Fear of Taliban attacks prevents launch of Malala’s book in KP

April 22, 2014 - 12:37:30 am

PESHAWAR: The Taliban militants’ fear continues to hinder the launch of girls education campaigner Malala Yousafzai’s book in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The government had stopped the launch of I am Malala in Peshawar two-and-a-half months ago in the wake of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s threat of attacks against bookshops selling the book.

“We’d reached the relevant people in Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for permission to launch the book, but to no avail. PTI chairman Imran Khan had tweeted he was at a loss to understand why the book’s launch had been stopped in Peshawar.

However, the PTI government in the province isn’t ready to allow us to launch the book, Khadim Hussain, director at the Bacha Khan Education Foundation, said on Tuesday. The Malala’s book was slated to be launched at the Area Study Centre of the University of Peshawar in January but stopped.

“We have been in contact with University of Peshawar, Abdul Wali Khan University and private universities to hold the launching ceremony on their premises. However, their response is painfully slow,” he said.

“We need to arrange the launch and benefit from Malala’s worldwide recognition as an education and human rights campaigner. The people are getting Malala scholarships, so why our girls and boys should not get their right,” he said. Malala shot by the Taliban in her hometown, Swat, in October 2012 had challenged militants and therefore, became a symbol of courage for young generation.

Hussain said Malala needed respect and acknowledgement at home but the provincial government was opposed to her book’s launch fearing the Taliban’s attacks.

“We are asking the government and universities to allow us to launch the book on their campuses,” he said. Sources at University of Peshawar say the government is not allowing the event to take place. The Area Study Centre of the university was slated to host the event. Since then, the organisers’ efforts to hold the event on campus have failed.