The Pakistani Taiban has vowed to attack 16-year-old dissenter Malala Yousafzai again if they get the chance. Malala has been involved in media campaigns to undermine Taliban power for years, but reached the zenith of her fame last year when she was shot on a school bus. Her crime, according to the Taliban, was trying to go to school in the first place. Malala survived that attack, but sustained serious injuries to her head and neck.
Malala has become a spokesperson for the right of children, and especially girls, to go to school. She has spoken in front of the United Nations and was nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. The Taliban’s threat to attack her again if they get the chance was delivered by the main spokesperson for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the coalition of Taliban forces in the country.
“She is not a brave girl and has no courage. We will target her again and attack whenever we have a chance,” said Shahidullah Shahid, spokesperson for the Taliban. Malala is currently in Britain, where she received some of the treatment for her attack and now attends school. She responded to the threats from the Pakistani Taliban to the BBC.
Malala dismissed the threats against her life and reiterated her wish to return to her home country. The Taliban, who are hurt by the presence of a famed and charismatic opponent of their rule, are unwilling to let that occur. Shahidullah Shahid said, “We attacked Malala because she was used to speak against the Taliban and Islam and not because she was going to school.”
The attack on Malala Yousafzai may have driven Western attention to the problems in Pakistan, but she is not the only victim of the powerful group in the country. Imran Khan has been repeatedly calling for an end to violence in the country. He has advocated a dialogue-based peace plan.
The biggest attack in Pakistan in recent memory happened toward the end of September. The attack, which hit two Christian churches in Peshawar, has caused the appetite for peace in the country to grow even stronger.
The Nobel Prize will be awarded on Friday, and Malala has become a favorite to win. She is the youngest person to ever be nominated for a Nobel Prize. If she wins on Friday, she will be the youngest person to ever receive the prestigious honor.