"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Abubakr
Full Name: Abubakr Ayesh
User since: 4/Jun/2012
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Launching I am Malala and the ideological division of the society


Recently, Malala Yousafzai’s controversial endeavor – I am Malala- was prevented from being launched in a university in Peshawar through government interference. The incident represented the alarming level of polarization rooted in the society and its grievous implications. The provincial information minister, Shah Farman, interestingly apprised the press that this book is irrelevant to the curriculum of university and hence, the launching of this book was not necessary.  Apart from the fact that his argument was flawed, misconstrued and insensible (since any book possesses academic importance), there is a more deep and more crucial matter aligned with it.

The chairman of the reigning party in the province expressed his surprise and grief over the issue as soon as media got hold of the issue. Nevertheless, this incident explains a fundamental and critical dilemma. While it was clear that the launch of the book was discouraged and not supported because government succumbed to the local beliefs and sentiments which strongly resist (what popular belief goes as) “the so-called story of Malala,” the incident depicts the disarray and be wilderness and the lack of a clear philosophy or ideology that exists within the party whose slogan was –and is- change. This is not the first time this confusion has arisen: the firm stance of Khan upon MQM which became lenient, the coalition government with a party whose manifesto was quiet contrary to that of PTI, the differing statement related to former Punjab Governor Salman Taseer by Imran Khan and another party member respectively are a few examples which demonstrate that something went amiss while the leaders for the party were elected through a democratic process.

If applied on a broader scale, it is apparent that this confusion has inhibited the progress of the civil government’s policies in KPK. Terrorism is, perhaps, the most apt example where Khan wanted talks with the extremists for the purpose of giving peace a chance and alienating the terrorists from the local support that they draw and heavily rely upon. However, Khan was so bent upon the idea of having an office for Taliban and negotiating with TTP that he and his party lost the main essence or purpose of the negotiations somewhere in the middle of the road. Besides, the main component of any truth and reconciliation process –the active participation of civil government- was never paid heed to. Meanwhile, the party steadily lost its support because of the sharp rise in the activities of TTP while most of those who still support this policy do not understand the gravity of the issue and the effective methodology of implementing this policy.

Coming back to the current topic, I have read some parts of Malala’s book and I do find some of her ideas controversial and instigating but this should not prevent the use of the book for academic purposes; only a critical approach to this book –or any book- allows for an accurate critique of that piece of writing.  University is a place where new ideas are explored and more controversial ones are researched upon by the students so that they can be answered aptly and promptly.

To conclude, the KPK government needs to take a decisive step regarding what it represents, what it believes and what it wants to do and devise the policy accordingly; it needs to get its ideological priorities straight. Furthermore, urgent action is imperative if these pressing and critical issues are to be solved; waiting for the extremists to respond to the message and, meanwhile, sitting idle after addressing the media that government is interested in talks is not sufficient. Active participation of civil governance and a serious attempt to enforce the policy is what the circumstances are urging the authorities to do. It is of immense importance that this issue is addressed or else, the government will again succumb to public pressure on many-to-come occasions.

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