Malala: We must talk to the Taliban to get peace

Malala gives first interview since being shot by the Taliban Malala has given her first in-depth interview since being shot on a bus on her way home from school

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A Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for championing girls' rights to education has said talks with the militants are needed for peace.

Malala Yousafzai was attacked by a gunman on a school bus near her former home in Pakistan in October 2012.

The targeting of a schoolgirl who had spoken out for girls' rights to education caused outrage in Pakistan and around the world.

The 16-year-old was treated in the UK and now lives in Birmingham.

She spent months in hospital and required several operations to repair her skull.

In her first in-depth interview since the attack, Malala told the BBC that discussions with the Taliban were needed to achieve peace.

"The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue," she said.

"That's not an issue for me, that's the job of the government... and that's also the job of America."

In July, plans for talks involving the Taliban, the US and the Afghan government were frustrated by a row over the status of the Taliban's newly opened office in Doha, Qatar.

Malala said it was important that the Taliban discussed their demands.

"They must do what they want through dialogue," she said.

"Killing people, torturing people and flogging people… it's totally against Islam. They are misusing the name of Islam."

Malala also described the day of the attack for the first time. She said the street her school bus was travelling on was unusually deserted before the vehicle was flagged down and the gunman opened fire.

"I could see that there was no-one [there] at that time.

"Usually there used to be so many people and boys and they used to be standing in front of shops. But today... it was vacant."

The teenager, who gave a speech to the UN in July, also spoke of her desire to return to Pakistan and enter politics.

"I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory," she said.

"I hope that a day will come [when] the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have their rights, there will be peace and every girl and every boy will be going to school."

Panorama: Shot For Going To School, BBC One, Monday, 7 October at 20:30 BST and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    She's a brave girl but she is young, naïve, and wrong.Of those Taleban who are in it for the money they are just paid assassins, criminals who should face criminal justice.Of those who are on "jihad" they see what they are doing as a direct order from god.They are committed to devote their lives to their insane view of Islam and imposing it on the world.They are insane and can't be talked sane.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    I think you are going for the "Most Comments Removed" record.
    Good luck.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    This girl is being used as a propaganda tool by the West. What about all those Afghan and Iraqi children maimed by British and US troops? Why aren't they paraded every week on TV and the media?

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    Talk the Taliban? Sorry's okay to be stupid but you're abusing the privilege. The Taliban are not multilingual - they only understand the brute language of force. We need to send troops into Pakistan now before it's too late.

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    Malala actually need a SHOOTING AWARD and a GUN to handle the taliban and guard herself from them in the future.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    What a truly wonderful young lady, and with such a wise head on her shoulders.

    I heard this morning that she might be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She gets my vote.

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    Of course the Taliban need to be included in whatever conversations that are going on. I don't know who stopped talking to the Taliban? If there was someone, then I can guess they were a politician. It doesn't matter if you are at war with someone you have to keep some sort of conversation going usually through back channels. In this way peace can arrive quite unexpectedly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    Nobody can say that Malala wasn't brave for speaking out
    But I have conflicting views on this as more people die in the name of Islam than anything else in the world. And we never seem to hear anything good about this religion all we hear is death and yet its supposed to be a peaceful religion

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    "145. Peter N
    Religion is the cause of so many of our problems, past & present.

    Religion is a means to control people"

    Of course atheistic dictatorships (Stalin, Moa ZeDong, Etc) have also been much the same. It isn't religion or lack of it that is an issue it's people wanting to control/abuse others. Both religion & atheism are just flags of convenience that people use.

  • Comment number 163.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    What a creative idea from a genius. And the whole country never thought about it talking to Talebans. We need these kind of thinkers and philosophers in Pakistan.

    A few seconds ago ·

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    ref #153
    Whilst there are undoubtedly some Taliban who do want to "assimilate" everything, most seem to want to be left alone to pursue their medieval ways where they are.
    If the Tailban would not impose their way on those who disagree, which would be the majority in Afghanastan and Pakistan than fine. but they don't anymore than the Iranian mullahs rep the will of the Iraninas

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    I am amazed by posters who have chosen to denigrate the girl. To recap just a few verifiable facts abt the Taliban who they would therefore support.

    They shoot little girls in the head for wanting something as basic as to learn in school.
    They trade little boys for their "entertainment," see nothing wrong with it while condemning homosexuals.

    Just two things!

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    Religion was the original Politics of the day. It did a great job of civilising otherwise disparate tribes of people so that they did not turn on each other and instead worked in co-operation.
    It is time for Religious believers (over 4000 different ones) to understand they are too many to govern peacefully and cohesively.
    Politics, with all its faults is the only way to govern vast countries

  • Comment number 158.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Look at the happenings all over the world,where talibans have claimed for wrong doing and try to work out how can you deal with them.Pity is they bring religion in front to convince their followers to support them for the wrong cause.They them selves want to live in west and want west to follow their culture and stating that their values are better for the world.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    149. Little_Old_Me - "...Taliban are there...simply to fight the invaders to their strong with [sic] the Taliban be once we have stopped the invasion of these people's homeland...?"

    The Taliban spread into Afghanistan & formed a government from Sept 1996 to Dec 2001 enforcing Sharia law. Soviets left in 1989 and US/UK didn't invade until Dec 2001.

    Looks like you might be wrong?

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    The militants that set out to destroy Malala have unwittingly given her the political stage to bring about some change in her country. She has shown not only is she a very brave young lady but a very wise one to.

    These very tough men must be very scared of her now!

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    116.Onan the Barbarian

    I die a social death! My apologies to the people of Birmingham and commiserations to the people of Wolverhampton.

    I was thinking of threatening the Taliban with Robert Plant in stead, but it turns out he's from West Bromwich. I guess Malala will just have to move to Sheffield, unless you've got any better ideas. . .

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    And I would suggest a more accurate Star Trek anology to the Tailaban and other islamists are the Borg"

    Whilst there are undoubtedly some Taliban who do want to "assimilate" everything, most seem to want to be left alone to pursue their medieval ways where they are. The vast majority of Muslims want neither, but to be left alone in a free society to prosper and worship as they wish.


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