Brooke Johnson hugs her dad Friday during his surprise visit at The Bright School.
Many Malalas need your Attention -
By Shoukat Zardari, AWAZ-TV Anchor from Karachi, Pakistan
These days in the U.S media, the 14-year-old Pakistani girl, Malala, is very much in the news and I have watched many channels who are continuously covering her and updating their viewers about her health.
I feel proud and honored when I see coverage of the Pakistani girl in U.S media and I feel sad when I see my social media pages and conspiracy theories about her back in my country. The frequency of Pakistanis discussing Malala has decreased in social media and now they are celebrating Supreme Court's first-ever verdict against a former Army chief and a former spymaster. A few short-sighted people are still considering Malala a U.S agent who never got attacked and consider this event as a reason to launch an operation against Taliban in Waziristan.
As an anchor person, many questions arise in my mind and I can't find accurate answers to these. Being a Muslim it is part of my faith to raise voice for the helpless and hopeless and as per the teachings of Islam Women have equal right to Education so Malala was raising her voice for girl's right to be educated.
If I was at home, I would have asked my Pakistani brothers and sisters about few logical things and I know they have better answers than me:
Shall we not feel proud of a girl who became world famous not for being shot but for raising voice in an area where schools were being damaged and she stood on her stance?
If it is a conspiracy and she was never shot, then why was she in the in the operating room for hours in Pakistan and then taken to the United Kingdom? And, why they are releasing their Updates twice a day?
Is being educated a curse? Is raising voice for women forbidden in Islam? Is going to school causing dishonor to her family?
On Friday many have gone to mosques and prayed for Malala. So will Taliban attack them all?
We shall have a difference of opinion but it doesn't mean that we should carry out a conspiracy campaign against her. What if Malala was your daughter, your sister and someone else would have carried a campaign against her? What should have been your response? So for my Pakistani friends it is my suggestion that do not go after what others say. Just use your mind and do what it says.
I don't care if short-sighted Muslims label me as a U.S agent. We all are still fighting a war for our freedom. We don't need anyone's permission to live at our own because God has already told us about what is good and what is bad. So how can we follow those who call themselves Muslims and kill others in the name of Islam?
It is necessary to understand that the Taliban has shot only one Malala but there have been many others like Malala who were killed in several U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. Some of them aging 6 months to 6 years. Some, like Malala, aged 14 years. I am a strong critic of the Taliban and I can openly say that I am not on their side. But can you be on a side where so many innocent "Malalas" get killed and the U.S media is not reporting it as much? It is very easy to start a war but it is always difficult to end it.
In my former blog I discussed the history of the war with Russia, and today we are harvesting the same seeds sowed decades ago. How long and how far we can go with this mess? The drone attacks in Pakistan are motivating the relatives of the innocent victims to join Taliban groups to avenge the death of their beloved.
When I meet with people here in the U.S. and when I talk to them they are always great. And while living here I have come to know that they have no time to hate anyone. So why will they go against Muslims or Islam? They just want peace in the world. Unfortunately they can't get it and this is just because of foreign policies of both countries. How will you control these terrorists in a country where 90 million people are not able to get two meals in a day? They will not have it either until they get jobs. Pakistan is an unfortunate country who is still not able to make a proper management system.
There was nothing more on Friday except covering a Navy sailor who returned from Afghanistan and went to his daughter's school to surprise her. It was really a heart-touching scene. After that we went to a Red Bank school to cover a celebration for their football team. It was a kind of fun event and a normal news coverage.
On Friday, I also had an interview in news segment regarding threats to Pakistani media for covering Malala's incident. We, the Pakistani media, are playing our role but we want a collective campaign and I hope we will get it soon.
Editor Note: Shoukat Zardari is visiting WRCB for the month of October to learn about U.S. media coverage. He is part of a foreign journalist visitor program supported by the U.S. State Department. WRCB is one of 14 American media organizations hosting a Pakistani journalist. Click here to learn more about Mr. Zardari's visit.