WLP Pakistan/Aurat Foundation Network Statement: Insani Haqooq Itehad (IHI) Strongly Condemn Attack on Peace Activist Malala Yousuf Zai

Statement by WLP Pakistan/Aurat Foundation on Attack on Peace Activist Malala Yousuf Zai

We, members of Insani Haqooq Itehad (IHI), strongly condemn the attack on Malala Yousuf Zai, the young peace activist from Swat. We take this attack to be, not only an act of violence and terrorism, but also conspiracy against bringing peace in Swat and empowerment of women and girls in the area. It is unfortunate that the one who was active to save many lives by seeking an end to terrorism, herself became its victim. This is one of many times in which human and women’s rights activists have been threatened and attacked. This is the 2nd such attack in just three months, as it follows on the heels of the brutal killing of women’s rights activist Farida Afridi in July.

We demand the government to urgently investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. We also demand that the government shall take serious notice of such attacks on activists in areas already bleeding from terrorism and extremism, as such attacks discourage all efforts for peace and stability in the region. The government shall take full responsibility to ensure the safety of its citizens and take substantive action against the perpetrators, as incidents of attacks on human rights workers are becoming frequent.

Malala Yousafzai, a renowned social activist from Swat, stood up and spoke for children’s rights and peace in a time of extreme Talibanisation and militancy in the area. She was hardly eleven years old, when she spoke to the media about the right to education in Swat, which was banned by Taliban. Even during the worst terror and peak of extremism in Swat valley, she was actively involved in action by writing a daily diary on the BBC website with a pen name of Gul Makai. She is also the first Pakistani girl to be nominated for International Children’s peace prize by Kids Rights Foundation.

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