Full Text of Malala’s Speech at UN

In the name of God, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful.


Honourable UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon,

Respected President General Assembly Vuk Jeremic

Honourable UN envoy for Global education Mr Gordon Brown,

Respected elders and my dear brothers and sisters;

Today, it is an honour for me to be speaking again after a long time. Being here with such honourable people is a great moment in my life.

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Freedom of Expression

Freedom

Freedom of expression, in my humble opinion, is extremely important for individual and national liberty. No other right is as important as the right to think what you please and then express what you’ve thought, albeit keeping the discourse civil.

Being able to debate on ideas and information is important for a community as well. First of all, a community is made up of a group of people or individuals, so what matters to them matters to the community. Also, the only way to get new ideas and improvements on the status quo is to be able to question the status quo, no matter how offensive others might find it. Even hate speech has a place: when we hear it, we can fight against it and make our own arguments stronger.

As of late we see that in our country, there is little to no room given for debates or discussions and people fear for their lives if a collective “mob” thinks that the particular person has not agreed with its point of view. We have the examples of Javed Ghamidi a liberal Muslim scholar, Sherry Rehman, a female PPP leader voicing concern over blasphemy law, Kamran Shafi, a liberal writer critical of the army, all have been at ne point been threatened for their lives. Not just these people but there are many more people who get death threats and are afraid for their safety simply because they do not agree with the popular ideas or “norms” of the society.

We have to realize that Pakistan is already in a state of crisis, fighting terrorism and extremism. At this critical point in time, imposition of views and opinions on others without proper discussions or debates is one more hurdle towards the progress and prosperity of our country.

I think that US and the international can definitely lend a helping hand in this matter by not just focusing on providing military aid to Pakistan in order to fight the militant insurgents, but by helping Pakistan provide counter narrative to this radicalized ideology we see brewing around us. More influx of money in the social sector (health, education, construction of roads, highways, transportation etc) will also help in the reformation of system in place.

The government can take new and dynamic approaches for creating economic opportunities for the people and make efforts to reform madrassa education so “shaoor” or conscience can be allowed to develop.

Why are we as a society not tolerant of other? Is it because of the homogeneity that is being created in the name of our religion? Why do people have to fear for their lives if they want to express their opinions? And why are they labeled heretics or wajib-ul-qatal if they sway from the cultural norms being portrayed as religious absolutes? These are some of the questions that need answering.

Zardari scores a sixer in New York

Pakistan shined in the international spotlight today. While our boys were scoring boundaries at Pallekele, President Zardari was hitting sixes at the UN General Assembly in New York City. His speech, delivered early this morning, presented an image of Pakistan as a global leader – one that seeks to bridge the cultural and political divides that agents provocateurs are actively trying to widen. Most importantly, he represented Pakistan on the world stage by directly answering misleading information and offering an authentic message from the Pakistani people.

President Zardari began his speech by getting straight to the heart of recent events and expressing the strongest condemnation of acts of incitement of hate against the faith of billions of Muslims of the world and our beloved prophet, Mohammad (PBUH).

Actually, President Zardari had already conveyed Pakistan’s concerns over the anti-Islam film that sparked protests around the world. But it was before the gathering of world leaders that the president made a difference. After registering Pakistan’s official protest and condemnation of the offensive act, President Zardari did not take a confrontational tone, but a tone of reconciliation.

Pakistan moves the United Nations to immediately address this alarming concern and bridge the widening rift to enable the comity of nations to be one again.

In this statement, President Zardari exemplified the mercy and forgiveness inherent to Islam. He did not condone the offensive act, and neither did he shrink from addressing it directly. But once the issue was addressed, he pointed to a path that could bring the world’s nations back together, defeating the wicked intentions of the filmmaker and the cynical opportunists who sought to profit from it.

While the offensive film has dominated headlines, it is hardly the only issue to be addressed. President Zardari addressed the plight of the Palestinians, the right of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to choose their own destiny. He spoke out about drone strikes and the sacrifices that Pakistan has made in the epic struggle against terrorism.

