Malala Yousafzai breaks her silence on rise of Taliban

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Malala Yousafzai breaks her silence on rise of Taliban

Malala Yousafzai — the activist who was shot in the face by the Taliban when she was just 14 — has called on world leaders to bring about “an immediate cease-fire” as the militant group has once again risen to power.

“We watch in complete shock as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan,” tweeted Malala, the youngest Peace Prize winner in history. 

“I am deeply worried about women, minorities and human rights advocates,” said the famed activist, who was demanding education for girls when she was attacked in 2012.

“Global, regional and local powers must call for an immediate ceasefire, provide urgent humanitarian aid and protect refugees and civilians,” she wrote Sunday.

Now 24, Malala was barely 11 years old when she began championing girls’ education in Pakistan, speaking out in TV interviews. 

Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, 2021.
Taliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 15, 2021.
AP/Zabi Karimi

The Taliban had overrun her hometown of Mingora, terrorizing residents, threatening to blow up girls’ schools, ordering teachers and students into all-encompassing burqas.

She was critically injured on Oct. 9, 2012, when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. 

She survived through luck — the bullet did not enter her brain — and by the quick intervention of British doctors visiting Pakistan.

Taliban fighters stand guard at the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
The Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai when she was 14.
AP/Rahmat Gul
Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021.
Taliban fighters stand guard in front of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 16, 2021.
AP/Rahmat Gul

Flown to Britain for specialist treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, she underwent numerous surgeries but made a strong recovery.

She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 — when just 17 — and become an icon for young activism. Her amazing story did not come without a cost, however, and she has since admitted suffering from depression and other mental health issues.

Activists and officials have long warned that President Biden’s sudden withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan would lead to the rise of the Taliban, which took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday.

“I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm,” former President George W. Bush warned more than a month ago.

He also feared the fate of translators and other people who gave support to foreign troops in Afghanistan, many of whom have been desperately trying to get visas and planes to flee the new Islamic fundamentalist regime.

People struggle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country after Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan.
People struggle to cross the boundary wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport to flee the country after Taliban took control of Kabul, Afghanistan.
EPA

“They’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart,” Bush had told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

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