News / Asia

Taliban Shooting of Girl Shocks Pakistan

Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, who was wounded in a gun attack, is seen in Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan, in this undated file photo.
Malala Yousufzai, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, who was wounded in a gun attack, is seen in Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan, in this undated file photo.
TEXT SIZE - +
Sharon Behn
— Pakistanis are reacting with shock to the shooting of a teenage activist. A girl shot in the head by the Taliban for her “western” ideals remains in critical condition.
 
By Wednesday, a team of Pakistani doctors had removed a bullet from Malala Yousafzai, but Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to send the 14-year-old girl abroad if doctors in Pakistan recommended moving her.
 
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Wednesday Yousafzai was in stable but critical condition.

[He later said the Taliban gunman who shot Yousafzai has been identified and will soon be arrested.]

The daylight attack shocked the country. Yousafzai, a young Muslim student, gained international and national fame for a blog documenting Taliban atrocities while her hometown in the northwestern area of Swat Valley was under the militants’ control in 2008-2009. She remains an outspoken supporter of girls' education and rights.

Wednesday, hundreds of people rallied in Islamabad in support of the teenage activist. Political and religious leaders, students and teachers across Pakistan swiftly condemned the shooting.

University student and fellow Swat Valley resident Jawadullah Khan expressed his disgust. “The attack on Malala was a coward’s act," he said, "because she was advocating for girls and education in Swat. It is an attack on Pakistan’s youth,” Khan stated.
 
Taliban leaders claimed the assassination attempt in northwest Pakistan was in response to Yousafzai’s “pro-West” ideology, her speaking out against the Taliban, and calling U.S. President Barack Obama her idol.
 
The attack was front page news across Pakistan on Wednesday, with one English daily giving it the headline “Hate Targets Hope” and another newspaper describing Yousafzai as a “peace icon”.
 
Local TV channels also dedicated much of their coverage to the case, showing pictures of the young girl surrounded by doctors with a bandage wrapped around her head.
 
International Crisis Group analyst Samina Ahmed says the government’s inability to rein in militant groups was resulting in a spread of violent extremist attacks across the country, the most recent being that of Yousafzai.

“Unless the weight of the law is thrown at these violent extremists, unless the state takes action, and it has to be across the board, then these groups will become far more dangerous, even more dangerous than they are now,” Ahmed added.

The Taliban led a violent campaign of control of the Swat area in 2008-2009, marked by beheadings and attacks on girls’ schools. It was that violence that then 11-year old Yousafzai wrote about in her blog published by the BBC under the pen name of Gul Makai.
 
Pakistan’s military in 2009 pushed the Taliban out of Swat. But militants have been returning to the region and further west, close to the Afghan border.
 
Yousafzai won Pakistan’s National Peace Award in 2011, and was nominated for the prestigious International Children's Peace Prize.

You May Like

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Open Source Seeds Hit the Market, Raise Awareness

First open source seeds include 29 new varieties of broccoli, celery, kale, quinoa and other vegetables and grains More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kintercept from: USA
October 12, 2012 7:34 AM
I don't understand why this action by the Taliban would "shock" Pakistan.


by: john from: german
October 11, 2012 9:40 PM
Murder and bled are very common in islam world, and we can do nothing to prevent them. How tragic they are ,living in a true hell. As long as the islamist exist, there will be no modernization and civilization for them. I pray our god can save those people.


by: ese homes from: USA Texas
October 11, 2012 6:05 PM
I pray for this brave human being's recovery. The crimes against the weakest human citizens have always been perpetrated by their own governments Children are murdered in the USA weekly by its police forces. Inocent people who seek peace through their religious beliefs do not bear arms, but are convinced to fight for their power hungry leaders.
True Christians died rather than to fight. Now we all hate each other and can no longer be called true believers in anything but worldly possesions.
Lord have mercy on us all.


by: sr from: california
October 11, 2012 3:42 PM
Shocking and sad, shows the true form of Taliban. One wonders though how come Pakistanis did not get shocked by the killing by these militants of children in India during the Mumbai and other raids and the constant killing of children in Afghanistan by these same groups.


by: Peace Be Unto You
October 11, 2012 10:59 AM
God save this angel. Pak is living in dark ages. Govt is complicit with the Taliban. Everything passes in the name of Allah and Islam.Where are the so called moderate Muslims? Moderate Muslims are a smoke screen for the Taliban. They are the haystack in which these cowards hide and vanish. Can we see a thousand Muslims quitting Islam to protest this?


by: Haris from: Hong Kong
October 11, 2012 1:33 AM
Its a disgrace that the Pakistan Government can allow this to go unpunished, but I find it even more of a disgrace that people use this kind of adversity to promote "anti abortion and Religion". Abortion is directly related to Religion and religion is the most common cause of war and hatred.


by: Ali Mak from: San Francisco
October 10, 2012 8:50 PM
Gender Equality... may more women speak out against violence, or die fighting. -abort male babies...seriously. taliban to hell


by: Aqsa Mayor
October 10, 2012 5:12 PM
OUR HEARTS CRYING GOD BLESS THIS BABY DOLL MALALA :( PRAY SHE GET WELL SOON A VERY PRECIOUS GIFT OF GOD FOR WHOLE UNIVERSE BUT VERY FEW HAVE KNEW THE VALUE OF SUCH EXTRA ORDINARY ASSET CULPRITS MUST BE HANGED TO DEATH The United Nations has said INDIA is the most dangerous place to be a girl.USA REPORT India's 2011 census shows serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists fear eight million female foetuses may have been aborted in the past decade.The BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi explores what has led to request Every reader to pray for this child for a speedy recovery. Malala Yousafzai, a peace ambassador of extremely northern tribal regions of Pakistan, highlighted and exposed the atrocities and crimes that were committed in the name of Taliban assumed religion/ideology. They torture, kill women, children and set fire on girls¿ schools. They want to live in the Stone Age and won't let anyone else to progress either. They need eliminating as they are a major threat to Human Race. The 14 years old child exposed the heinous crimes of Taliban¿s against women, children and non bearded individuals. She wrote for the BBC and used the pseudonym of Gull Makee. She was interviewed by the World Media and was awarded a Civil Award of Courage by the Pakistani Govt.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid