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28 Nov, 2013

Asia Times Online: The drone victim and ‘Malala’

Meet Nabeela Rehman, a nine-year-old girl from Pakistan’s restive Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). Nabeela is not an international youth icon like her compatriot, Malala Yusufzai, though her story is no less traumatic.

In the first week of November, Nabeela quietly traveled all the way to Washington from Waziristan to ask the United States Congress to ask a simple question: Why is her grandmother not with her today?

On October 24, 2012, Nabeela was playing outside her home in Ghundi Kala, North Waziristan, when missiles hit her family’s fields. The drone strike killed Nabeela’s 60-year-old grandmother, Mamana Bibi, the village’s only midwife.

“Everything went dark. I heard a scream. It could have been my grandma. I could not see. I was very scared and tried to run but could not. I felt something in my hand. It was blood. I was very scared,” Nabeela told the lawmakers.

Despite overcoming incredible obstacles in order to travel from their remote village to the United States, Nabeela and her family were roundly ignored.

At the Congressional hearing where they gave testimony, only five out of 435 representatives showed up. There was no one to answer her questions, and few who cared to even listen. President Obama, who met Malala at his Oval office, busy meeting with the CEO of weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

Nabeela and Malala are equally innocent victims of the war on terror, yet the bias against Nabeela underlines the Western approach in picking and framing the victims of their choice.

via Asia Times Online: The drone victim and ‘Malala’.