Malala is an international figure in her own right, whereas 12-year-old Mehzar is on a ventilator in a Karachi hospital fighting for her life in near-obscurity, away from the media’s glare, after she was shot and gravely wounded by unidentified gunmen in an attack which killed her father.
Let me share an email with you. It is reproduced with slight changes as the sender appeared uncomfortable being identified. Under the circumstances who would blame anybody choosing anonymity to protect themselves?
“I write to you as Shia killings warrant attention. Today (Friday, Nov 30) a 7th Grade student, 12-year-old Syeda Mehzar Zehra was shot by the Taliban/SSP on (Karachi’s) busy Shaheed-i-Millat Road as she was on her way to school.
“She was a classmate of my child at Al Murtaza school. Her father, driving her to school, was shot dead, while the child is in a critical state. Some reports indicate that at least 10 people have been killed today for being ‘Shia …’.
“I write because my own child is subdued, sad and in a state of shock since the morning. We are trying to do our best to help our child cope; other classmates would of course be in the same state of panic and grief.
“Much as the Malala incident was regrettable, Mehzar was also doing the same — going to seek an education. Where are the media and the so-called civil society and human rights activists? I write in the hope you might be moved to take notice, Sir.
Please write about this before the bloodshed in Karachi crosses the threshold of our homes.”