A dastardly act
Mohammad Jamil


The shocking assault on Malala Yousafzai has left the entire nation with a heart-rending grief to nurse along with her loved ones. The accursed thugs have not just attacked her; they have pierced into the heart of this nation. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’s spokesman has claimed the responsibility; and vowed to attack her again if she survives. With this dastardly attack they have demonstrated yet again how bestial are they innately. Attacking a child, as she is, could be no bravery but an outright cowardice. Malala Yousafzai, the illustrious daughter of the nation stood by her beliefs unflinchingly; and in spite of her young age, she did not budge even an inch from her noble stance in the face of dire threats of the thugs. She is undoubtedly an epitome of exceptionally enviable courage and boldness. At least this savage attack must pull our holy clan of clerical orders out of its own conceit and should declare in unambiguous words that Islam abhors the killing of the innocent, old men, women and children in any circumstances.

Malala has been receiving threats from the militants yet no security was provided to her; whereas scores of police personnel are deputed on the security of hundreds of ministers, politicos and other government functionaries. According to a report, the attackers had descended from the hills from across the border. The question is who is ensconcing the Pakistani fugitive militants like Fazlullah and Faqir Mohammad along with their hundreds of brigands in the neighbouring Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Afghan government and the occupiers claim that they control major part of Afghanistan, then who in Afghanistan tasks these proxies to cross over into Pakistan, attack the border posts, villages and kill innocent people. It has to be mentioned that in the last decade militants had destroyed not only girls’ schools but boys’ schools also, despite the fact that our prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had laid emphasis on seeking knowledge even if one had to go to China.

We are visibly in the lap of a multifaceted terrorism, much of it foreign-fuelled and foreign-funded, its main wellsprings located in neighbouring Afghanistan. Yet no coherent comprehensive, orchestrated and coordinated national strategy to counter this terrorism is in evidence. The entire burden of fighting this monstrosity has evidently been put on the shoulders of the military, while the civil security apparatus whose job it is essentially to fight out urban terrorism seems to have taken to swooning. More contemptibly, while the army and paramilitaries are rendering tremendous sacrifices in fighting this national war, instead of gratitude they are drawing flak from all around. In the given conditions, it could be sheer wishful thinking if child like Malala Yousafzai, even though a national asset, would receive all the state attention to secure her life. But we humbly pray to Allah Almighty for Malala Yousafzai’s speediest recovery from the critical injury the wicked thugs have inflicted on her person.

And we urge the authorities to leave no stone unturned in her treatment for her to return to normal, happy and promising life. She is the priceless prized daughter of the nation who at such a young age has earned so much of name and fame worldwide. Strongly condemning the terrorist attack on Malala Yousafzai, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani said on Wednesday that Pakistani armed forces would not bow before terror and would fight regardless of the costs. According to ISPR, the Army Chief expressed these views during his visit to CMH Peshawar to oversee the treatment being given to Malala Yousafzai and to meet her family. He said “It is time we further unite and stand up to fight the propagators of such barbaric mindset and their sympathisers.” Those suggest holding talks with the militants should abandon the litany of holding dialogue with the elements who challenge the writ of the state and wish to impose their version of Islam which is at variance with the majority of the people.

The foremost among the fascinating features of man’s characteristics is that God granted him knowledge of the names of things, which made him superior to angles, and as such they were commanded by the Lord Creator to prostrate to him. “And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to angels, saying: Tell me of the names of these, if ye are truthful”(2:31). How could it be that a book called Book of Wisdom (36:2), Guidance and Mercy for the good (31:3) and Healing and Mercy to the Believers (17:82) by Almighty God Himself, should not provide wisdom and guidance to us and heal our ills and remove our anxieties? Religious scholars have not seriously tried to ignite the internal combustible spirit in us and convert the release into useful energy with the potential to change our state and find a niche in the comity of nations. They did not reach the innermost recess of conscious and sub-conscious minds of the people and inculcate in them an urge or desire to search for truth and reality.

More than fourteen hundred years ago, Islam gave the message of peace, justice, human dignity, reason and light. Its rejection of outdated customs and traditions is enough evidence that Islam is an active and radical religion. Those who misinterpret Islam as a dogmatic, conservative, upholder of obscurantism in fact deviate from the simple, rational and humane spirit of Islam. Indeed, Islam advocates religious liberalism unparalleled in the human history: “Let there be no compulsion in religion (2:256). The notion that Islam was spread with sword, or demands hostility and aggression, and/or rejects peaceful engagement is negation of Islam, rather the propaganda of infidels and enemies of Islam. If a tiny minority of misguided Muslims seeks to misinterpret Islam, then Islam certainly is not to blame. Ironically, this view pervades the West, which too often accepts the extremists’ claims to represent Islam. These distortions drive a wedge between Muslims at a time when they should work together for peace and security.