Malala would be better off living in Canada

Jon Stewart was not wrong when in his late night The Daily Show, he offered to adopt Malala Yousafzai. He was highly impressed by this child's advocacy for education and  for him, it looked like a great deal.  It's easier to raise a precocious child who is adamant to educate herself even after being persecuted by evil forces, as compared to many other kids in the US who play hooky on attending school.

However, Stewart did not know that his 'adoption wish' might come in handy for the brave girl. As the dust will settle in and normalcy will prevail, the question on Malala's future of returning home will loom large. Will Malala ever go back to the paradise of Mingora, Swat, to lead a routine life again?

The realistic school of thought, based on the string of hard facts, reduces such probability to a  negative.

One can argue that Malala would choose to go into permanent exile. The people who killed Benazir Bhutto and who also pose threats to the life of Asma Jehangir, will not allow this 16-year-old girl to live safely in Pakistan.

This intelligent crusader for education is neglected by the country she was born in. Pakistan could not even provide Malala with her right to security.

There is no foul name on earth left which hasn't been used to malign her image in Pakistan. Malala has been called a traitor, an agent of the West and even a prostitute by those who were assigned to protect her! The YouTube propaganda against her spews venom everywhere. Even, the chief minister of Punjab used a few derogatory remarks for the abandoned child.

No one wants Malala in her own land; in Pakistan she is discarded as a piece of dirt. No one is vouching to protect her against another attack by the goons of Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), if she ever decides to settle in her homeland.

Pakistan is in a state of denial. The growing cesspool of militancy and terrorism has gulped Malala's passion for education. The only crime the innocent teenager committed was to pose a threat to the ideology of the Taleban by challenging the norms of patriarchy.

She demanded to get the basic right of education to enlighten herself and other female pupils in her city. And what did she get in return? A bullet to her head. United Kingdom was kind enough to open its arms for Malala where she has been residing ever since.

This is what happens when a country cannot protect its citizens and fails to provide basic amenities. People migrate to places with better governance and security. Canada, the destination of millions of immigrants, has invariably offered honorary citizenship
to Malala.

Why wouldn't Malala and her family accept the gift of a Canadian citizenship — a country based on the Charter of Rights and Freedom and where all are equal? In Canada, unemployed are paid and rich are heavily taxed. No life is lost if one cannot afford to pay healthcare bills.

The neglected child of the East is better off living in Canada, a country where education is free for all girls and boys – where no threat is posed against her by any bearded Taleban and his gun.

The Express Tribune


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