ISLAMABAD: Malala Yousufzai was recently bestowed honorary Canadian citizenship. President Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government recognised Malala as a force to be reckoned with and made her the sixth and the youngest person to receive the honorary Canadian citizenship. However, we Pakistanis, year after year, criticise Malala and her efforts by scribbling her story as a conspiracy to satisfy our fragile egos.
On the one hand, we have Malala who even at the event in Ottawa, while accepting her honorary Canadian citizenship, proclaimed herself to be a “proud citizen of Pakistani”, while on the other we have the locals of her country always bashing her, so much so that we underscored her Nobel Peace Prize by calling out the organisers for not awarding philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi’s efforts, instead.
It’s surprising how we are quick to claim anyone remotely Pakistani, like the brave Saffiya Khan whose picture of resistance at the far-right group English Defence League protest became viral, but always without fail often call the 19-year-old Nobel laureate anti-national and a US agent. It’s time we started recognising Malala as our symbol of resistance and took pride in her glory and achievements.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2017.