Pak divided over real enemy Taliban or U.S. drones following Malala attack

Washington, Oct. 19 (ANI): The recent Taliban attack on Pakistani teen education campaigner Malala Yousufzai has led to a major division in Pakistan over the question of whether it is the United States or militants that is the real enemy of the country.

On one side are civil society members who find the attack on the 14-year-old atrocious, and are calling for action against the Taliban. On the other side are the citizens who are criticizing the international community and media for giving her case "more than the attention it deserves", reports the Christian Science Monitor.

Sanaullah, a teacher and an acquaintance of Malala's father, said he doesn't understand why international media cares so much about the attack on Malala when there are greater issues that need to be addressed.

"Every time there is a drone attack, innocent children and women are killed. We should also condemn that since it is equally unjust but no one is highlighting it," he said.

There have also been doctored images circulating on the Internet. The images of young, injured children falsely claim to be showing drone attack victims. Some have even circulated images of Malala sitting with American officials and have called her a "U.S. agent", the paper said.

According to analysts, the divide can also be seen in the military's response.

"This is a double game of national security, which the military has played historically," said Baqir Sajjad Syed, who writes on foreign affairs and defense issues Syed. He said the military built its image both locally and abroad by being at the forefront of efforts to provide Malala medical care and also by issuing statements that they were ready to take action against the terrorists.

Sarfaraz Khan, who teaches at the Peshawar University, pointed to the lack of consensus in the Parliament about passing a resolution in favour of a North Waziristan operation in light of the attack on Malala, and said Parliament is another place the divide is visible.

"Political parties headed by Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif, and others, whose traditional voting constituencies lie with Islamists and in whipping up anti-Americanism, do not want to lose voters at a time when elections are near, and that is why they are creating a counter public narrative," he said. (ANI)