‘Project Malala’: The CIA’s Socio-Psychological Intelligence Operation | Veterans Today
Unbeknownst to young Malala, she was picked up, groomed and her sincere intentions exploited by the world’s most notorious intelligence agency.
by Zaki Khalid
As I write this column, local media here in Pakistan is broadcasting prayer and vigil gatherings from across the country over the brutal terrorist attack which severely injured young Malala Yusufzai and her classfellows inside their school bus. And why shouldn’t these be done? Seeing my fellow countrymen’s sense of unified care and humanity has reminded me not all people here have hearts that have gone rigid (Thank God for that!)
Who is Malala Yusufzai? Like many other motivated whiz kids from Pakistan determined to prove their talents and exercise them further for society’s collective prosperity, young Malala from the once besieged mountain city of Swat is a 15-year old student who studies in the ninth class, just a level blow the Class 10 (Matriculation) duration, qualifying after which she will officially be a high school graduate (pre-collegiate studies).
In major regions of Pakistan, especially the under-developed zones, girls who study beyond Class 5 are rare sights. And for those who know the value of education, supporting such girls is a social obligation. Hence, we have seen that over the past decade, there has been a remarkable increase in the female literacy rate across Pakistan now that the modern era of Information Technology has cast many a charm on aspiring students who wish to be something, make their parents proud and be well educated, disciplined citizens of the state.
Since long, children with extraordinary talent have been granted special endowments and support by various governmental organizations and NGOs alike. This is part of the politico-socio-academic framework here in Pakistan so that bright role models for other students could be propped up. My foreign friends might remember the name of the late Arfa Karim Randhawa, once the Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional; another such achiever who was given much encouragement by Bill Gates himself. Arfa passed away earlier this year.
Malala was fortunate enough to have a father inclined towards necessary education for girls. Her father Ziauddin Yusufzai runs a network of schools in the KPK province. Young Malala was a fine student indeed and regularly held top positions in her school. In early 2009, a BBC reporter Abdul Hai Kakkar approached Ziauddin Yusufzai asking him if he knew of any bold school going girl willing to share her experiences of the threats to female education under the TTP. Basharat Peer of The New Yorker notes (sharing selected extracts here):
“She was just the girl who wanted to go to school,” Mirza Waheed, the former editor of the Urdu Web site of BBC World Service, told me. One foggy winter afternoon in early 2009, when Mirza was working out of the BBC World Service’s Bush House offices in London, he got a proposal from one of his reporters in Pakistan, who was covering the takeover of Swat Valley by the Taliban militants led by Maulana Fazlullah, or “FM Mullah.”
“We unanimously decided to publish the diary, but her safety was of utmost concern to us and we decided to use a pseudonym,” Mirza said. “The Diary of a Pakistani School Girl,” written by Malala Yousafzai, was published under the byline Gul Makki.
The Taliban had blown up more than a hundred girls’ schools. A video feature by the Times, published in 2009, describing the life of Malala’s family, shows her in her school, a girl with a fair, round face, hazel eyes, carrying a satchel with a Harry Potter picture on it.
She would be featured in two Times videos, which brought her considerable attention, but Malala became a celebrity……………..