Malala Who? Pakistan Just Knows Veena Malik

The recent state of affairs has caused uproar in the local and the international community. The shooting of a 14 year old girl in the neck and head by the Taliban has caused online activists to post 'tweets' and comments about the incident on social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. People from Pakistan are the ones who mainly comprise of the online activist community, voicing themselves against this heinous act by the Taliban against Malala Yousafzai. However, what has the actual community of Pakistan done for Malala? It is mostly always the case that when an incident happens, people protest on social networking platforms, instead of in real. But, what good does online protesting do? Will it stop the Taliban?

According to the Taliban, they are ready to attack the girl again if she survives the attack. This is a statement given by Pakistan Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan:

"If she survives, we will attack her again to kill her."

There have also reportedly been threats issued to her family by the Taliban. What is Pakistan going to do about it? Many in Pakistan and definitely the world, didn't even know Malala until a few days ago when she was attacked. Now, all of a sudden thanks to the media exploding the news in our faces and along with that the social media spreading the news like wildfire, we know who Malala is. What are we doing about this incident? We are voicing our anger on Twitter and Facebook. Many prominent people/personalities as well as other people have spoken about the issue on Twitter, but would it help Malala? Would it stop the Taliban from attacking her again? Can people tweeting about the incident and making a picture of her's their 'display picture' on Twitter and Facebook going to assure Malala's recovery and safety? The simple answer to all of this is 'no'.

As much as Malala would like people tweeting about her and putting her pictures as their display pictures, she would like it more if people actually did something that would help her be safe from Taliban's clutches. Also, Pakistan should do something about the safety of its citizens, especially the girls and stop such incidents from happening in the future. As much as we would like to think Pakistan cares about what happened to Malala and the other girls; and wants to improve the situation, it isn't evident.

Why haven't the people of Pakistan and the law enforcement agencies risen against this heinous barbaric act against a 14 year old child? Why hasn't few buildings been destroyed by now or few cars set on fire by now in protest to what the Taliban has done? Doesn't the shooting of a 14 year old Pakistani girl who was working for the betterment of Pakistani females warrant that? We do seem to set fire to everything in sight for the smallest of issues, otherwise.

A person on Twitter tweeted this:


His claim is, a new controversy related to Veena Malik - a controversial media personality from Pakistan - has more power to evoke a reaction from the Pakistani nation and make the nation forget about the Malala incident in less than a week. His claim doesn't come without a backing. In the past Pakistani nation has voiced their unrest about Veena Malik's antics, the most famous of them being her appearance on Bigg Boss - an Indian reality television show - her link up with a co-star from the show, her sentiment filled comments about the show and the anger she expressed towards the Pakistani nation on a news talk show on Express News.

In a way if we think about it, a bigger drama incident is always next after the drama that is created because of Veena Malik. It is a game that Veena Malik and the nation play when everyone is bored. Veena needs to get popular and 'infamous', people need entertainment and something to divert their minds to, so everyone starts cursing Veena Malik after another of her publicity stunts. This has been going on so much, that indeed there are more people in Pakistan who would know who Veena Malik is; in comparison to if we asked them who Malala is. Malala who? Pakistan just knows Veena Malik and the likes of her, who are constantly in the media limelight for one thing or the other.

Well, people of Pakistan can be angry at Veena Malik participating in a naked photo shoot or when she recently came out with her latest controversial music single called 'Drama Queen', but why can't they be angry at the same level when it comes to Malala? A girl who was injured seriously because she wanted to propagate her right to an education? A girl who was an activist in support of education and equality for girls?

Ali Raza from Sialkot, Pakistan had an interesting thing to say to the question posed by Mr. Qamar Rajpoot on Twitter, "few revealing photos of Weena can make whole nation forget Malala in less than a week..." He says that,
"Pakistanis are very sentimental about religious affairs. Malala Yousafzai was attacked by Taliban because the Taliban claimed that she was spreading anti-Islamic secular views and opinions. The Taliban are clearly wrong and felt threatened by her, so attacked her. The Pakistanis take religion seriously and this is a matter of religion. Pakistanis won't forget Malala, even if there is a Veena Malik controversy. She can publish many naked photos of her; it won't cause them to shift their attention from Malala to elsewhere." 

However, Imran Khan from Dubai, UAE had something else to say. In his opinion, "people of Pakistan are tired of hearing about target killings, attempted assassinations, bomb blasts and suicide bombing." He also added that,
"Pakistan has been experiencing Malala like situations since 2001. They are now used to target killings etc. Drones are killing innocent civilians; there are target killings in Karachi on a daily basis. Somehow people in Pakistan have learned to live even in these worst situations. Incompetent government has just killed the hopes for a better living standard and situation in Pakistan."

