Despite continuing threats by the Pakistani Taliban, Malala Yusufzai’s father has vowed to take his daughter back to Pakistan upon her recovery. The Pakistani government needs to make sure that over the next several months, it takes concrete steps to ensure that the brave young soul returns to a place safer than when she left it. Pakistan’s divided civil society needs to come together to guarantee that it does.
In the days and weeks following the attack on Malala, Pakistanis were divided over what needed to happen next. Rather than focus their ire on the government for failing to devise a competent strategy to deal with the myriad militant groups in Pakistan, Pakistan’s civil society, divided along ideological lines, turned on each other. Proponents of military action against the Taliban were labeled liberal fascists and those calling for negotiations were deemed Taliban-hugging jihadis. Rather than attack each other, Pakistan’s civil society groups would be better served if they mobilized around a single-point agenda–ending militancy in Pakistan. There is no single strategy to accomplish this–it can only be achieved through a combination of short- and long-term measures. Continue reading