Literally missing by inches being named the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the young Pakistani girl who achieved international fame after being shot in the head and neck on a school bus in the Swat Valley by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on October 9 last year, Malala Yousufzai felt she had not yet done enough to earn the prestigious award. Feted by world leaders and celebrities for her grit, her incredible fortitude and unswerving dedication for the right of all children to acquire education made this brave girl the winner of Pakistan’s first “National Youth Peace” Prize.
Receiving dozens of other foreign awards, she joins luminaries like Nobel laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela in being awarded the “Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013” by European lawmakers. Canada conferred Honorary citizenship upon Malala while Amnesty International presented the “Ambassador of Conscience” award to her in Dublin. Featured on TIME magazine’s front cover as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”, Malala is the little girl the dreaded Taliban are afraid of and have vowed to kill! Given the honour of addressing the UN, Malala has already published her autobiography.
For some strange inexplicable reason there is complete silence in our media (and our government) about Maulana Fazlullah, the mastermind (and more importantly those behind him) who ordered the barbaric attack. Neither has anybody really eulogized the heroic efforts of our Army doctors in saving her life. Most ruthless among Taliban commanders, Fazlullah personally briefed two assassins about their intended 14-year-old victim. Everybody and his uncle knows that this brutal sadist and murderer of young girls is an honored guest of the (Afghan President Hamid) Karzai government, given official protection by the Governor of Kunar Province.
The capture of Latif Mehsud, a senior leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), by US Special Forces represents the “smoking gun” about the Afghan regime’s sustained involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. He was in the company of Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) agents taking him to Kabul to meet senior government officials, this publicly exposed their venomous role in the planning and conducting of hundreds of terrorist strikes, killing and maiming thousands across Pakistan. A prized asset of NDS for some time, Latif Mehsud was simultaneously on the American “most wanted list”.
Karzai’s anger against the US for his capture lends credence to repeated accusations about NDS, and by proxy India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), in sustaining the TTP’s brutal campaign within Pakistan. The New York Times quoted the Afghans as proudly claiming having “made progress” over the past year killing Pakistanis. Disastrous for the Karzai regime (and the Indians), Latif Mehsud capture reveals to the US interrogators at Bagram the Afghan regime’s real face. So deeply incensed is Karzai personally that Aimal Faizi, Karzai’s spokesman, openly complained about the tactics employed by the US in the TTP man’s arrest. To their credit, despite Karzai’s fury (Daily Telegraph Oct 13, 2013), the US signaled that as an enemy of the US Latif Mehsud would remain in their custody.
A spokesman of the TTP disclosed to a small group of reporters in Waziristan in early Oct 2013 that the Afghan regime financially supports Pakistani militants at war with Islamabad and provides sanctuary for them in Afghanistan. India’s RAW is deeply involved in anti-Pakistani activities, where were else can TTP can get such constant enormous funding, and supply of weapons, communication equipments, etc to keep functioning with so much ease? According a Sept 19, 2009 report by Indian website rediff.com, “a report submitted to senior officials in Pakistan by a joint investigation team has allegedly claimed that the 23 militant commanders of TTP who were arrested during Operation “Rah-e-Rast”, confessed the involvement of secret departments of India through RAW and Afghanistan (through NDS) in supporting militants in Pakistan to conduct target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations and forced abductions including ethnic and sectarian violence regularly. The report confirmed their contact with militants in Jalalabad, Kandahar and Mazar Sharif providing financial aid, weapons and special training. They confirmed they met their Afghan collaborators via secret ways where they were invited to feasts and were provided weapons and money earned by the narcotics trade.”
In December 2011 an Afghan National Army (ANA) officer colluded with India’s RAW and Afghanistan’s NDS to launch the November 26 NATO air strike in Mohmand Agency on November 26 when 28 Pakistani soldiers were killed. “The Salala incident” had provoked an outrage across Pakistan following which the NATO’s supply routes across the border with Afghanistan were sealed. Pakistan also boycotted the talks on Taliban negotiations in Bonn, this incident really vitiated US-Pakistan relations.
In the 80s KHAD’s (NDS’s predecessor) masters were KGB, now NDS’s masters are from RAW, organizing, financing and abetting acts of terrorism, sectarianism and violence in Pakistan. NDS does not deny this, claiming it is only tit-for-tat! For many years one of the India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan was a Senior Director of RAW. With the help of NDS, RAW has established many madrassahs aimed at brainwashing very young Afghans, Uzbeks and Tajiks. Posing themselves as Taliban, they have joined the ranks and files of the Pakistani Taliban. There is also sufficient evidence proving their patronizing Baloch separatists and involvement in the insurgency (in Pakistan’s Balochistan province). A former COAS Indian Army, General (Retd) V K Singh, acknowledged on investigation by his successor COAS, Gen Bikram Singh, sanctioning top secret undercover operations against Pakistan through the specially created “Technical Services Division” (TSD) in Balochistan (and Occupied Kashmir) without the permission or knowledge of his civilian superiors.
One of the most recognizable movie music themes ever written, Lara’s Theme was the “leitmotif” written for the film “Dr Zhivago”. Leitmotif means “short constantly recurring musical phrase, associated with a particular place, person or idea”. While Lara’s theme is hauntingly sad, Malala’s constant refrain is the education of all girls in the face of terrorist violence as well other handicaps and tribulations such as tribal customs and religious limitations. Several thousand of our young soldiers have died fighting horrible people like Afghan NDS supported Maulana Fazlullah in ensuring that many young brave girls like Malala and their families can live like human beings. One must recognize all those in uniform who died (and are dying) in Swat and FATA doing their duty, many of the Shaheeds have brothers and sisters of Malala’s age, the older ones had sons and daughters of the same age. Maj Gen Sananullah Shaheed left behind two daughters (both about Malala’s age) to mourn for him. It would be nice of Malala to spare a word or two in gratitude, not only for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives but also for those that they have left behind to weep for them.
Malala’s father often emotionally recalls on primetime TV the Pashto song he would sing to give courage to his brave daughter. He and his family are fortunate his daughter is very much alive and getting international acclaim for her courage, “Malala’s Theme” should be an ode for all those who have died to keep her alive!
The author is one of Pakistan’s leading defense analyst and entrepreneur.