As it goes excess of everything is bad. The way Malala is being projected in international and some of the national media ostensibly will not do any service to the teenager. While one may not disagree, it appeared an act of sheer violence when somebody made and abortive attempt to ‘kill’’ her, this also remains a fact that Pakistan’s recent history is replete with a number of gory tales of violence against women and teenagers. Not only that, there are countless happenings in which, our women risked their lives to save others.
It would not be out of mark to point out the recent Gujrat incident when a school van caught fire after one of its gas cylinders went off. A teenager school teacher exhibited some valiant act of heroism by not leaving the van, though she could have easily done that, just to save lives of minor school kids. She continued throwing out kids from the van till the time she was burnt alive!! But nobody noticed her sacrifice only because there was no Taliban factor involved in that incident. What a pity!!
There are dozens of such incidents taking place on daily basis in this so- called Islamic Republic of Pakistan, but nobody bothers to take any cognizance. Media would highlight such incidents for a while and after some time it would too prefer to keep a mum. No follow-up of such incidents at all until and unless some vested interests are involved.
So under such circumstances, when Malala’s case is projected out of proportions and especially in the Western world, people are forced to think, what actually is underline motive all this? Who wants to use this tiny incident to promote its ulterior agenda? It is in whose interest that Pakistan is dubbed and declared as the most unwanted place to live for so-called moderates? There is a vast majority of Pakistanis that strongly believes that Malala is being used as a scapegoat.
While keeping her on the front, the vested interests want to portray Pakistan as a place where intolerance is acute; extremism is flourishing; Talibanisation is getting roots and society as a whole is heading towards a moral decay. Of course, that is not the whole truth. There is no denying the fact that Pakistan is confronted with a plethora of problems, which are multiplying without any respite, however at least none of the above mentioned causes, is responsible for all our woes.
And thanks God, better sense prevailed at the Nobel Prize award committee that did not choose Malala because if such prestigious awards are doled out like this, it would then be a great injustice with those who had struggled a lot, throughout their life, to win this utmost honor. For some, Malala may be a symbol of courage and valor, but it still will be too early that she is even considered for such awards, is the predominant view in Pakistan.
If the West really has sympathies for Pakistani women then it ought to extend support for the empowerment of women here. Undoubtedly, women, especially living in the remote areas are faced with difficult situations. The biggest handicap for them appears to be their ignorance. There are no educational institutions nor are women and girls encouraged to go to schools or colleges.
Here the West needs to play a role. Ignorance and illiteracy breed intolerance and extremism therefore by promoting education such menaces can be uprooted. There are scores of Mala-like incidents taking place every day but unfortunately they go unnoticed. Efforts are needed to devise such a system and develop such a mindset that such incidents do not take place. Projection of individual incidents may serve interests of some but surely would not serve interests of the nation as a whole.