Days after a Pakistani schoolgirl -- who was shot in the head on her way home from school -- took the stage at the United Nations to plead for children’s rights, a letter she received from a senior Taliban commander that informed her why she was targeted was released.
The letter to 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai was attributed to Adnan Rashid. Yousafzai was at the UN advocating for the right to go to school on behalf of all children.
Yousafzai was attacked by gunmen who jumped on her school bus when she was 15, an incident that sparked protests in Pakistan and was condemned by nations around the world.
A portion of the letter is below:
I am writing to you in my personal capacity this may not be the opinion or policy of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or other jihadi faction or group.
Taliban attacked you, was it islamically correct or wrong, or you were deserved to be killed or not, I will not go in this argument now, let’s we leave it to Allah All mighty, He is the best judge. Here I want to advise you as I am already late, I wish I would have advised u in my prison time and this accident would never happened. First of all please mind that Taliban never attacked you because of going to school or you were education lover, also please mind that Taliban or Mujahideen are not against the education of any men or women or girl. Taliban believe that you were intentionally writing against them and running a smearing campaign to malign their efforts to establish Islamic system in swat and your writings were provocative.
You have said in your speech yesterday that pen is mightier than sword, so they attacked you for your sword not for your books or school. There were thousands of girls who were going to school and college before and after the Taliban insurgency in swat, would you explain why were only you on their hit list???
Now to explain you the second point, why Taliban are blowing up schools? The answer to this questions in that not only Taliban in KPK or FATA are blowing up the schools but Pakistan Army and Frontier Constabulary is equally involved in this issue. The reason for this action is common between them that is turning of schools into hide outs and transit camps once it comes under control of either party Pakistan Army or Taliban.
The Taliban broke Rashid out of prison last year, CNN reported. He was serving a life sentence after being convicted in the attempted murder of former President Pervez Musharraf. He ended the letter by urging Yousafzai to return to Pakistan and "use your pen for Islam and the plight of the Muslim community."
A video about the story is below: