PESHAWAR: A Pakistani Taliban commander has written a letter to Malala Yousufzai, saying he wished he could have warned her to stop criticising the militants so she wouldn’t have been attacked.
The commander, Adnan Rasheed, did not say the unsuccessful assassination attempt on the 16-year-old activist last October was wrong, only that he found it “shocking” and wished it hadn’t happened.
Rasheed, who has close relations with Taliban leaders, said the letter expressed his own opinion, not that of the group.
The letter was received by e-mail late on Tuesday and another Taliban commander on Wednesday confirmed it was authentic.
In his letter Rasheed accused Malala of seeking to promote an education system begun by the British colonialists to produce “Asians in blood but English in taste” and said students should study Islam and not what it called the “satanic or secular curriculum”.
“I advise you to come back home, adopt the Islamic and Pashtun culture, join any female Islamic madressah near your hometown, study and learn the book of Allah, use your pen for Islam and plight of Muslim Ummah,” he wrote.