I Am Malala Questions and Answers
by Malala Yousafzai

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How was Hidayatullah an influential person in Ziauddin's life?

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Hidayatullah was the man who helped salvage Ziauddin's dream of starting a school. When Ziauddin's former partner, Naeem, left their partnership, Hidayatullah put up enough capital to help with expenses for the new Khushal School. As a friend, Hidayatullah always encouraged Ziauddin to speak up about injustices. He also looked out for Ziauddin's safety. When Hidayatullah became a government official in Peshawar, he warned Ziauddin to be wary of the Taliban. When the Taliban threatened Ziauddin for operating a girls' school, it was Hidayatullah who encouraged Ziauddin to stand up to the militants. It was also Hidayatullah who warned Ziauddin that the Taliban's power lay not in its organized militancy but in its seductive ideology.

Hidayatullah maintained that the Taliban was anyone who had been infected with the poisonous mentality of extremism. Such a person invariably rejected Western law or values for arbitrary reasons. It was Hidayatullah who convinced Ziauddin that he was well equipped to speak out against such extremism. After Zahid Khan, a fellow jirga member, was shot, Hidayatullah warned Ziauddin that his life was in danger. At every stage, Hidayatullah was Ziauddin's mentor and friend. He was the man who inspired Ziauddin to works of courage, and he always provided level-headed advice to Ziauddin during times of emotional upheaval. When Ziauddin mourned that Malala's left eye would never be the same again, it was Hidayatullah who reminded him that the condition of Malala's eye was proof of the beauty of her sacrifice.

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