By: Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Malala Yousufzai’s father says promotion of human rights of hapless girls in Pakistan and abroad remains the mission of his daughter and she has no intention to get into any needless controversy.
After a senior Taliban leader penned a letter to Malala urging her to return to Madrassah education in Pakistan, Ziauddin Yousufzai told The News in an interview here: “Malala is determined that she will continue to work for the empowerment of young girls and their right of education and will not be deterred by any kind of distraction.”
Ziauddin, who is an educationist and now works for the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham, said Pakistanis knew very well who was destroying schools and attacking men and women seeking education to make Pakistan a better place.
Adnan Rasheed, a senior commander of the Tehrik Taliban Pakistan, wrote to Malala: “Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover; also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any man or woman or girl.”
Ziauddin Yousufzai, who now lives in Birmingham with his family, said Malala enjoyed the support of every Pakistani who believed in fairness and tolerance and wants Pakistan’s young people to play their progressive role for themselves, their families and the rest of the world to become civilised and educated.
Ziauddin said Malala made it abundantly clear in her speech at the UN that terrorists and anarchists have nothing to do with the ideology of Islam and Pakistan and they were not representatives of Muslims or Pakistan.
Rasheed said the Taliban believed she was writing against them and running a smear campaign to malign their efforts to establish an Islamic system in Swat, in the north of Pakistan, and her writings were provocative. The letter was made public by the Taliban a day after Malala, who has been recovering in the UK from the last year’s attack, told the UN youth assembly in New York on her 16th birthday – dubbed Malala Day – that there were millions who had been attacked or killed across the world because of the terrorists’ fear of “books and pens”. She called on people to take up “the weapon of knowledge” in their campaign for access to education for all children around the world.
Mr Brown, now UN Special Envoy for Global Education, condemned the Taliban for: “Nobody will believe a word the Taliban say about the right of girls like Malala to go to school until they stop burning down schools and stop massacring pupils. In the last few weeks alone in separate terrorist attacks, 14 female students were massacred in Quetta, a girls’ school prize-giving ceremony was bombed, killing a school principal and maiming pupils in Karachi, and a female teacher was gunned down in front of her son on her way to the all-girls school where she taught.
“The Taliban are on the defensive because four million people, two million of them in Pakistan, have now signed petitions calling for every girl to have their education in safety. I will visit Pakistan in the next few weeks as we build on Malala Day. “During my visit I will step up the pressure for action to ensure that the three to four million Pakistani girls now denied education have a chance to go to school by the end of 2015.”