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Pakistan: Developing Viewpoints on Malala Yousufzai

It has been ten days when Malala's story first came out on the global screen. Today, Malala has become a symbol for an enlightened  and moderate Pakistan. Her name is being eulogized in prose and poetry. People are praying for her better health. Malala can be found in every newspaper and every social media website in Pakistan.

Without doubt, this is the Golden Age for a modern progressive Pakistan – a country where girls have an equal right to get education.

Sabir Nazir writes in Dawn blogs:

The image of Malala on every chowk, newspaper, profile picture, status update and TV channel….. Let us celebrate this golden moment in the history of Pakistan that might not last for very long.

For the first time religious extremists, such as Taliban, are being vehemently criticised in the public. During an address to a public rally in Karachi, MQM's head, Mr. Altaf Hussain, described Taliban as ‘inhumane, stone age people’.

Moreover, Malala has helped in consolidating the anti-Taliban forces in Pakistan. Across the political landscape, people are on an outrage against Taliban:

Saman Jaffery comments:

“If Taliban is a mindset, then Malala is a mindset, too. It's a mindset of educated and empowered women.”

Ashwer Waqi, a participant of MQM's political rally in support of Malala Yousufzai comments:

The message is right here … all these people. They are condemning the act of the Taliban

Social media has applauded Malala's stance against religious terrorists. The following picture was shared on Nosheerwan's fan page:

More than 205 people shared this picture on Facebook. This was just one of the thousands of shares people made to show their love for this little angel.

Across the border, in India, sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik constructed a sculpture to honour Malala. The following message was embossed on it:

“MALALA GET WELL SOON”

World famous American actress and director Angelina Joli proposed a Nobel Prize for Malala's determination for spreading girl education. She writes in her blog:

Still trying to understand, my children asked, “Why did those men think they needed to kill Malala?” I answered, “because an education is a powerful thing.”

Moreover, Government of Pakistan has planned to confer Sitara-e-Shujaat for her valour. A bounty of $1 million is also placed on the head of Taliban's leader involved in killing Malala.

Gedrosia tweets:

@Gedrosia: Proud of you #Malala - #Taliban you all can go to hell

The following two Urdu poetic verses have now being attributed to Malala. Years ago, Pakistan poet Habib Jalib wrote these verse for the assassinated prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. Saad Khalid shares [ur] these verese with us:

ڈرتے ہیں بندوقوں والے ایک نہتی لڑکی سے
پھیلے ہیں ہمت کے اُجالے ایک نہتی لڑکی سے

Gunmen are scared by an innocent girl
Radiance of hope spreads due to her

On the other end of the world, Mrs. Laura Bush, former first woman of United States compared Malala with Anne Frank.

Anti-Malala Campaign

Although Malala has been praised around the world and more specifically in Pakistan, an Anti-Malala Syndrome has also developed simultaneously.

People belonging to this school of thought either try to allude or delude Malala's achievement. They are trying to create a soft corner for such terrorist act in the minds of the commoners. Jahanzaib Haque has written a detail blog where he elucidates tactics Taliban-sympathisers use to debase Malala.

Their central thesis revolves around the following self-created conspiracy theories:

1) Attack on Malala was purposefully perpetrated by the United States

Taliban sympathizers try to equate Taliban's attack on Malala attack with US drone attacks in the Waziristan region in Pakistan (see Global Voices report). A fake picture was shared on twitter that shows an innocent girl who is sitting on a wheel chair:

Fake picture of an innocent girl depicted as being injured in a drone. Source: @Khuram_PTI

Text in the picture reads:

Innocent girl Laiba, who was injured in a drone attack, questions the Pakistani nation!!

“Oh! The people of Pakistan, am I less innocent than Malala or is my patriotism under question? [If not] then why isn't anyone speaking for me? Is this because United States is responsible for this act?”

Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP) debunked this picture. In reality, the girl lost her limbs in a suicide attack perpetrated by terrorists while she was doing shopping for the Muslim festival of Eid in November 2008.

2) Malala maligned Islamic symbols

Another fake picture that spread like fire is a deliberate concoction in Malala's memorable diary that tells about the degradation of girl education and destruction of schools during the Taliban rule in Swat.

False Propaganda about Malala's diary. Source: Facebook\Hasan Nisar

 The message in the picture reads:

Malala wrote none of the following statements in her diary:

“Seeing a veil reminds me of the Stone Age, and a beard reminds me of a Pharaoh”

This is a false propaganda, which is being carried out by Taliban-supporters ans those who are against woman education.

Whenever you see such news on social media, do ask for its source. Malala's diary can be read on BBC Urdu website.

Hasan Nisar wrote on his facebook page:

People are doing propaganda against Malala, by spreading false information, and by other cheap stunts.

3) Attacks on Malala is a diversion tactics

Yet another perceptive says attack on Malala is a ‘deliberate attempt‘ to divert Muslim attention from the recent blasphemy film.

Twitter users gave the following reactions to such ‘absurd theories‘ [ur] :

@arslajawaid: hameful *that* conspiracy theorists label#Malala a US spy/CIA agent. Shes just a child who showd us up with her courage.inferioritycomplex?

@Anas_Abbas: World is praying for Malala from West to India but Pakistanis are busy classifying her CIA agent as she didn't have Aafia's credentials.

@adeel_azhar: So the extremist mindset trying to prove#malala is herself a CIA agent..wonder what's next Malala, a freemason? Malala a devil worshipper?

@MhwshB: Haan haan. Bana do Malala ko yahoodi, CIA, RAW agent. Pehle goli maro, phir us ko agent keh do. Bas TTP ko na kehna kuch. Khabees.

@MhwshB: Yes! Yes! Now make her a Jew, make her a CIA or RAW agent. First shoot her, and then call her an agent. Just don't say anything to TTP. Pathetic!

An apt response to all such conspiracy theories is given by Nosheerwan on his face book page:

“People who are saying that Malala is an US agent are accomplishing nothing other than giving US agents a good name.”

Malala's love for education will continue to reverberant in the hearts of the peace-loving global majority:

Source: ‏@LuvVictoria_XOX

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