'I nearly lost my life…': Malala Yousafzai slams Imran Khan's ‘Pashtun culture’ remarks

Published on Dec 21, 2021 10:53 AM IST

Imran Khan's remarks sparked a response from former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghans on social media. Afghanistan's former ambassadress to Norway Shukria Barakzai also said that the comments show his lack of knowledge of Afghanistan's history.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan's remarks at Organization of Islamic Countries irked Malala Yousafzai.(Reuters File Photo)
Pakistan PM Imran Khan's remarks at Organization of Islamic Countries irked Malala Yousafzai.(Reuters File Photo)
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Nobel laureate and women’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai has reacted strongly to recent statements made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about women’s education in Afghanistan. He mentioned about the “Pashtun culture” saying the ethnic group keeps women away from education as part of its culture.

“I nearly lost my life fighting against Taliban’s ban on girls’ education. Thousands of Pashtoon activists and notables lost their lives when they raised their voices against Taliban’s horrors and millions became refugees. We represent Pashtoons - not the Taliban,” Yousafzai said on Twitter.

Speaking at the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) summit in Islamabad on Sunday, Imran Khan said that the Taliban – which now rules Afghanistan - was a predominant Pashtun movement. He also said that terror group Islamic State attacks Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Khan's remarks sparked a response from former Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Afghans on social media.

Karzai called Pakistan Prime Minister's remarks "an attempt to sow discord among Afghans, and an insult to the Afghan people." He also asked Imran Khan to stop interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs.

Afghanistan's former ambassadress to Norway Shukria Barakzai also said that the comments show his lack of knowledge of Afghanistan's history.

A large number of social media activists posted photos and video clips of ancient Afghanistan where women would go to universities and schools and they were part of the cabinets in different governments.

Some said that Kabul University has been founded in 1932 before the birth of Pakistan in 1947.

Leader of Pashtoon Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Manzoor Pashteen in a Twitter post also condemned and said that Imran Khan's comments are false and negative.

Pashteen said that Pashtoons never denied education to girls nor denied their rights. "Stop this colonialism," he wrote, reported Khaama Press.

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