Pakistan’s education attaché

Now for a piece of really good news. Malala will be staying in the UK – and thus will be much much less likely to be a target again. She is able to stay because her father has been made a diplomat. Good move. Full marks to whoever did it, even if it’s Tories.

The Taliban have vowed to target her again. Her father, Ziauddin, has been appointed Pakistan’s education attaché in Birmingham, virtually guaranteeing that Ms. Yousafzai will remain in Britain. Her case has generated worldwide recognition of the struggle for women’s rights in Pakistan. In a sign of her reach, Ms. Yousafzai made the shortlist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012.

It’s terrible that she’s been driven out of Pakistan, of course. It’s terrible that the girls of Pakistan are put at a distance from her. But it’s worth it.


  1. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    Full marks to whoever did it, even if it’s Tories.

    Mr Yousafzai is now a Pakistani diplomat, so, whoever did it, they aren’t a tory.

  2. says

    Malala is an absolute inspiration to survivors of industrial *schools*. She has given them the strength to carry on in literacy education and other forms of learning, despite all the mental and emotional difficulties that is the baggage they carry from the past. She is a breath of fresh air. She has truly suffered in her quest to be educated.

    Malala has apparently urged Pakistan to reverse a decision to rename a college in her honour to avert militant attacks on students. What a wise decision.

    I wish her father, Ziauddin, every success in his diplomatic job in Birmingham — a city that was once home to me for a number of years. There is a large Asian population there, so hopefully he shall feel very much at home there.

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    There may have been encouragement from the UK, but the people who created Mr Yousafzai’s- very appropriate- job were Pakistanis.

  4. says

    The Pakistan government may have created the “very appropriate job” with “encouragement from the UK”. However, in general, the foreign government that an ambassador is assigned to — that first approves the person. also has the power in some cases, to reverse its approval by declaring the diplomat a persona non grata: an unacceptable person. This kind of declaration usually results in recalling the ambassador to her home nation. So the Tories, would they not, have had a big say in the matter?

  5. grumpyoldfart says

    The Taliban are on a mission and they won’t be stopped. The next victim will get the whole chamber emptied into her head.

  6. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    So the Tories, would they not, have had a big say in the matter?

    Probably not. In fact, the grounds on which a diplomat can be declaredpersona non grata are limited and host nations certainly can’t insist that some people are made diplomats. Mr Yousafzai isn’t an ambassador, though. He’s an “education attaché”, which is a rare- maybe even unprecedented- appointment. Thhe British government could have vetoed this appointment I think. The fact that the British government accepted the posting is to their credit, but it probably means that no matter how long Malala has to stay in the UK she will not acquire residence rights as a result.

  7. Andrew G. says

    In fact, the grounds on which a diplomat can be declared persona non grata are limited

    No, actually, they’re not; under the Vienna Conventions, diplomatic staff can be PNG’d for any reason or no reason, with no requirement for explanation. Indeed it’s often done purely as tit-for-tat, or as a symbolic protest, or whatever.

  8. Meshakhad says

    I have a better idea: send her back to Pakistan, but with a squad of Gurkha bodyguards. The Taliban will never come near her.

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