The Malala moment: 6 Pakistani views on the girl shot by the Taliban

6. 'Our two-faced policies on extremists'

Imran Khan and religious conservatives aren't the only ones taking criticism in the wake of Malala's shooting. In a daring essay in the left-leaning Express-Tribune, a lieutenant colonel now retired from the Pakistani military heaps blame for the country's radicalism on the generals. 

The hands that today hold the weapons that fire on innocent girls like Malala Yousufzai are the same hands that were employed by the state to fight our secret war in Kashmir. The generals of that time propagated the brilliance of their military strategy that employed a few hundred jihadists to engage and hold back half a million Indian troops in Kashmir, thus blocking any Indian military design to challenge us on the eastern front. Little did the generals know that the same guns will one day be used to kill our innocent daughters.

The writer, Muhammad Ali Ehsan, goes on to argue that it's not enough to push the military to clean up the mess of radicals it created. He argues the Islamic radical mindset won't be defeated by killing the believers in the hills, but by bringing to justice those who egged on the beliefs from the barracks. 

Those who formulated and implemented the policy in the past of supporting, arming and training militants to fight proxy wars against India and Afghanistan must be held accountable. If this is not done, we will have many more leaders playing with the future of this country, leaving Malala, her generation and the generation after that to pay the price.

That's a sentiment rarely aired in a country where the military is often relied upon to clean up even its own mistakes. 

6 of 6

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.