Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai (Photo by CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON/AFP via Getty Images)

By Chandrashekar Bhat

A MUSLIM cleric in northwest Pakistan has been arrested under the anti-terrorism law for threatening Malala Yousafzai and instigating people to attack the Nobel laureate for her recent comments on marriage, police said.

Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani, a cleric in the Marwat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was arrested after the police raided his house, Dawn newspaper reported on Thursday (10), quoting the Lakki Marwat district police office.

According to the first information report (FIR), a video went viral on social media showing Mufti Sardar instigating people at a gathering in Peshawar to take the law into their own hands and attack Malala. He was armed when the incident took place, the report said.

“When Malala comes to Pakistan, I will be the first to attempt a suicide attack on her,” the FIR quoted him as saying.

The complaint said the speech had threatened peace and incited lawlessness, according to the news report.

In an interview to the Vogue magazine in its latest edition, Malala, an Oxford graduate and Pakistani activist for girls’ education, revealed that she is not sure if she will ever marry.

“I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership,” she told the magazine.

Malala’s interview with Vogue has been circulating on the mainstream and social media.

Recently, her views on marriage also echoed in the provincial assembly with opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) lawmaker Sahibzada Sanaullah urging the government to probe whether she really made those remarks on marriage as life partnership was not allowed in any religion. If she favoured it, then the stand was condemnable, he said.

The PPP and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, an alliance of religious-political parties, also urged her family to clarify their position on the issue, the report said.