Thursday, October 18, 2012

New details on Malala's case, giving an insight into Pakistan's lose Taliban policies

While Malala Yousufzai’s condition is stabilizing, details on the attack last week are slowly emerging. According to Reuters, one of the two gunmen involved in the shooting has been identified by his first name. Attaullah, a young man, was arrested in 2009 during the Pakistani military campaign that pushed the Taliban out of the Swat Valley. Due to a lack of evidence of connections to terrorist groups, he was released after only three months. However, a senior security official is refuting this statement, indicating that authorities reputedly did gather enough evidence to arrest Attaullah when they raided his house in the Swat Valley. According to officials, Attaullah organized the attack on Malala on orders of one of the Taliban's most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah, who operated from Afghanistan after the 2009 military raid before returning the Pakistan this past June. Critics say Pakistan's low conviction rate of militants, even high-profile individuals who carried out major attacks, is one reason why extremism has spread in the South Asian nation. Public fury over the shooting has increased pressure on the Pakistani military to mount a major offensive against the Taliban, which has close allegiances to Al Qaeda and a host of other militant groups. The Taliban, fighting to topple the government and impose a radical theocracy, have blown up hundreds of girls’ schools in recent years in Swat and other areas to further their opposition to the education of women.

- Lea von Martius

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