A letter to Malala from Pakistanis


Dear Malala,

Before anything else, let me say that you have a lovely name that, when spoken, melts in mouth like pure butter, although admittedly it has gloomy connotations.

Malala, we Pakistanis were shell shocked when you were shot. It gave us a national grief where fear slid down our spine.  We counted the minutes breathlessly as you battled death. Not too long ago, we lost Arfa Karim. Losing another brilliant girl, such as you, was the last thing we needed in these difficult times. Goes without saying that we are happy for your speedy recovery.

However, you may have noticed that our immense support and vehement passion for you has dimmed over months. What started as pure sympathy and well-wishes for you is now or probably already has transformed into reservations and qualms. Some have even gone to the extent of suspecting you as an agent but majority of us Pakistanis dismiss such contemptible mentality.

However, it is true that we are now wary of what is happening. While there is no denying that you were barred from attending the school and even brutally shot by the barbaric minded TTP, things have not really turned out to be good for you and us. Or at least, this is how we Pakistanis believe.

Us Pakistanis, we believe you have been heavily politicized and that too globally. We also believe that you are being exploited at the hands of same people who initiated the fake war against terror and ruined two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq) on unfounded allegations, and are now aiming at my and your homeland – Pakistan. Before you misunderstand me, I am not a Taliban-apologist. TTP has created havoc in Pakistan and we would rather they leave our country right now. We Pakistanis are tired of this war against terror that has created immense fear amongst us. This war has neither helped Pakistan, nor the world. In fact, if anything, it has worsened the things. We are being attacked by both American drones and Taliban. Neither is good for us. We want them both out.

Malala, we are also upset with the subtle message you are conveying worldwide about Pakistan. The world already sees us as underdeveloped, backward and ignorant country and your global fame and heavy politicization is but cementing the message. We are now looked upon as a nation that is deprived of education where girls are barred from going to school and mullahs rule us over. Do you see where I am coming from? Our impression has gone from bad to worse.

Of course, you are not doing it all wittingly. You are just a kid. You are doing what papa Yusufzai tells you to do. We have even heard that you are uncomfortable with all the media attention and hype. We still sympathize with and cherish you. Please do not think that we are hard-pressed to make life hell for you.

Malala, despite the fact that you are extra-ordinarily confident and eloquent for your age, you are still a bachhi. It will take you another decade before you mature enough to tell right from wrong.

And lastly, your mission is wonderful. Education must spread. Every child should be educated. Barbarism and forced Islam (or any other religion) should end. But so should drones, so should America and NATO’s forced War against Terror, so should the ruthless bombing and massacre of innocent at the hands of capitalist forces.

Yours sincerely,



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