Malala Yousafzai’s book launch stopped in Pakistan

Islamabad, Jan 28 (IANS) A ceremony to launch Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography, ‘I am Malala’, at a university in Peshawar was stopped after the provincial government said it could not provide security for the event.

Sources at the University of Peshawar, where the launch was scheduled, told Geo News Tuesday that the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province excused itself from providing security during the event.
Malala survived a Taliban assassination attempt in Swat district of Pakistan in 2012 and has become a global figure for the struggle of all children to study in school.

The ceremony was organised by the Bacha Khan Foundation and was scheduled to take place at the Area Study Centre of the university. It was stopped by provincial ministers Inayatullah Khan and Shah Farman.

However, Provincial Information Minister Shah Farman said the book launch ceremony had not been stopped, rather there were reservations regarding the launch taking place at the university.
“Any irrelevant activity will not be allowed to take place in educational institutions,” Farman said.
The book describes Malala’s life under Taliban rule in Swat valley in the mid-2000s.
The book was received positively across the world but reaction to it inside Pakistan was not good.
The government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party of former cricketer Imran Khan.

Imran Khan took to Twitter and said he was at a loss to understand why Malala’s book launch was stopped in Peshawar.
“PTI believes in freedom of speech and debate, not censorship of ideas,” Khan tweeted.

Meanwhile the provincial home department said there were no restrictions on Malala’s book and the Area Study Centre and University of Peshawar were independent institutions.
The provincial government believed in freedom of expression, it said.