Fight to the finish

Fight to the finish

Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old girl, was shot by the Taliban. In 2009, when girls were prohibited from going to school as part of the Taliban's Islamic clampdown in Swat Valley, she began writing online diaries for the BBC under a pseudonym. Her family had been guarding her anonymity as the author of the diaries, first-person accounts critical of the Taliban's presence. This week, locals were asked to identify her and she was shot at point blank range. She had to be airlifted from her village and moved to Peshawar, where a surgery was conducted to remove the bullet from her head. Her condition is reported to be critical and she has been moved to Rawalpindi's army hospital. An editorial in The Express Tribune on October 12 said: "As expected, the interior minister gave his usual assurances of the best possible treatment for the injured girl. Perhaps, what parliamentarians need to ask themselves is why [the] 14-year-old Malala was left to raise her voice and stand up for girls' education with only limited support from other quarters, including public representatives who sit in the National Assembly... this responsibility should have been shouldered more fervently by them rather than exposing a small girl to such danger over the past few years."

Condemnation of the Taliban came from unexpected quarters. The News reported on October 11: "More than 50 Muftis of [the] Sunni Ittehad Council have issued a Fatwa declaring the armed attack on... Malala... as unIslamic and against Sharia... and their [Taliban's] understanding of Islam is based on ignorance and illiteracy."

Letter and spirit

THE controversial case about the letter to be written by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led government to Swiss authorities that may get Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari into trouble may be nearing its end. Dawn carried a report on October 11: "After more than 30 months, the painful NRO saga has ended for President Zardari. The Supreme Court approved... the draft of a letter it had ordered the government to write to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against the president. But the government won the court's sanction only after firing a warning shot by moving a petition only a day earlier, seeking review of the court's formula of monitoring the legal procedure till final disposition of the matter... The letter asks for the reopening of $60 million graft cases against the president but, at the same time, emphasises the legal protection and immunity available to him without mentioning constitutional provisions."

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