Imran unhappy over K-P govt stopping Malala's book launch

Published: January 28, 2014
Malala Yousafzai's book "I am Malala". PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Malala Yousafzai's book "I am Malala". PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Chairperson Imran Khan said in a Twitter update that he did not understand why the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government had stopped the launch of  Malala Yousafzai’s book I am Malala on Tuesday.

The book was scheduled to launch today at Peshawar University, however, the K-P government stopped the launch.

“We were forced to cancel it. We were pressurised by provincial ministers and university vice chancellor,” Sarfaraz Khan, the Area Study Centre director, told AFP.

“When I refused to follow this illegal order (to cancel the event) police refused to provide security.”

Khan said he received numerous phone calls from two provincial ministers, followed by the university vice-chancellor, registrar and senior police officers.

Minister for Information Shah Farman told Express News that the government banned the book launch in the university as it was not relevant to its curriculum. He added that the K-P government does not object to the book itself, but is opposed to its launch in a university.

Farman stated that allowing educational institutes to launch books which are not relevant to their curriculum would be like “opening pandora’s box”.

“It was just to get more US funding,” Farman said.

Police had also refused to provide security at the book launch which had been organised by the Bacha Khan Education Foundation and an NGO.

In a heated debate between BKEF Managing Director Khadim Hussain and Farman on Express News, Hussain claimed that Farman had called Malala’s book “controversial”. He alleged that the reason given by Farman for stopping the book launch was only an excuse.

Hussain, the head of the Bacha Khan Education trust, a local charity which was supporting the launch ceremony, said the pressure to cancel the event was a sop to militants.

“They stopped us to please Taliban, we will soon announce another date for the book launching,” Hussain told AFP.

The book describes Malala’s life under the Taliban’s brutal rule in the Swat valley in the mid-2000s and hints at her ambition to enter Pakistani politics.

Some private schools banned it from their premises in November due to what they called its “anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam content”.

A senior police official said allowing the ceremony to go ahead would have meant attracting Taliban attacks in future.

“Everyone knows that Taliban are against Malala, so we do not want to open another front for ourselves,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Zahid Khan said that the government put a restriction on the book because it was scared of a violent backlash by militant groups.

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and other politicians criticised the K-P government’s move, and expressed both surprise and concern.

Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari spoke up against the ban as well, calling for a ban of Imran Khan’s book in Sindh.

The book, ‘I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’ has been popular internationally and appears on The New York Times’s best seller list.

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Reader Comments (61)

  • Guest
    Jan 28, 2014 - 1:42PM

    Ban set aside, how many in KP are literate enough to read


  • Silas
    Jan 28, 2014 - 1:49PM

    Kaptaan does not even know how to run a party. His party takes a decision and he is confused? Didn’t they ask him?


  • Kashif
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:15PM

    Please see the linkages of Malala with international arena, then analyze. if they cannot stop drones atlteast stop their endorsed book.


  • waqar
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:19PM

    pti should sack it’s media team….
    book was never banned.


  • pakistani
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:33PM

    more than punjab.


  • Malala
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:38PM

    The book is not even written by Malala. It is an American author who has written the malala story. The book is a big flop and media is busy hiking it.Recommend

  • ahmad
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:38PM

    A very good step since Malala is part of a game of America!!!!


    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:45PM

    Why is this the banner headline? This paper should decide which country it is being published in. Stop promoting US policies in Pakistan and do not forget the Journalism honour code. Be fare and keep your priorities aside. A news item should not become tainted one.


  • Ali S
    Jan 28, 2014 - 2:58PM

    IK is about to get a very rude awakening. I regretfully voted for PTI in May, but the kind of people he has onboard now are cut from the same cloth as the ones he so colorfully insults – and his soft on Taliban stance will isolate him even further from the international community. It’s a no-win situation.


  • MAD
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:10PM

    In all fairness the book launch has been cancelled no ban on the book is in place. Having said that Shah Farman seems to be indulging in matters that perhaps do overstep his authority and common sense. If the reason is security than I can understand but none other. At the same time im sorry to say most people in Pakistan and Pakistanis abroad really dont care too much about Ms. Malala and quite frankly aside from an uproar in a few small circles for the most part this isnt even news for the majority.


  • Leo
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:14PM


    KP has highest literacy rate in the country. Educate yourself first before posting such comments. Perception is NOT reality


  • Fact is Fact
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:20PM

    @ahmad: Do you have any proof ?


