Malala of Swat has become the Malala of Pakistan and the Malala of the wider civilized world.
So where do all the security measures and the claims of victory against the Taliban in Swat stand following the attack on Malala Yousafzai? Is the attack, triumphantly claimed by the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a slap in the face for the civilian and military leadership? And how might religious apologists tailor their statements vis-a-vis Taliban attacks on innocent civilians?
The answers are clear. Calm has been returned to Swat, but that's a far cry from peace. The country's powerful military establishment still appears to be pinning its hopes on so-called strategic assets, and it seems confused about the good and the bad among the Taliban. And religious apologists are campaigning for general elections and hence less likely to offend the Taliban. So innocent Pakistani civilians -- particularly those who want Pakistan a modern, developing and peaceful country -- are the victims. Fourteen-year-old Malala is one of them.
While the Taliban boldly claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala and warned of another if she survives, religious apologists either stayed silent or issued face-saving statements. After much foot-dragging, bland generalizations like "we condemn terrorism" and "whoever is responsible for the attack must be punished" were issued by leaders and officials of political and religious parties like Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI), Jamat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and various factions of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML).