PESHAWAR: The controversy over Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai’s views on marriage echoed in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday with members of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal urging her family to clarify position on the issue.
The issue was raised by PPP lawmaker from Upper Dir district Sahibzada Sanaullah on a point of order.
Saying Malala’s interview to the British Vogue magazine is circulating on the mainstream and social media for some days, he demanded of the government to probe whether the education activist really made those marriage remarks or not.
The member insisted that life partnership was not allowed in any religion and if Malala favoured it, then the stand was condemnable.
PPP, MMA members ask family of Nobel laureate to clarify position
“She [Malala] should clarify if she has not made that statement,” said the lawmaker, who had quit the Jamaat-i-Islami to join the PPP.
Inayatullah Khan of the MMA said the marriage remarks attributed to the Nobel laureate had damaged her personality.
He said Malala’s father should clarify if it was a slip of tongue or she was quoted out of context.
“Following Muslim and Pakhtun values is Malala’s identity,” he said, adding that the activist was also criticised by her followers.
However, opposition Awami National Party’s Nisar Khan and ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Ziaullah Bangash defended Malala and her family’s position on the issue.
“Malala is the daughter of Pakhtun nation, who faced terrorists with bravery. I condemn the resolution moved against her in the house,” Mr Nisar said.
Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, who chaired the session, clarified that there was no resolution and instead, the issue was taken up on a point of order.
Mr Nisar requested his colleagues not to turn the matter into a controversy.
Mr Bangash defended Malala and her family and said the interview’s portion, which was being subjected to the controversy, was in fact a mother-daughter dialogue.
He said this conversation was taken out of context to stir a controversy, which caused mental agony to the family.
“Her [Malala’s] comments were twisted and mentioned out of context,” he said.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl MPA Naeema Kishwar also asked the activist’s family to clarify position on the matter and disown the statement attributed to her by the magazine.
During question hour, law minister Fazal Shakoor Khan said on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Governor’s House in Peshawar would be either converted into university, library or museum.
He said a three-member subcommittee had been set up to work out feasibility for the purpose.
The committee comprises Umar Khan Afridi, Naeem Safi and Dr Faisal Khan.
The lawmakers began debate on the proposals for the upcoming budget to be unveiled on June 18.
Initiating debate on the subject, Leader of the Opposition Akram Khan Durrani urged the government to complete all ongoing schemes instead of launching new ones.
He criticised the government for allocating meagre funds for education sector in the previous budget, which plunged universities into financial crises.
The opposition leader said the Islamia College University, a historical educational institution, faced a serious financial crisis prompting teachers to start protest.
He said the health sector was also in dire straits and the launching of Medical Teaching Institute had crippled health delivery system across the province.
“The government’s flagship Sihat Sahulat Card programme is not entertained in the public sector hospitals due to the unavailability of specialist doctors and latest machines. The cardholders get treatment from private hospitals,” he said.
Mr Durrani said the KP government was committing a criminal negligence by not securing the financial rights of the province.
He said the provincial government had failed to ask the federal government for the payment of oil and gas royalty.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2021