Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Pakistan Honours Malala Yousafzai, Its Young Icon of Hope

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Pakistan Honours Malala Yousafzai, Its Young Icon of Hope

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Pakistan honours Malala Yousafzai, its young icon of hope


An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Oct. 10:

Across Pakistan people are holding prayer vigils for Malala Yousafzai, the courageous 14-year-old girl who was shot and gravely wounded by a Taliban gunman for daring to believe that young women deserve an education. Schools have been shuttered in her honour. People have donated blood. Rallies have been held to condemn her attackers.

In Parliament, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf hailed the young peace and education activist and blogger as "Pakistan's daughter." Military chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called her "an icon of courage and hope." And people voiced their revulsion at the attack on the Internet, in newspapers and on television.

The sheer outpouring of rage, grief and praise for Malala should cause those who are tempted to write off Pakistan as a hopelessly polarized "failing state" to think again. The shooting has appalled Pakistanis across their political, religious and communal divides. Progressives can only hope that the savagery of the attack will mobilize moderates and undercut what support Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Taliban and like-minded zealots still retain among the deeply traditional rural poor and marginalized.

As an editorial in The News International, the country's largest English paper, headlined "Condition critical" put it, "We are infected with the cancer of extremism, and unless it is cut out we will slide ever further into the bestiality that this latest atrocity exemplifies."

Suppressing extremism isn't easy, given the fissures in Pakistani society and the extremists' ability to operate in the volatile Swat Valley where Malala's family lives, despite a huge military presence there. President Asif Ali Zardari's government poured thousands of troops into the region near the Afghanistan border in 2009 after the Taliban seized control there and closed girls' schools. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.