While doing so, President Zardari gave a full and unapologetic defence of Pakistan, decaring to the gathered world leaders, “I am not here to answer questions about Pakistan.”

The people of Pakistan have already answered them.

The politicians of Pakistan have answered them.

The soldiers of Pakistan have answered them.

We have lost over seven thousand Pakistani soldiers and policemen, and over 37,000 civilians.

We have lost our Minister for Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti and my friend Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of our most populous province of Punjab, to the mindset of extremism.

And I need not remind my friends here today, that I bear a personal scar.

On December 27, 2007 knowing her life was under threat from the mindset she had warned the world against, Pakistan’s first elected woman leader and my wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred through the bullets and bombs of terrorists.

Terrorism and extremism have destroyed human lives, torn social fabric, and devastated the economy.

Our economy, our lives, our ability to live in the shadow of our Sufi saints and our freedom-loving forefathers have been challenged.

We have responded.

Our soldiers have responded.

So I am not here to answer questions about Pakistan.

The room was stunned by such a powerful address, and many could not help but be reminded of the famous speech delivered by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 when President Zardari spoke these words:

To those who say we have not done enough, I say in all humility:

Please do not insult the memory of our dead, and the pain of our living.

Do not ask of my people, what no one has ever asked of any other peoples.

Do not demonize the innocent women, and children of Pakistan.

And please, stop this refrain to do more.

But here was the most amazing part of his speech. As the room filled with the most powerful men and women in the world was finally awoken from their slumber, President Zardari did not take the familiar path of defiance and isolation. He did not repeat George Bush’s mistake of isolating and alienating the nation by blaming and villanising others. Instead, once again, he showed the world that cooperation, connectivity, and mutual respect could find win-win solutions that ‘make us stakeholders in each other’s futures’.

In Pakistan, the lesson we learned, from the last thirty years, is that history cannot be changed.

But the future can — a future that is brighter, more prosperous and more secure, not only for Pakistanis, but for all people of the region, and indeed the world.

Standing before the entire United Nations, President Zardari was the leader showing the world the way to peace.

Complete text of address by Bilawal

Bilawal-seeks-sc-apology-for-zab-judicial-murder

Following is the complete text of the speech of Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari delivered during the Central Executive Committee meeting of the PPP on the eve of 33rd death anniversary of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on Tuesday.

Text beings:

Bismillah-ir-rahman Rahim

When we mourn Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, we mourn, more than just a great man, the first popularly elected Prime Minister and first ever Sindhi President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.

We mourn the murder of democracy.

We mourn the murder of justice.

We mourn for our country.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan sentenced Shaheed Bhutto to death by hanging for a crime he did not commit. This judicial murder was not the first nor the last flawed decision our courts have made.

Unfortunately our courts have often stood on the wrong side of history. From the Doctrine of Necessity, to the judicial murder of Shaheed Bhutto and the continued legitimization of violations of our constitution our court shave not performed the role required of them by the constitution of Pakistan.

In 2007, in the final months of the Dictatorship of the day, our courts gave us hope. The brave stance adopted by our judges and the support of the lawyers movement gave us hope that Pakistan would have a truly independent and impartial judiciary.

The restoration of these judges by our Prime Minister was a truly historic milestone for our country.

Now it is up to the courts to redeem their institutions sullied reputation in the eyes of history. Was their brave stance evidence of the beginning of a new era in Pakistan where the judges of our courts will be remembered for dispensing justice, supporting democracy and refusing to do the bidding of our establishment? Or was their stance in 2007 just the exception that proves the rule, were our hopes raised for naught? Must we learn the hard way that once a PCO judge always a PCO judge?

