In 2012, Malala Yousafzai had to flee her country Pakistan in undignified haste after an attempt was made to assassinate her. Her crime ““ speaking up for the right of girls to education. Without the freedom to live a respectable and peaceful life in her homeland and facing a threat to her life, she has been forced to seek asylum in the UK.
Yet, in 2016, she is lecturing India about “providing the people of Kashmir with the dignity, respect and freedom they deserve.” Irony just died a thousand deaths.
On September 6, 2016, the Pakistan news daily Dawn reported that Malala Yousafzai expressed her support for Kashmir. She has urged India, Pakistan and the UN “to work together with utmost urgency to right the wrongs” in Kashmir. She wants that Kashmiris should be given “the dignity, respect and freedom they deserve”.
Malala has also expressed her anguish at the fact that schools in Kashmir have been closed because of the continuing unrest. An unrest that is fuelled by her homeland that uses every possible opportunity to instigate certain segments of the Kashmiri population to resort to violent protests.
For someone who is so concerned about the fundamental human rights of people, Malala is surprisingly silent about violence and conflict that is happening much closer home. “Dozens of unarmed protestors have been killed and thousands wounded,” said Malala ““ not realizing how true this holds for the under-reported, horrifying rights abuse that is underway in Balochistan.
Winning the Nobel Prize, it appears, is no guarantor of wisdom. Besides, it can fool you into believing you know all there is to know about everything and impel you to spout your opinions on matters outside your area of expertise.
“I stand with the people of Kashmir,” Malala said. “My 14 million Kashmiri sisters and brothers have always been close to my heart.”
If only this remarkable empathy could find its way to her Baloch sisters and brothers, perhaps they too would be able to live with respect, dignity and freedom that they deserve.