Pak cleric threatens Nobel Laureate Malala, arrested

Accused of instigating people to attack 23-year-old Yousafzai for her recent comments on marriage

Pak cleric threatens Nobel Laureate Malala, arrested

Malala Yousafzai. Reuters file

Peshawar, June 10

A Muslim cleric in northwest Pakistan has been arrested under the anti-terrorism act for threatening Malala Yousafzai and instigating people to attack the Nobel Laureate for her recent comments on marriage, police said.

Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani, a cleric in Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was arrested on Wednesday after the police raided his house, Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday, quoting Lakki Marwat District Police Office.

An FIR under the Anti-Terrorism Act was registered against him on the complaint of SHO Wasim Sajjad, it said.

According to the FIR, 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. He was armed when the incident took place, the report said.

“When Malala comes to Pakistan, I will be the first to attempt a suicide attack on her,” the FIR quoted him as saying.  The complaint further said the speech had threatened peace and incited lawlessness, according to the news report.

In an interview to the Vogue magazine in its latest edition, 23-year-old Yousafzai, an Oxford graduate and a Pakistani activist for girls education who miraculously survived a bullet to the head from the militant Taliban in October 2012, revealed that she is not sure if she will ever marry.

“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?” she told the magazine.

Yousafzai’s interview with Vogue has been circulating on the mainstream and social media.

Recently, her views on marriage also echoed in the provincial assembly with Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Sahibzada Sanaullah demanding the government to probe whether she really made those remarks on marriage remarks as life partnership was not allowed in any religion and if she favoured it, then the stand was condemnable.

The PPP and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, an alliance of religious-political parties, also urged her family to clarify their position on the issue, the report said.

In February, a Pakistani Taliban militant, who had allegedly shot Yousafzai, had threatened her, saying that next time, “there would be no mistake.” PTI

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