By: Javed Aziz Khan
PESHAWAR: Many are curious as to how Malala Yousafzai will make her entry into the Pakistani politics after having expressed her intention to become a politician to pull the country out of the crises.
The 16-year-old Malala has already spoken to President Barack Obama over the most sensitive issue of drone attacks in Pakistan, an issue that many rulers of the country could not dare discuss with the US leadership.
Right from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Awami National Party, leaders are all praise for Malala after the world recognised her bravery and talent through the award of a number of prizes.
However, a message of Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, the eldest daughter of the slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former president Asif Ali Zardari, on Twitter has made headlines. “Forget Nobel. I want Malala as my future prime minister,” read the tweet posted by Bakhtawar soon after Malala failed to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
“It is heartening to know that Malala wants to enter politics and run for the PM’s position. She will bring ideological depth, sincerity of commitment and strong will power to Pakistani politics,” Bushra Gohar, a former parliamentarian and leader of the Awami National Party, told The News. She added that Malala’s announcement would inspire other young women, escially Pakhtuns, to join active politics.
“More women need to join politics in Pakistan to bring a meaningful change. I would suggest Malala to focus on her education first. She could start by actively leading and guiding students in progressive political ideology,” BushraGohar added.
She suggested that Malala should keep her options open as far as a political platform is concerned but her decision should be based on her ideology and principles.
“She could consider launching a new national political party. However, I would suggest she should join one of the progressive mainstream national political parties,” Bushraadded.
Most of the political figures are all praise for Malala. “Brave young Pakistani Malala, by just being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, has highlighted
the importance of education,
especially for girls,” tweeted Imran Khan, the chief of the PTI.
Many also believe Malala should not enter politics.
“Malala should not spoil the love and affection received and laurels achieved during her tender age by joining politics. She can do a world of good by remaining a symbol of women’s education in Pakistan,” Faheem Wali, a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, told The News.
Once considered heroes, Imran Khan, Dr Abdul Qadeer and many others earned more rivals and a lot of criticism after joining the mainstream politics.
The brave girl has not only powered the global campaign for promoting education but held a meeting with President Barrack Obama weeks ahead of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s first meeting with the US president since coming into power.
Malala in the meeting with Obama, first lady Michelle and their daughter, opposed the US drone attacks in Pakistan .The CNN story on the meeting was “The bravest girl in the world has stood up to President Barack Obama.”
Malala in her statement that she issued later said that she expressed her concern that drone attacks are fuelling terrorism. Her statement further added: “Innocent victims are killed in these acts and that created resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact. ”
Malala could not win the Nobel Peace Prize but she is still a heroine of millions in Pakistan and all over the world. In fact, she was the heroine of the youth well ahead of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee has hinted that she could contest for the award next time. Her book “I amMalala”, is being sold all over the world.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has warned the bookstores against selling the book of Malala. For the TTP she remains a top target.
There are thousands of Pakistanis who think the Malala issue has been hyped by the West for its vested interest.
“Its funny how the United States is showing so much sympathy towards Malala when they are killing 50 Malalasevery day in drone strikes,” said one such tweet.
But countless are there to support Malala as well. “Some people say why Malala, I ask them why hate her? All she has done is that she raised voice for education and is standing up against the tyranny,” said Athar Minallah, a known lawyer. “Malala, you will remain a symbol of peace. You are a heroine,” said women rights activist Samar Minallah.
Malala has won dozens of awards after she was attacked on October 9, 2012 in Swat along with her friends Shazia andKainat, who are also in the United Kingdom now to study. The European Union awarded Malala its top human rights award Sakharov Prize, which was earlier awarded to Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi. The Amnesty International has declared her as their ambassador of conscience. She was also declared the humanitarian of the year by theHarvard University.
To pay tribute to the struggle of Malala, the United Nations held a special Youth Assembly on July 12 on Malala’s 16thbirthday. Born on July 12, 1997, Malala is the only Pakistani and teenager in the world whose birthday was celebrated in such a style.
The Time magazine featured Malala as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. The feature on Malala for the Time was written by Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former USPresident Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The young girl became popular when she was nominated for the International Children Peace Prize by a Dutch organisation, Kidz Rights, in October 2011 for writing diaries for BBC in favour of girls’ education in Swat way back in 2009.