On the topic of whether the nation can forget Malala if a Veena Malik controversy occurs, his answer was a "yes". He talked about the fact that when a terrified nation like Pakistan, frustrated and sick of target killings, assassination attempts, bomb blasts - along with other issues like electricity load-shedding - find something incredibly interesting in the media, they start discussing about it; whether it is Veena Malik or Shahid Afridi. Veena Malik gets discussed more, because she is brazen and provocative, the lust - instead of religion - forces people to discuss Veena Malik in the country and indeed outside the country, thanks to Facebook and Twitter.

Media has really controlled the way we see and perceive things these days. Not only that, media is controlling the things we know about and think about too. Media talks about a particular person or incident and that's the talk of the town; on the tip of every person's tongue. It was the same with the case of Arfa Karim Randhawa, a completely unknown Pakistani, until media highlighted her illness and later, the fact that she died. It was then only, that people in Pakistan and abroad found out about her great accomplishment - that she was the youngest person in the world, at the age of 10 to become a Microsoft certified professional. It is sad that in Pakistan, you have to either get shot with the bullet by the Taliban, or die in order to make it to the news; that also if you are someone worthwhile. Otherwise no one cares.

Media chooses one person to highlight and then people start talking about that person and posting sympathies and prayers towards that person. Surely, many people that are tweeting about Malala, didn't even know before who she was. They found out about it and started talking about her. Media creates hype and we people follow that hype. Once the hype dies down, media throws another subject at us and we start talking about that. Don't the rest of the girls injured in the attack, as well as the teachers deserve to be talked about too? After all, they were attacked by the Taliban as well. So why single out Malala that also after an incident has happened? There are thousands of people - innocent children, girls and women - who have died in drone attacks or other attacks in Pakistan, such as bomb blasts; most of them done by the Taliban as well. Why don’t the media highlight those people? Why don't we pray for them? Are they inferior and not worthy because they weren't advocating and speaking out in support of something? Didn't they deserve to live?

What has happened with Malala isn't a good thing and shame on Taliban for orchestrating it and shame on Pakistan for letting it happen. But, we shouldn't forget all the other girls and people that are a target of terrorism as well. Putting Veena Malik and tabloid like controversies in the media aside, we have other important issues to talk about and discuss. Not only that, we have important issues to tackle and protest about. Instead of talking about Malala on Facebook, Twitter and remaining an online activist, why don't people of Pakistan take it one step further and use their online networking skills to gather people to protest in real. People should demand from the government of Pakistan that the law enforcement agencies do something about this; that the agencies prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Are we that coward?

Various groups in Pakistan have protested against the cowardly and barbaric act by the Taliban. The Swat Jirga - a committee handling the area where Malala was targeted by the Taliban - had a protest against the attack on her and her schoolmates and called on the Taliban to stop targeting girls in the Swat valley. Women in Islamabad rallied against the act by Taliban and demonstrated their support for Malala Yousafzai. Lawyers in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Rawalpindi and other cities of Pakistan held a strike and boycotted court proceedings, because of Malala and to show the government their disappointment and anger over what had happened. Not only in Pakistan but outside Pakistan too, people have been enraged over what has happened.

International pop star and singing sensation Madonna, dedicated a song to Malala Yousafzai, during her performance at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles on the night of 9th October. Madonna was clearly devastated after hearing about the incident, because according to her, it made her cry. Madonna also had a surprise for everyone. During her performance the singer stripped off her costume and turned to reveal the name "Malala" written on her back.

Malala wanted to save Pakistan ("...save our schools, our world, save our Pakistan") but Pakistan couldn't save Malala from Taliban. Pakistan couldn't stop Malala being targeted. The government and people of Pakistan owe it to her and all the other victims of Taliban's terrorism, to sort out the situation in the country, make the living conditions better for the people of Pakistan security and safety wise; so that no one has to live in fear any more, all the while that they are living in a country called Pakistan. Pakistan is the land of the pure and it is high time, this impurity in the form of the Taliban is washed out of the country. It is high time Pakistan did something.

Comments

  1. Great piece. It's indeed tragic, whatever has happened. This attack should be dealt with severely, and it's time that this nation stands together. People are getting killed as if they are 'nothing'. Target killings in Karachi every other day, sectarian killings, mass murders and what-not. What happened with Malala also reflects the sick 'mentality' these so-called religious organizations hold.

    - Peace and harmony.

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  2. An outstanding article I've ever seen. Absolutely incredible. You've thrown light exactly on whatever happening in Pakistan. Feel ReallY offi after that tragic attack. I myself is from SWAT (BUNER). So feeling it more intensely than you people. Hope she recovers well and soon. And to be honest you just keep rocking like this. Great piece.

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