Second girl gets Taliban warning


A young activist from the same area of Pakistan as Malala Yousafzai, the girl shot in the head by a Taliban gunman this month, has been warned in a threatening phone call that she will be next.

Hinna Khan, a 17-year-old from Swat, was named during a call made to her mother’s mobile phone two days after Malala – who spoke out against the Taliban – was attacked as she sat in a van with her classmates, in the town of Mingora.

Hinna’s father, Reyatullah Khan, said: “The Taliban have kidnapped me and tortured me in the past for promoting women’s development, but now they are threatening the entire family.”

Mr Khan has long publicly opposed the Taliban and in 2008 he gathered a “jirga” (assembly) of locals to denounce the extremists for forcing schools to close down in Swat. He and his wife have worked to promote development programmes that support women.

Although he has received threats, he is now taking them far more seriously in the wake of the attack on Malala. – (Guardian service)