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Malala’s brief return to Pakistan is a big defeat for terrorism

Pakistan’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, center, poses for a photograph with her family members at her native home during a visit to Mingora, the main town of Pakistan Swat Valley, Saturday, March 31, 2018. AP

Pakistan’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, center, poses for a photograph with her family members at her native home during a visit to Mingora, the main town of Pakistan Swat Valley, Saturday, March 31, 2018. AP

Malala Yousafzai is back in Pakistan, even though temporarily. Proven that her home country is moving in the right direction, even if this movement is very slow, Malala’s return is a big defeat for extremism. But here is the bitter truth: Almost all important political leaders from the government and opposition welcomed her, but there was not a single open celebration for her. The fans and followers of the world’s youngest and Pakistan’s only woman Nobel Peace Prize winner celebrated her homecoming only on Twitter, not on the streets. She arrived in Pakistan with extraordinary tight security. She met a select few people inside the highly-guarded Prime Minister’s office where she expressed happiness at her return, but with some tears in her eyes. Malala came home on March 29. I reached Hyderabad city in Sindh province the same day to pay tribute to Sufi poet and political activist Comrade Jam Saqi who died a few days ago. All the speakers there said that 2018 is a bad year for progressive forces in Pakistan because in the last few weeks we lost Asma Jahangir and now Comrade Jam Saqi. I agreed with them, but pointed out that it is also a good year because Asma Jahangir and Jam Saqi have come back to us in the shape of Malala Yousafzai.

When I welcomed Malala’s return, the huge crowd in the Sindh Museum of Hyderabad clapped loudly and long. Next morning, back in Islamabad, I received a phone call from a television anchor. He wanted to invite me to a discussion on “I Am Not Malala Day”, to be observed on March 30 by All Pakistan Private Schools Federation (APPSF). When I asked some questions about its credentials, the anchor said that this is the largest organisation representing 173,000 private schools (mostly English Medium), that they were organising a Black Day on the return of Malala and demanding the ban of the book “I Am Malala”, because this book was against Islam.

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Credit: indianexpress.com

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