Q&A with expert after Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai attacked by Taliban for blogging

14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old schoolgirl shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for her pro-Western views, will survive.

“Malala is considered as an icon of hope and enlightenment in Pakistan and is respected and honored for her courage and determination,” a Pakistani government spokesman told Metro. “The extremist mindset which led to such a grave incident is only limited to a few fanatics.”

Metro spoke with Sajjan Gohel, the Pakistani-born International Security Director of the Asia-Pacific Foundation.


Metro: Is this a one-off incident, or are the Taliban gaining strength in Pakistan?

Gohel: Unfortunately this is not a one-off incident. It will happen again. I’ve been warning for a long time that women will be the biggest victim of the Taliban ascendency. This brutal attack and the medieval ideology of the Taliban once again reiterates the naivety of those who advocate talking and negotiating with them, even considering allowing the Taliban a role in governance.

Do Pakistani girls now have to worry about their safety?

Yes. The Taliban are determined to deprive women, including young girls, even basic human rights. It is very depressing when young Pakistani women, proud of their nationality, want to aspire for equal rights such as in education but are targeted because of it. Women’s rights have improved in some parts of Pakistan but not in the rural areas of the country. The Foreign Minister is a woman but that’s an aberration. She represents the urban elite and not the rural masses. In addition, she had the benefit of being partly educated abroad. Most Pakistani women don’t have that option. And any person, not just women, who wants to further the rights of women and girls is a potential target. The Governor of Punjab was a prominent advocate of women’s rights. He was targeted for that.

Is the Pakistani government doing enough to counter extremism?

No, it needs to do more to protect women. But on the positive side, it’s far better to have the civilian government in charge than the military.  However, condemning acts of violence are not enough. The perpetrators have to be prosecuted to the full extend of the law. Far too often individuals behind the attack are rounded up and then quietly forgotten.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

City Council to discuss officer re-training

The New York City Council has set a Sept. 8 oversight hearing to learn more about the NYPD's review of police officer training in the…

Local

Brooklyn lawmakers: Let riders know sooner about bedbugs…

Two Brooklyn lawmakers are calling for more transparency when it comes to bedbugs and mass transit. Council Member Mark Treyger and Assembly Member Bill Colton…

Local

Jasper Johns aide admits stealing, selling artwork for…

A former assistant to renowned American contemporary artist Jasper Johns pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling nearly two dozen of his works without Johns' knowledge.

National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Movies

Interview: 'Life of Crime' star John Hawkes likes…

John Hawkes talks about playing a bumbling crook in "Life of Crime" and how he wanted his "Martha Marcy May Marlene" villain to be "bland."

Gossip

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married

The couple tied the knot in Chateau Miraval, France.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

NFL

Fantasy football: What to take away from preseason

The third set of exhibition games, which went down last weekend, is the dress rehearsal week.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…