Young Pakistani girl’s courageous fight against parochialism makes her influential global thinker

By Ali Imran 

Photo from official page

WASHINGTON, Nov 27 : Foreign Policy magazine has featured 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai among top thinkers globally, ranking her as the sixth most inspiring figure for her courageous stand for girls’ right to education.

Malala was attacked by a Taliban gunman in October in her hometown in Swat valley, as she headed home after an exam.

“Malala, who was grievously wounded but miraculously survived, has fit a lifetime of activism into her few short years,” the magazine notes.

When militants overran Malala’s native Swat Valley in 2009, banning girls’ education, she penned an anonymous blog for the BBC about the daily horrors of life under Taliban rule.

“Armed only with her convictions and the firm support of her father, who runs a private girls’ school, Malala refused to be silenced. She became a celebrity in Pakistan through her outspoken interviews, chaired a “child assembly” that aimed to expand opportunities for youth in the Swat Valley, and pleaded with late U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke to help halt the Talibanization of her country. “I shall raise my voice,” she said last year. “If I didn’t do it, who would?”

“It’s a lesson in courage that is inspiring others to stand up to the forces of barbarism in their midst. “

The shooting of Malala led to global outrage against the Tailban attack and galvanized the Pakistani nation behind her cause for education for girls, particularly in area hit by the Taliban militancy. The United Nations recently declared a day in her name as a tribute to her brave struggle.

The US officials recently confirmed to The Washington Post that Mullah Fazlullah, the mastermind behind attack on the teenaged Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai is hiding in Afghanistan along the border.

In Pakistan, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik on today said anyone providing information on the whereabouts of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan would be awarded rupees 200 million.

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