in 2014. I watched all of them tell their story but what compelled me to write this piece today was Malala.
One of the anchors saidshe had met Malala in Nigeria during the horrific episode of young girls being captured by Boko Haram. The Nigerian government was not even ready to listen to the families of those abducted girls but that young daring girl stood up with them, heard their cries and raised her voice for those girls.Till today no one knows if those girls are alive or not.
I felt proud, when I heard her name. But my smile vanished immediately when all those comments full of hate for Malala came to my mind. For many in Pakistan she is a child who has not only taken money to get shot in the head but is out to malign Pakistan.For many she is not only a drama queen but a traitor as well. If they could, they would try applying Article 6 on her, obviously without proof.
There are people who said why she was not speaking for the Palestinians without knowing that she donated money to these people. People asked why is she getting so much media exposure? What was the fault of other girls with her?Maybe they do not know that Shazia and Kainat are also in the UK and studying there.
Then people asked why the drone victims were being ignored.Even though they undoubtedly go through a lot of trauma, but none of them defied the Taliban. Malala did.
Let us take these present winter vacations, extended twice and we are still not sure if the schools will open any time soon.How many of us protested against the Taliban? It is not the cold weather but the fear of Taliban that drives the government to shutdown everything.
Let’s think about the kids who were targeted in Peshawar.Watch the videos of those who were injured but are still ready to fight against the attackers.They might not have been targeted for gaining education, but should I say those kids were paid?
Let us for an instant believe Malala is paid to do all this. Then let us put it this way that everything that is happening is for money or power alone.
Imran Khan fell from the container to get sympathy votes. Benazir got killed by mistake, while she was just putting up a show against Musharraf. Maybe Zardari was clearing his path to become the president. Nawaz Sharif went to meet Imran more to add to his vote bank than to actually sympathize. Tahirul Qadri falling ill all of a sudden means running away with the alleged money that he took to end his agitation. Lawyer’s movement was a drama also to destabilize Pakistan and overthrow President Musharraf, which was in favor of external forces. Nawaz is always going head over heels over India and Saudi Arabia, thereby meaning he follows his vested interests and has nothing to do with democracy or national interest.
If they are all working on their own hidden agendas then we should start thinking who we would actually vote for in the next elections.
Should we not question them about what it would take to do what they have been elected to do? Should we not remind them that our main issues are gas, water, electricity, security, medical facilities, etc?
If the politicians’ blatant lack of action doesn’t compel us to question them about our basic daily needs, then we have absolutely no right to question Malala for what she is doing.
Also, those who follow the news know that a large part of her “earnings” are being sent to places where schools are to be built – including to Swat in Pakistan.
Umaima Ahmed is a member of staff at The Nation