KP religious leader arrested for threatening Malala over her views on marriage

Published June 10, 2021
A religious leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lakki Marwat district has been arrested for allegedly threatening and inciting violence against Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. — AFP/File
A religious leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lakki Marwat district has been arrested for allegedly threatening and inciting violence against Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai. — AFP/File

A religious leader in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Lakki Marwat district has been arrested for allegedly threatening and inciting violence against Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai for her recent comments on marriage, it emerged on Thursday.

In an interview with Vogue, when asked about marriage, Malala had said: “I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?”

Speaking to Dawn.com, Lakki Marwat District Police Office confirmed that the arrest had taken place on Wednesday, adding that the cleric, Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani, was arrested after an FIR was registered against him under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, a video went viral on social media showing Mufti Sardar instigating people at a gathering in Peshawar to take the law into their own hands and attack Malala.

SHO Wasim Sajjad Khan is the complainant in the case.

The religious leader was also armed when the incident took place, the FIR said. "When Malala comes to Pakistan I will be the first to attempt a suicide attack on her," the FIR quoted him as saying, adding that the speech had threatened peace and incited lawlessness.

It added that the the mufti did not file an application in any legal forum and took the law into his hands. After the FIR was registered, a police team raided a house and arrested him.

Recently, Malala's views on marriage also echoed in the KP Assembly, with members of the opposition PPP and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal urging her family to clarify their 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 Vogue had been circulating on the mainstream and social media for some days, he demanded the government 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. “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.

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