Asia-Pacific, Pakistan, Human Rights, Opinion, World, Editor's Choice

What do Pakistanis think about Malala?

Pakistan is regularly featured in international news for all the wrong reasons. Numerous assassinations, suicide bombings and attempts at creating havoc in the country have rapidly increased in the past few years.

Some of those left scars on people’s hearts, like the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and world renowned Sufi musician Amjad Sabri.

But, there was an attempt that went horribly wrong for the assassins and went in the favor of the target — the attempt of killing a young schoolgirl named Malala Yousafzai.

Malala’s Story

This little girl caught eye of the banned outfit Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which controlled the northern city Swat, when she started to write about female education and women empowerment in a place where the militant group had locked down girls’ schools in the area. They banned music, videos and traveling of the girls without their male family members.

In 2012, when Malala and her friends were going to school a masked man entered in their school bus and attacked her. She took a gunshot to the head but was lucky enough to survive.

She was quickly airlifted to the best military hospital in Rawalpindi for first aid and later taken to the Queen Elizabeth hospital where she was given the life saving surgery.

Since then, Malala has become an idol for the world after winning the Nobel Prize for Peace and given a holiday in her name, but in Pakistan the word Malala has become a debate.

The Controversy

Contrary to the belief that everyone is a fan of her and everyone praises her, everyone has the right to have a point of view so the people got a new topic of debate which is, Malala is an agent of the USA, this whole thing is a setup, it’s a fraud, (and) Malala is the pride of our nation, she’s a role model for the future girls of Pakistan and so on.

The heated arguments were, “Why only Malala gets luxurious and celebrity life when there were three more girls that were wounded along with her?”

Why not Nabeela Rehman (another girl injured in that attack) was welcomed like Malala in the west. One more thing that gives ignition to the conspiracy theories in Pakistan regarding Malala was the distrust Pakistanis have about the west.

Pakistanis think that western countries will not do anything without having a purpose. If they are making Malala a global hero, a star even, they must have something bigger behind this.

Since the day she was shot, Malala has become both a legend and a controversy; there are two different mindsets in our country, for instance one is that Abdul Sattar Edhi should have been given the Nobel Peace Prize.

Some say she did nothing to earn the Nobel, writing blogs for the BBC and getting shot is not enough to earn a Nobel, Edhi was the best choice.

The Other Side of the Coin

Other people think Malala is a role model for girls, like Hadiqa Bashir, a mentor and epitome for the future generations of the world. She never gave up in her fight against the militancy, the people who tried to stop her from going to school have not deterred or dissuaded her; instead, they have paved her way to a Nobel.

Some people went as far as blasting her on the internet saying that she is a hoax for everyone to forget about the drone attacks in Pakistan, and divert everyone’s attention towards this little girl.

Agree or disagree, Malala Yousefzai has made a name for the country in the world and she has become a symbol of courage and passion for education, but the debate goes on and the people of Pakistan shall continue to praise and criticize her.

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