Malala Yousafzai, Update: Taliban Assassins Arrested, National Day of Prayer, Taliban Vows to Strike Again, Malala flown to UK, Police beheaded by Taliban
Malala Yousafzai , who was shot in the head and neck this past Tuesday in an attempted assassination ordered by the Taliban, has been transferred to a military hospital in her home nation of Pakistan. Doctors have removed a bullet lodged near her spine, and a small portion of her skull. She remains in stable, but critical condition, and the doctors indicated the next 72 hours will be “critical hours”.
Dozens of arrests have been reported to have been made, with three “significant” suspects coming to the forefront. The Taliban in Pakistan has not only claimed responsibility for attempting to assassinate Malala, they have threatened the media for covering her plight, and stated they will again attempt to take her life if she survives this past Tuesday’s assault.
All across Pakistan in a National Day of Prayer for Malala, and worldwide, prayers are being offered up for the internationally recognized child activist. Her advocacy for peace and education for females so ignited the rage of the Taliban, they put out a hit list on 14 year old Malala, and attempted to assassinate her this past Tuesday with a deliberate gunshot wound to the head and neck. Pakistani children remembered her this Friday, in schools and morning assemblies across Pakistan, and many mosques also held prayers for her across the country. Rallies have been held in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan and Mingora, where protestors denounced the Taliban, and turned out to show support for Malala.
Malala has been visited by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervaz Ashraf. The Prime Minister called Malala, the “new face of Pakistan”. Earlier in the week, she was also visited by Army chief, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who joined thousands across Pakistan in strongly condemning the attack. He called the attack “inhuman”, a “heinous act of terrorism”, and stated it was time to “stand up to fight the propagators of such barbaric mindset and their sympathizers”. He also stated the terrorists did not respect the words of the Prophet: “The one who is not kind to children, is not amongst us.”
Malala: The Face of Courage, Shines the Light of Liberty
It is difficult for those in the West to comprehend or imagine the hell and terror that Malala and thousands of other children in Pakistan have had to live through. We don’t know what it is like to live in the shadow of terror everyday. We don’t know what it is like to witness public executions, to hear mad men declare the law of tyranny, or what it feels like to live in hiding, in exile, because of such men.
We sit in our comfortable homes, argue our economy, politics, and a variety of other very serious issues we are facing. But we truly have no inkling of what it feels like to live as Malala and thousands of others in Pakistan have had to live under the Taliban. Then suddenly, the brazen crimes of evil and perverse men force us to look up, to gaze across the ocean – and there we behold bravery and light amidst the terror and darkness so prevalent on that far away bloodstained land.
And just for a moment, we imagine. Just for a moment, we do know. And we are horrified and outraged that an innocent child was forced to show us the truth. And we are in awe of the honor and astounding bravery of a young girl who merely sought justice in a cruel and unjust world.
For it is there in her plight that we find courage and light: In the face of a fourteen year old child who has refused to submit to bloodthirsty tyrants, to darkness, to cruelty, and oppression. She has stood on the front lines of adversity, and dared to tell the world what she saw:
To tell of the plight of her beloved Pakistan, and the many there who have suffered horribly under the brutal and savage way of the Taliban. Her bravery has shined forth the light of freedom and enlightenment out of the midst of great darkness and tyranny.
Even now, as she struggles to survive their vicious attack, that light shines forth to expose heinous and wicked tyrants who continue to demand the death of a child. And they hate her for it. And they hate the media who have given her voice. They are depraved murderers who seek to extinguish that light of liberty. Murderers of innocents, exposed before the world by her courageous and shining example, they rage and they vow more injustice.
UPDATE, Sunday, October 14th – Thousands rally for Malala, inside source says her chance for life is “limited”:
Tens of thousands rallied for Malala in Karachi, in a rally organized by the Muttahida Quami Movement. The leader of the movement, Altaf Hussain, called the attackers “beasts”.
Quoting article from the Timesonline:
“Malala Yousufzai is a beacon of knowledge. She is the daughter of the nation,” Hussain told the audience by telephone from London, where he is in self-imposed exile because of legal cases pending against him in Pakistan. His party is strongest in Karachi.
It is an excellent article in it’s entirety, it delves into the complexities of Pakistani political parties, drone strikes, and the real enemy, which are extremists (terrorists). The article from the Timesonline can be read here.
Also, Pakastani Christians rallied in support of Malala in Lehore, Pakistan.
In addition to the rallies of support, there is sobering news now coming out as well. The Pakistani military has stated Malala’s condition is satifactory, and slowly improving. When sedation was reduced yesteday, Malala was able to move somewhat.
Official statements still state not much change, she is in satisfactory but critical condition. Nevertheless, since the time of yesterday’s update, some ominous news has come that an inside source told Al Jazeera that Malala’s chance at life was “very limited”. Quoting Al Jazeera’s report:
Yousafzai has “very limited chance of life left”, said the source, declining to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“[The] face and head swelled alot. Face complexion [has] become dark. She could be removed from ventilator within a few hours,” he said.
The Pakistani military said on Saturday that Malala’s condition was stable. The military spokesperson said that “she was making steady and satisfactory progress, and possibilities of transfer overseas were still being considered”.
A specially equipped air ambulance provided by the UAE has been kept as a contingency in case, board of doctors overseeing her, decide to shift her abroad.
End quote, Al Jazeera. Entire report with further updates can be found here.
This statement on Malala’s condition appears to contradict other statements, and it is impossible to say which is more accurate. I choose to continue to believe that Malala will survive.
UPDATE, Monday, October 15th, 2012: Malala transfered to UK, Pakistani Police beheaded by Taliban
The doctors have agreed that Malala will require surgery to reconstruct her skull, and prolonged rehabilitation should she survive. The UAE provided an air ambulance to transport her to the UK where she will be admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The decision was made by her family who elected to transport her to the UK based on the severity of her condition.
Meanwhile, the Taliban has issued renewed threats against the media for covering Malala’s story. Also, late Sunday night, the Taliban struck again in Pakistan, launching an assault against a local police department. Six police officers were killed, two of whom were beheaded. Twelve more were injured in the attack.
For complete updates on Malala’s transport to the UK, and the full story of the Taliban’s assault against the Police, click here.
The situation in Swat was normal until the Taliban appeared and destroyed the peace of Swat. They started their inhuman activities, they slaughtered people in the squares of Mingora and they killed so many innocent people. Their first target was schools, especially girls schools. They blasted so many girls schools – more than 400 schools and more than 50,000 students suffered under the Taliban……We were afraid the Taliban might throw acid on our faces or might kidnap us. They were barbarians, they could do anything. ~Malala Yousafzai, in a statement to the BBC, August, 2011.
UPDATE 2: A new page has been set up to update Malala’s story since her arrival in the UK. You will find the latest update page here.