Time will tell. I am confident that the PPP will finally get the justice we deserve in the eyes of history. I am confident the Supreme Court will deliver us this justice. I am confident the Supreme Court will not stand in the way. The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto reference case is a golden opportunity for the Supreme Court. I expect the Supreme Court to finally provide us justice. Justice in the eyes of history – the court must set the record straight. Justice in the eyes of the law – the unholy judgment and the precedent set by it must be revoked. Justice in the eyes of the People, the PPP and Shaheed Bhutto’s family – we expect the Supreme Court to apologise for the role it played in the judicial murder of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

The Supreme Court once told us Shaheed Bhutto was guilty. The court of history is on our side and has proved his innocence.

There have been some positive developments in the decisions taken by the court to right the wrongs of the past. These developments give me the confidence to believe that the Bhuttos of Larkana will also get the justice they deserve.

The Sharifs of Lahore have had their trumped up charges squashed by the courts. I do not believe there will be double standards. I do not believe that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Larkana is hanged but he does not get justice from these courts while the Sharifs of Lahore are vindicated.

Similarly the Asgar Khan case has finally been taken up by the Supreme Court. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto fought for more than a decade for this case to be heard. It is a positive development that following Imran Khan of Lahore’s demand the case has finally been heard. I have no doubt the forces that conspired against the PPP and Shaheed BB shall finally be exposed.

Despite these positive developments there are also some worrying signs. More than 50% of terrorists presented before our courts have been freed. I am told there is a lack of evidence and the fault lies with the prosecution.

The rapists of our sister Mukhtara Mai have been freed by the courts. Presumably for the same reasons. How can there be enough evidence to hang SZAB but not enough evidence to keep terrorists and rapists in prison. How can there be enough evidence to keep Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani in prison for so long without a conviction but rapists and terrorists are set free. How can there be enough evidence to attempt to try the grave of Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto but rapists and terrorists are set free? I urge the courts to proceed with caution. I urge the courts to revisit their flawed decision in the Mukhtara Mai case. I urge the court to help keep our country safe by convicting terrorists for the atrocities they have committed. I urge the court to remember how they got where they are today. On May 12, 2007, 40 members of my party lost their lives supporting this Chief Justice and the cause of an independent judiciary. Is this what they deserve? When will we get justice?

The courts are dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past. They should resist the temptation to obey the dictation of the establishment.
We cannot allow the court to dig up my mothers grave and put her martyred corpse on trial.

Mr. Prime Minister you will not violate Vienna convention, you will not violate the Constitution of Pakistan, you will not desecrate the graves of our martyrs. You may lose your office. You may lose your government but you must do what is right. There is not only the Supreme Court, there is also the court of the people and the court of history.

The Supreme Court told us Shaheed Bhutto was guilty. They hanged Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Larkana, but the court of the people and the court of history was on our side and we have been vindicated. Just as Shaheed Bhutto was vindicated, you too shall be vindicated.

They can threaten to send Yousuf Raza Gillani of Multan to prison but he is a follower of Bhutto Shaheed. We do not fear prison cells. We do not fear death cells. As Shaheed Bhutto said. We would rather die at the hands of a dictator than at the hands of history.

Let us pray that cooler heads prevail. Let us pray that our Supreme Court will once again choose to stand on the right side of history. Let us pray that there will not be double standards. That Shaheed Bhutto of Sindh was hanged but another Prime Minister from Punjab is freed. That Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto fought in every court in this country and around the world to maintain her innocence. While a former Prime Minister from Punjab, a self confessing, convicted accused is vindicated, while Shaheed BB is put on trial from her grave.

That a Prime Minister who ransacked the Supreme Court is given better treatment over our Serikie speaking prime minister who obeys the constitution and presents himself before the court is stripped of his constitutional rights.

I have faith in the Pakistan Peoples Party. I have faith in democracy. I have faith in Pakistan. I have faith in you Mr. Prime Minister. You will make Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto proud. We will get justice. If not now. If not by this court. We will be vindicated in the courts of history.

The people have spoken. We are all agreed.

“Hum Benazir Bhutto Shaheed ki Qabar ka trial nahi honay den gay” “Ya Allah, Ya Rasoolh, Benazir Bayqossor.”