The same clerics who stand to lose everything if the Muslim masses turn away from them took yet another cowardly and barbaric step to ensure they keep their masses captive -- either mentally, physically, morally, and spiritually.
This "war against education" from the Taliban has effectively crippled the future of Pakistan, ensuring that the vast human potential of the nation will be going to waste. However, in the wake of the attack in Peshawar, there needs to be a concerted attempt by the state and people of Pakistan to reform and support the education system.
Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by the jihadis on December 27, 2007 after addressing a rally where she repeated her warnings about the Taliban and other extremist groups. Today, events such as the recent massacre of school children in Peshawar, reflect what Bhutto was warning against. Extremist Islamist ideologues opposed her because as a western-educated Muslim woman leader she symbolized all that the jihadis hate.
Hope is not a feeling. It is a decision -- a choice you make based on what we call faith or moral conscience, whatever most deeply motivates you.
I was heading home from the University of Karachi when my phone buzzed with a text message from a kin. '20 dead, APS in Peshawar under attack' was what it read.
A geostrategic Santa Claus has left three offerings. A similar query applies. Will these offerings turn out to be the equivalent of presents and opportunities? Or will they be lumps of coal signifying bad things?
Once again, the global community is in the rare position of having its eye turned toward this sweeping issue, which at present keeps as many as three-quarters of girls in the country from attending school.
How many children has our greed killed? How many children grow up without proper education? How many children are subjected to the slow deaths of racism, homophobia and sexism? How many children are dead because of our thirst for guns and violence? The questions can go on and on.
A corrective political course in Pakistan is the need of the hour. Corruption needs to be eradicated and good governance is essential.
Pakistan should ensure these extremists never claim they are not guilty of these heinous charges. Killing children is never justified. "Only obeying orders" - divine or otherwise is simply not an excuse.
Once the dust settles on the military response, we need to collectively learn as citizens of this 21st century that people different from us are not a binary 0 to our 1 or an off to our on switch
The barbarous targeted attack on helpless children has done what a decade of terrorism couldn't -- Pakistan reacted venomously. The outpouring of grief for the victims and their families from across the country, the region and world has changed the very paradigm of how terrorism has been tackled by the government.
While we can't grasp the motivations of all these murderous mad men, we can deduce from their actions. These heinous criminals fear the pen more than the sword. Education, from basic literacy to professional training, gives young people a real chance to live a better life than their parents.
Today we all should mourn with the Pakistani people, but tomorrow we, too, must rise up to support them and people of good will everywhere and try to put an end to using children as sacrifices to the bloodlust of terror.
Moral and intellectual clarity about the world we live in are not compatible with self-exculpating glibness. Our adversaries' wrongness does not mean we are in the right. The substance of the terrorists' victory lies exactly in their success in having persuaded Western societies to empower our own authoritarian regimes.
Today, millions of children in Pakistan and around the world will return to their schools and will continue this fight. I know that I will have a very specific message for my own child as she grows... that no one belief system is higher or more worthy than another.