Will Pakistan Welcome Malala As the Prime Minister of Pakistan?
“I want to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory.”
This is how Malala Yousuf Zai expressed her intention after she had won the Noble peace prize in Osloand which, in turn, implied that the people of Pakistan would be having a truly young leader as a new option in the country`s politics.
But, can Malala be really successful as a politician in Pakistan?
Generally, convincing manifesto, uninterrupted connection with common people and the timely wise decisions make a man a successful politician. On top of it, if one is already having a positive image in people as a celebrity (like an actor/actress, sports man or a social worker), this surely makes his way easier. Although there are several people in the world who were previously well-known to their public, later on entered politics and became popular, but the most pertinent example in the Pakistani politics is of PTI`s chairman. Imran Khaneasily cashed in on his position as a captain especially as the cricket world cup winner for his project ShaukatKhanum Hospital and then for becoming a successful politician in the country.
But, the question is, will Malala also find a similar fertile ground in her home land in order to make her dream come true?
No doubt Malala Yousufzai made history for Pakistan as she became the world`s youngest winner of the Nobel Peace prize award. However, there was not so much appreciation and happiness over this news in her homeland as she actually deserved. Reason being the Pakistani nation remained divided about her right from the beginning. On one hand, the news of Taliban`s attack at Malala saddened the common people, at the same time there were also a large number of people who doubted if she had really got injured in the attack or,perhaps, all that was a planned conspiracy to defame Pakistan of which Malala was an important part.
How unfortunate Pakistan appeared when its religious extremists were declaring Hakeem Ullah Mehsud, the killer of thousands of innocent Pakistanis, a (Shaheed) martyr on one hand, but, on the other, wereobjecting to the people`s sympathy for Malala who was shot just because she was speaking for her right to education!
Just like the commonPakistanis, the country`s main stream political parties were divided over Malala issue. Some of them ((like Jamamt-e-Islami and JamiatUlema-e-Islam)expressed their displeasure over internationally highlighting Malala`scase, while the other condemned the attack and extended their support to her. This political division was not only over the matter of supporting Malala, but also existed about how to deal with Taliban terrorists.Further, whatever ambiguity was remainingbetween the stands of the two sections of national parties, Taliban drew the clear line of division by supporting their own favorite political groups,and targeting therival partiesin the last general elections.
Even today too,no any notable change has taken place in the people`s views about her. Despite she has gained the global fame or recognition, she has the same threats while coming back to her homeland which had resulted in the attack at her.Recently, according to the web survey from an English newspaper, the majority of the people do not want to see Malala as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Similarly, considering the adverse scenario for her, Malala`s father Zia Uddin Yousaf zai in an interview also said, “At this time, it is very difficult for one to stand with Malala”
Yes, he is right! Because he, like the entire world,seesthat the country`s political leaders can offer Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to set up its offices in Pakistan even after having lost thousands of innocent people due to their terrorism, but there comes up no one who can assure Malalal of protection in Pakistan so that she can make her dreamcome true by educating the children in the country. The recent attack at the Army-run School in Peshawar and killing over 126 children by TTP very clearly exposes the severe threats to her in the country.
Taking into account these bitter facts, Malala should not be very much optimisticabout being successful in the Pakistani politics or becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan as Taliban and their supporting forces will not so easily let her come in such an important position. The way 2013`s general elections were forcefully influenced by TTP to throw out the anti-Taliban parties from the contest was an undeniable evidence of the influence they have over Pakistani politics.
However, at the same time, Malala can expect political support from the people and political parties which are liberal and moderate-minded. Of these, there are two very important political personalities who can provide her the required backing. One is the former Army chief Rtd. General Pervez Musharaf who very boldly initiated the military operation against the extremists. While the other one is MQM`s chief Altaf Hussain who not only condemned Taliban over attacking Malala, but also staged a big public rally as a protest in her supportduring the same period when no one could dare to utter a single against Taliban terrorists. Both can act like strong pillars for her against the extremists.
In short, Malala would definitely have to struggle in order to mentally prepare people so that they can stand up to root out the long-existing extremism from the country. That is the only way out to make Pakistan as an enlightened, moderate and educated country where all the people irrespective of their religion, sects, ethnicity or color can live peacefully.Although it seems to be very difficult and Malalal can also face countless difficulties including the life threats once again, but her firm determination lights a candle of encouragement in the dense darkness of Taliban`s fear for the entire Pakistani nation when she says,
“I’m never going to give up, they only shot a body but they cannot shoot my dreams”