  • Aalia
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:35PM

    KP government is de fecto, IK is actually running it. CM has to seek permission of Imran Khan before taking any step. What a helpless government!Recommend

  • Aalia
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:37PM

    How did you guess that he was from Punjab?Recommend

  • ashar
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:39PM

    Shame on IK since the book is nothing but a propaganda against the Religion and our Country. He is advised to better read it first. No sixteen year old can write a book like this. This is actually written by the coward journalist behind her, an enemy of Islam and Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aalia
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:40PM

    Extremist’s literature is readily available throughout the province, then what is bad with this book?Recommend

  • Aysha M
    Jan 28, 2014 - 3:49PM

    Imran Khan, a chrismatic cricketer, passionate philanthropist, but a pathetic politician, time to pack up the show, its beyond you Sir, being ‘at a loss’ is becoming more of a permanent state of mind for youRecommend

  • Farhan Malik
    Jan 28, 2014 - 4:03PM

    @Silas: the IDEA is not to interfere in personal affairs of the ministers .. unlike all other parties.. yes the minister didn’t do the correct thing but the Chief is not justifying the wrong doings of his ministers.. which is commendable.Recommend

  • Samia Tariq
    Jan 28, 2014 - 4:05PM

    We are a slave nation and are meant to remain slaves. So much eager to launch a book which speaks against Muslims, against Pakistanis. Such a shame,Recommend

  • A2Z
    Jan 28, 2014 - 4:17PM

    Express Tribune is talking about freedom of expression but they themselves do not publish the logical and reasonable arguments in the comments section.Recommend

  • ahmed
    Jan 28, 2014 - 4:24PM

    from losing cricket match to bombs to anything if not liked by us than we put it under conspiracy against Pakistan category. Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 28, 2014 - 4:31PM


    It is because of literacy that the KP Government does not favour the launch of the book in the university. If Imran Khan and his likes do not understand the decision of the KPK, this shows the kind of education they received in high schools.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Sara
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:10PM

    Dear politicians, please keep on playing twitter twitter. it shows how idle you are.Recommend

  • CaptainJanjua
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:16PM

    People on this are very stupid. First of all, being a Punjabi officer who has been posted throughout KPK and FATA I can attest to the fact that people in KPK and FATA are by far more egalitarian and pragmatic in their approach when it comes to education and other issues. By comparison people in Karachi, Sindh and Punjab possess a serf mentality and are only too eager to follow what their “pirs” or “saeens” or “leaders” order them too. Also, it may come as a surprise to some of the idiots on here but the book itself was never banned, only the launch was and for good reason, namely one, security. I fail to see why the dumb opportunistic politicians and equally dumb readers of this paper haven’t taken that into account.Recommend

  • Amir Mumtaz Bajwa
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:16PM

    Reminds of the time at UET lahore when they binned all the english literature books etc, assuming I suppose that literature and engineers do not go together.Recommend

  • Taimur
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:17PM

    @Guest “Ban set aside, how many in KP are literate enough to read.” your comment is regrettable. I don’t know how many can read the book, but you certainly need to educate yourself and do something about the ignorance on display in this statement.Recommend

  • Umer
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:20PM

    Imran is playing both sides. Recommend

  • aaaaa
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:32PM

    Imran unhappy? This good cop, bad cop routine is getting stale.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 28, 2014 - 5:34PM

    Please stop this drama. PTI government is following Imran’s ideology but unpredictable leader is letting them down. Recommend

  • LOK
    Jan 28, 2014 - 6:42PM

    IK has led PTI to far right, making alliances with tried-tested-failed JI. Expect more of the same. Purana KPK in purana Pakistan. Recommend

  • Pakhtoons
    Jan 28, 2014 - 6:57PM

    @Guest: Keep your jealousy under control and Get a LifeRecommend

  • Khan
    Jan 28, 2014 - 6:58PM

    @Aalia: ya you are right, he could be an Indian…..Recommend

  • Saz
    Jan 28, 2014 - 7:10PM

    The honourable minister has an objection of book launching in a univercity…..becuase it was not a suitable venue lol welcome to naya Pakistan very much like the old Pakistan but with better looking hair.Recommend

  • Malik
    Jan 28, 2014 - 7:16PM

    @Guest: Probably you don’t even know the literacy rate and standard of education in KPK – believe it or not it is lot better than rest of the country. I would suggest, do some research please. Recommend

  • king
    Jan 28, 2014 - 7:36PM

    well,that was a good step i think,,,,,,,,,,at the end of the day we all hate Malala..,she brought a bad name to us..that’s a drama,,,,,,,so we hate you malaala,,and so do we appreciate the PTI decision,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,bravo PTI,,hats off to you,,Recommend

  • Ali S
    Jan 28, 2014 - 7:58PM


    That’s a good joke. According to Wikipedia, KPK has the second-lowest literacy rate of all provinces at 60% (Baluchistan is 50%, Sindh is 69% and Punjab is 71%). Another PTI troll taken to the cleaners.Recommend

  • observer
    Jan 28, 2014 - 8:13PM

    Ours is a most confused, hypocritical, bigoted nation, we do not know where we come from, where we are, and where we plan to go, we do not have a plan, we are a rudderless boat. That is no surprise, and the reason for where we are is proof of this thinking. What difference does it make to anyone in Pakistan, whether a book is banned or not banned. When human life does not matter, why would banning books matter???. Can anyone answer.Recommend

  • Jan 28, 2014 - 8:13PM

    @king: If Malala brought the bad name to Pakistan then those who engineered shooting on Malala’s head must have brought pride / honor to Pakistan.Recommend

