LAHORE: Private schools in Lahore and across the country were forced to observe ‘I am not Malala Day’ on March 30 as part of the protests to condemn arrival of the Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan.
The directions were issued to thousands of schools by Kashif Mirza, president of All Pakistan Private Schools Federation.
The association representing over 200,000 private schools asked the school teachers to wear black bands on their arms. The association, along with the schools, will protest against the alleged anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam content written and promoted by the advocate for education.
The children at these schools will be given special lectures during Friday in which they will be taught to condemn Malala and her ideas.
Talking to a media outlet, Kashif Mirza said, “Pakistan is her home and if she has come home we welcome her, but we think that she has come as part of international agenda to malign Pakistan and we strongly condemn that.”
In 2015, the schools’ associations had launched a novel titled “I am Not Malala, I am a Muslim, I am Pakistani” before banning Malala’s first book in all private schools and colleges
“We found Malala’s book highly controversial, and contrary to the ideology of Islam and Pakistan,” said Mirza in a statement issued to media.
Meanwhile, Malala arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday night on her four-day visit to the home country. During an emotional speech on Thursday, she called to invest in education and said, “I have dreamed of returning to Pakistan for the past five years.
Addressing a gathering at the Prime Minister’s House where she held a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Malala slightly broke down while talking about her return.
“Today, I am very happy that, after five-and-a-half years, I have set foot on the soil of my nation again,” she began in Urdu. Switching to Pashto, she said, “Today is the happiest day of my life, because I have returned to my country, I have stepped foot on my nation’s soil again and am among my own people.”