#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN:Dec.17 – Once, if you wanted to speak with the man known as “Mullah Radio,” you had to travel to the remote, mountainous lands of north-west Pakistan.

' 'Radio Mullah' -- The Pakistani Taliban's New Leader '

‘ ‘Radio Mullah’ — The Pakistani Taliban’s New Leader ‘

There, between radio segments, the man who now leads an insurgency that just killed scores of schoolchildren, would perhaps drop by on his white horse.

That’s what happened when journalist Nicholas Schmidle arrived at the mullah’s compound in 2007.

In 2007, FRONTLINE/World correspondent David Montero traveled to Pakistan’s Swat valley, becoming the first Western correspondent to interview the publicity-shy cleric. At the time, Fazlullah had not yet begun his violent uprising, but he told Montero he hoped to wipe out the darkness of Western ideas and influence. 

At the time, the mullah named Maulana Fazlullah was riding high. 

Tens of thousands of people in the Swat Valley were tuning in to his illegal FM radio station, from which he excoriated the evils of female education and urged jihad.

His influence was growing at such a rapid clip village women donated earrings and bangle bracelets to the cause. A cult figure was born. “He is totally out of control,” one local leader told Schmidle, who found Fazlullah particularly dangerous. “His ambitions exceeded the mere creation of an Islamic emirate in Swat,” Schmidle wrote in the New York Times

By Fazlullah’s twisted logic, the attacks made sense. The killings were a response to a recent military crackdown on Taliban activities following years of ambivalent policies toward homegrown Islamic militants. They reasserted the Taliban’s presence and power to cause mayhem. But the killings also reflected Fazlullah’s desire to obliterate women’s chances to secure an education.

Since 2009, Buzzfeed noted, militants have targeted more than 1,000 schools — a time frame that closely traces the rise of Fazlullah.

This isn’t Fazlullah’s first assault on education. In 2012, he claimed responsibility for an assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai, who wrote a widely read anonymous blog describing the horrors of life under the Taliban and was this year’s Nobel Prize Peace winner.

She even wrote an article called ‘ In the Eyes of Malala ‘ about Fazllullah and how she once was one of his biggest fans over reform. So Fazlullah allegedly dispatched a gunman who shot her in the head while she was travelling in a school van.

Then on Tuesday Nov.16 2014 this charismatic man ordered deaths of innocent children. 


#children, #killed, #mullah-radio