  • Arun Rajagopalan
    Jan 28, 2014 - 8:31PM

    @Ali S: True, KPK has never been on the top tier (literacy per se) but there were few commentators who chest thumped KPK had the ‘highest literacy rate’ in Pakistan. What a joke. Get a national population census done first, pending since the late ’90s (late by two decades).Recommend

  • yasir
    Jan 28, 2014 - 8:54PM

    It is not in the scope of topic to discuss the literacy rates of respective provinces , but friends in kp should at least acknowledge that Punjab has the highest literacy rate in Pakistan now. This position was previously held by sindh and now has relegated to second. Lack of initiatives in kp can be attributed to the prevalent law and order.However, we should join hands to improve the situation. Condemning such initiatives can be considered as a start.Recommend

  • sowhatnow
    Jan 28, 2014 - 9:29PM

    Captain Janjua
    Also, it may come as a surprise to some of the idiots on here but the book itself was never banned, only the launch was and for good reason, namely one, security. I fail to see why the dumb opportunistic politicians and equally dumb readers of this paper haven’t taken that into account.

    Hats off for this sane comment.
    Also, wasn’t he aware of the ban of launch in the book as the chief of the party? Why does he need to make his unawareness obvious on twitter?
    Who wrote this book? Obviously a journalist but his/her name isn’t even mentioned. What’s the point of the launch if the writer is absent?
    This example on twitter shows that politicians from different parties are no different from one another in terms of mindset, all slave mentality and no original thought. Jumping on conclusions without asking questions and spreading them. Except for those who ask “why”? Respect for abidifactor for taking several seconds to ask this question.


  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jan 28, 2014 - 9:39PM

    I would agree with you on this comment. Thank you.


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:04PM


    You have a very good point Sir, now tell the readers as well how many Punjabis have been smuggled into KPK during the past several decades? I do not mean the army personnel who do not speak Pashto language any way and therefore are regarded as foreigners! Thank you.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:33PM

    A big shame for dirty politics of PTI.


  • Rex Minor
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:34PM

    Imran Khan has a major flaw in his judgement when it comes to the female gender. He can neither think nor imagine about the energy which is vested in the person of a woman and when unleashed, is capable of moving the entire Universe. This is what the scrptures say and this is what will decode the secrets imbedded in the scriptures. The dawn of the 21st century is also the hope for the world and appearance of women in dominant positions until now reserved for macho men.
    He should better stick to politics or whatever is his expertise is. Malala can take care of herself and her book as well and over time she will learn about the charlatans, the lobbyists and the powerfull ones who among them are running the world.

    Rex Minor


  • Javeria
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:35PM

    No hope from PTI.
    PTI was loser.
    PTI is loser.
    PTI will remain loser.


  • KK
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:37PM

    Imran Khan is the biggest juggler. He always deceived the nation. He won some national assembly seats with the help of Establishment. Next time he will not win even 10 seats.
    ALLAH bless Pakistan.


  • umar
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:40PM

    PTI is drowning in its own Tsunami. PTI is suffering due to immature politics of imran khan.


  • ASM
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:40PM

    Is it even worth discussing. Not banning the book would bring any peace in the country. There are so many other problems to talk about. whats wrong with us…


  • Iram
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:41PM

    Coward PTI.
    Coward Imran.


  • peshawar
    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:46PM

    PTI is ruining KPK. When will we get rid of this PTI. They are doing nothing but wasting and looting resources. Corruption is at its peak in KPK. PTI has not fulfilled even a single promise in KPK. They raised the slogan of Change in the elections compaign. Where is that change? I am searching for that change. Conditions are even worse in KPK. Now they have become allies of terrorists and Talibans.


    Jan 28, 2014 - 10:47PM

    GO PTI GO.


  • rkfrom ny
    Jan 28, 2014 - 11:57PM

    now this woman will sell even more books…!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • yasir
    Jan 29, 2014 - 1:13AM

    @rex minor
    Countless not from Punjab only but from as far as Karachi, mostly for kidnapping for ransom.


  • MAC
    Jan 29, 2014 - 2:05AM

    PTI becoming joker party. First one could take it seriously but if a man can’t even set the priorities of his government straight how will he change Pakistan’s destiny? He’s absolutely toothless.Recommend

  • Sher Sha Suri
    Jan 29, 2014 - 3:08AM

    ET will publish anything said against IK even if it is unethical and bad language.


  • Babbarsher Khan
    Jan 29, 2014 - 7:59AM

    Bad cop. good cop!


  • Azmat Khan
    Jan 29, 2014 - 6:29PM

    IK is only shedding crocodile tears.Recommend

  • True Karachiwala
    Jan 30, 2014 - 11:37AM

    @Malala: The book is a big flop and media is busy hiking it.
    Then what is you are afraid of ?


  • True Karachiwala
    Jan 30, 2014 - 11:45AM

    @Aysha M: being ‘at a loss’ is becoming more of a permanent state of mind for you
    Actually it’s all happening under IK’s government. After seeing the public mood, IK gives his reaction to match it. It’s just another proof of his hypocrisy.


  • Waseem
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:19PM

    This happens only when you select electibles in the party, without any consideration on their thoughts or brain (or the absence) for that purpose :)


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