Updated: 01/28/2014 18:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Pakistan provincial government halts Malala book launch

A launch ceremony for education activist Malala Yousafzai's book at a university in her native Pakistan was cancelled after pressure from the provincial government, organisers and officials said Tuesday.


Pakistan provincial government halts Malala book launch

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai poses for a photograph after being honored with the International Children's Peace Prize in The Hague, on September 6, 2013 - by Bas Czerwinski

Malala survived a Taliban assassination attempt in the country's restive northwest in 2012 and has become a global champion for the struggle for all children to go to school.

An event to launch her memoir "I am Malala" at the Area Study Centre of Peshawar University on Monday was called off after police refused to provide security, organisers told AFP.

She had not been due to attend in person.

"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."

Peshawar is the capital of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has borne the brunt of Pakistan's bloody homegrown Islamist insurgency.

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

The government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is led by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party of former cricketer Imran Khan.

Provincial information minister Shah Farman confirmed the administration had halted the ceremony.

"It is true that we stopped them and there were many reasons for that," Farman told AFP.

He said the venue was "not suitable" for the launch and accused organisers of using the event as a way to get money from the United States.

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

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.

While it has had a positive reception around the world, reaction to the book inside Pakistan has been mixed.

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

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn

NEWS VIDEOS

MORE NEWS VIDEOS

facebook recommendations

LIVE NEWS RADIO STREAMING

  • 938 Live

    938LIVE is Singapore's only English news and talk station which transmits round the clock with an engaging and enticing spread of programmes on current affairs, health, business and lifestyle as well as news every half hour until midnight.

  • Capital 958


    95.8FM城市频道的前身是"第三广播网"。上个世纪30年代末,新加坡就有中文广播,一路走来经过不少政治,社会局势的改变,中文广播在本地一直扮演举足轻重的角色。