Published On: Fri, Jul 26th, 2013

Cartoon superhero to battle for girls’ education in Pakistan


A new cartoon superhero disguised in a flowing black burqa is set to debut on Pakistani television next month in an animated series which follows her battle for girls’ education in Pakistan.

The Urdu-language show charts the adventures of Burka Avenger, a mild-mannered teacher who uses her superpowers to fight local gangsters trying to close down the girls’ school where she works.

While set in the fictional town of Halwapur, the world of Burka Avenger will resonate in Pakistan where Taliban militants have prevented thousands of girls from going to school in the country’s northwest and attacked activists campaigning for girls’ education.

In what’s billed as an action-comedy Burka Avenger, helped along by three schoolchildren, uses pens and books as projectile weapons to ward off the evil Baba Bandook and his henchmen.

Aaron Haroon Rashid, one of Pakistan’s biggest pop stars, conceived the series as a medium through which to emphasise the importance of girls’ education.

Throughout Pakistan, nearly half of all children and nearly three quarters of young girls are not enrolled in primary school, according to UN and government statistics published late last year.

Last October a Taliban gunman shot teenager Malala Yousafzai in the head for campaigning for the right of girls to go to school in her home town in Swat Valley, northwest Pakistan.

Yousafzai survived the attack and earlier this month delivered a powerful speech at the UN in New York in which she vowed not to be silenced by terrorists.

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  1. Geminis says:

    Dave M Two points from your rencet show on the law of war in U.S. history:1. Although frequently misused, the term rules of engagement refers to a commander’s orders specifying when armed force may or may not be used. Although rules of engagement must comply with the laws of war, they are not themselves statements of the law. Rules of engagement usually incorporate strategic, operation, or tactical considerations in addition to the legal restrictions on when, where, and against whom deadly force may be used. For example, the famous line don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes incorporates many considerations ammunition conservation, optimal use of firepower, etc. that would be found in modern rules of engagement.2. During your show, a caller asked about the legality of the raid to kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. The discussion following that question compared the raid to U.S. interventions in various Latin American countries in the 20th century. I think that comparison was a less than accurate discussion of the current legal issues surrounding intervention. There is a growing body of law suggesting that states have the right, or even the obligation, to militarily intervene when a state harbors known terrorists and refuses or cannot prevent those individuals from committing further crimes. U.N. intervention in Yugoslavia and Somalia, as well as various actions against international terrorists demonstrate that state sovereignty is no longer a barrier to intervention. No doubt, this is a controversial issue and I don’t mean to suggest otherwise. Some have argued that this is appropriate in failed states only, while others have argued that in the case of operations against terrorists no state should be allowed to harbor terrorists. The so-called right to intervene is and will remain a contentious issue intermingled with discussions about sovereignty, power, and politics. But it invokes different issues than the imperialist interventions of the 19th and 20th century.Thank you for a great show and I look forward to the next one.

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