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Come. Passion.

#93 of 96: William Hale (hinging0) Tue 16 Oct 2012 (05:35 AM)

Compassion for Pakistan

Amna Buttar is a human rights activist who left her career as a doctor
in the United States to work with Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan. Until
recently, she was a member of parliament. She is on Twitter.

OCTOBER 15, 2012

We need to change the lens through which we view Pakistan from one of
conflict to one of compassion.

Growing up in Pakistan, I never imagined, even in my wildest dreams,
that there would be a time when girls would get shot for going to
school. Welcome to the Pakistan that has been hijacked by organized
criminals, the Taliban. They call themselves promoters of Islam. But
they know nothing about Islam. If they were really familiar with this
belief system, they would remember that the first word of revelation in
the Quran is “Iqra” (read), and would therefore refrain from bombing
girls’ schools.

The women and children of Pakistan don’t need special envoys, drones,
or even foreign aid. They need our sympathy and attention.
Pakistanis are exhausted with the barbarism in one form or other that
continues to escalate in every passing moment. Youth like Mallala are
getting globally isolated every day. Their dreams and actions
contribute to a pressure cooker of hope, but they have nowhere to go.

We need to keep our attention fixed on the women and children of
Pakistan. They don’t need special envoys, drones, or even foreign aid.
What they need is for ordinary citizens of the world to see them
through a new lens. What Pakistanis need is compassion. Ordinary
citizens of the world have to make Malala and others feel their
sympathy for them.

They can do this through reaching out via social media to keep the
conversation going, which will help keep girls like Malala on the map,
and revered and honored by the Pakistani government and civil society.
Positive messages of hope and love really do help. This kind of
support, constantly streaming through the social media world, should
ideally be an ongoing effort and not stop with the news cycle.

Once Pakistan feels the world’s support and sympathy, Malala and her
peers could become even more emboldened to exert themselves and push
for reform, instead of spending their time dodging the bullets of angry
men.

Join Room for Debate on Facebook and follow updates on
twitter.com/roomfordebate.

Topics: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Terrorism, taliban, women
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