Pakistani anchor visiting Chattanooga reacts to Taliban attack - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pakistani anchor visiting Chattanooga reacts to Taliban attack

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Shoukat Zardari reporting from WRCB newsroom Shoukat Zardari reporting from WRCB newsroom

MINGORA, Pakistan (AP/WRCB) - A Taliban gunman walked up to a bus taking children home from school in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley on Tuesday and shot and wounded a 14-year-old activist known for championing the education of girls and publicizing atrocities committed by the Taliban, officials said.

The attack in the city of Mingora targeted 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who is widely respected for her work to promote the schooling of girls - something that the Taliban strongly opposes. She was nominated last year for the International Children's Peace Prize.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Malala's work "obscenity."

"This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter," said Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan by telephone. "We have carried out this attack."

The school bus was about to leave the school grounds in Mingora when a bearded man approached it and asked which one of the girls was Malala, said Rasool Shah, the police chief in the town. Another girl pointed to Malala, but the activist denied it was her and the gunmen then shot both of the girls, the police chief said.

Malala was shot twice - once in the head and once in the neck - but her wounds were not life-threatening, said Tariq Mohammad, a doctor at the main hospital in Mingora. The second girl shot was in stable condition, the doctor said. Pakistani television showed pictures of Malala being taken by helicopter to a military hospital in the frontier city of Peshawar.

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COMMENTARY:

By: Shoukat Zardari, AWAZ-TV Anchor from Karachi, Pakistan visiting WRCB this month

It should be a matter of attention for the people of U.S today that a 14 year old girl, Malala Yousafzai, was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan. She is one of the brave girls in Pakistan and an international award winner for peace. She stood up against the Taliban when she was 11 and strived hard to get an education in an area where Taliban were destroying schools for girls.

Trust me this is not what Islam teaches and this not what a true Muslim follows.

We have so many girls like Malala Yousafzai who want to get their education, but the brutal thinkers like Taliban are the main barrier in their way.  We have so many people like Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan but no one pays attention to them. It was all her will that she stood up and got recognition because of her diaries. We have many more who do not have even pen to write a diary.

The Taliban must pay attention to the words of this brave girl that she says, "I'm ready for any situation. Even if a terrorist comes to kill me I will tell him he's wrong. I won't back down"

If Malala dies like this the entire world has to worry how many brilliant minds we can let go like this?

An attack on Malala is not only an attack on her but an attack on the future of every girl there in Pakistan who wants to complete her education. Coward minds like Taliban who after attacking a 14 year old kid consider themselves as saviors of Islam.

The President of Pakistan and his son have condemned this act. The entire Pakistani community has done so as well on Twitter or other means of social media.

Marium Nawaz, daughter of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, tweeted that Nawaz is praying for her health and condemned the attack.

Journalists, actors, writers and entire civil society condemn this. Trust me Pakistan is not as you think about it. It's a country who has lost 40,000 lives in just last decade and thousands of brilliant minds like Malala.

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