So how are the Pakistani Taliban responding to so much public condemnation? By declaring war on individual journalists and the media
, of course. “For days and days, coverage of the Malala case has shown clearly that the Pakistani and international media are biased,” says a Pakistani Taliban commander in South Waziristan. “The Taliban cannot tolerate biased media.” The commander, who calls himself Jihad Yar, argues that death threats against the press are justified: he says “99 percent” of the reporters on the story are only using the shooting as an excuse to attack the Taliban.
Jihad Yar does not apologize for the attempt to assassinate the girl, who was passionately opposed to the militants’ efforts to close girls’ schools. “We have no regrets about what happened to Malala,” he says. “She was going to become a symbol of Western ideas, and the decision to eliminate her was correct.” There’s proof, he says: video footage of her meeting America’s ambassador to Pakistan. “If she was not important for the West’s agenda, why would a U.S. ambassador meet her?” In the next breath, the commander insists that “Malala’s case is not important. The Taliban will not spare journalists who focus on this one girl and never talk about dozens of girls who have been killed by U.S. drones in tribal areas and Afghanistan.”