President Asif Ali Zardari issued a message on the International Malala Day on Friday, announcing that the young peace icon “is a symbol of all that is good about us.”
“Malala Yousafzai is fifteen years old. Since she was eleven, she has been an advocate of education for girls. Malala is a symbol of all that is good about us,” he said in statement released on Friday.
“Malala represents the resilience of our girls and women. Her attackers aren’t just trying to kill the Daughter of Pakistan. They are trying to kill Pakistan,” the president said, while urging everyone to act urgently.
“We cannot sit idly by as our children are attacked. We must act. Urgently.”
Furthermore, President Zardari said that to reinforce the idea what Malala represents, the government launched a special “Waseela-e-Taleem” initiative to give free education to children, particularly girls, of poor families in Pakistan. “The more the militants strike, the more we will rebound with determination, defiance and courage. Let there be no doubt or mistake about it,” he said.
The president also expressed gratitude towards UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for urging the international community to observe the International Malala Day.
“The observance of the Malala Day today by the international community is a demonstration of the realisation that the attackers of Malala would not stop at Pakistan and threaten the whole world. It demonstrates the commitment by the world community that no matter what the odds, together we will fight the militants and not let them succeed in their agenda. Malala has transcended from an individual to an idea and the observance today shows that the idea lives on,” he stated.
“I wish to congratulate Malala Yousafzai, her parents, and all those who fight for the cause for which Malala stood,” President Zardari said while hoping for Malala’s early and complete recovery.
“The mission of Malala is fated to succeed,” he concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2012.