Malala and her naysayers... By Atif
15 October, 2013
Malala won millions of hearts across the world by showing her commitment to the cause of social change through education for which she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Leaving all the controversy associated with the coveted peace prize aside, Malala's rise to this stature itself is bigger than actually winning the prize. Merely a teenager and standing taller than most on the stage of the world is nothing less than a feat. Malala has won many prizes and has addressed countless gatherings studded with very high profile game changers of the world. The entire international media, including Time magazine had her face on the cover. No Pakistani in recent history has contributed towards such a positive image for Pakistan. Had she won the Nobel this year it would have been only the second one for the country. The first one came through Dr Abdus Salam back in 1979.
Like Salam, Malala is also facing the wrath of rightists inside and outside Pakistan. The greatest tragedy of Pakistan is that, after the demise of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the entire state narrative was literally stolen and adulterated by myopic and selfish elements inside the ruling party. The ideological concoctions of perverted minds have given birth to untamable extremists. It is saddening that such elements are operating with full intensity and defiling the minds of the younger generation through textbooks. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular and even the other three provinces are good examples of applying the Josef Goebbels propaganda strategy. The media in Pakistan is promoting a debate on Malala, which is good in educating the masses on the matter. Conspiracy theories are going around confusing the already confused younger generation. Harmony between the state and government is needed now like never before. Malala may win the Noble prize next year but the time for Pakistan to restore its lost writ and to steer the country towards stability is running out. The state must decide upon its future course and stop letting obscurantist elements make Pakistan a laughing stock in the eyes of the world.
MALIK ATIF MAHMOOD MAJOKA