20 falsehoods Mirza Kashif Ali and Dr Danish shamefully propagated against Malala

Published: February 26, 2016

This was a display of deep rooted hatred against someone who is not only a national hero but someone that has inspired the world.

Pakistani TV channels often lack credibility in the rat race of earning rating. The recent example is how Mirza Kashif Ali, President of All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation, former advisor to Governor and Chief Minister Punjab for education, and the author of “I am not Malala” was given airtime to spread misconceptions against the youngest ever Nobel Laureate.

He appeared in the shows hosted by Ahmed Quraishi and Dr Danish on December 26, 2015 and February 7, 2016 respectively. Apart from his baseless charges, it was alarming to witness how cleverly he tried to frame Malala and her father in religious controversy, as well as repeatedly bringing their nationalism into question — tools to malign and persecute anyone in the quickest possible manner.

Below is a response to his claims to set the record straight.

1- Mirza Kashif objects to the use of word ‘God’ in Malala’s book:


Firstly, Malala has certainly used the word ‘Allah’ several times in her book. Secondly, the objection makes no sense as ‘God’ is synonymous to ‘Allah’.

Below are a few excerpts from Malala’s book where Allah is used:

Also, Mirza Kashif needs to keep a dictionary with him.

2- Mirza Kashif objects there’s no salutation anywhere with the Holy Prophet’s (SAW) name:

In the first edition, the book has ‘Peace Be Upon Him’ with the Prophet in the glossary. Although it’s a publishing tradition that whatever is written in the glossary is applicable to the entire book, Malala still apologised for not adding the phrase in her content saying,

“It was the publisher’s mistake, which will be amended in the next edition.”

Since this mistake has already been addressed for future editions, there’s nothing to object to.

3- Mirza Kashif incites his audience by making false accusations about Malala with reference to Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen:

He screams there’s a nexus among them, and that there is a photo of Malala with Nasreen, as well as some letters that she wrote to Malala.

This is all disinformation.

In truth, it is simply an open letter written by Nasreen on her website where she begged to differ with Malala.

The photo that Mirza Kashif talks about to misguide the public is, in fact, taken from an event where Malala was awarded the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize in recognition of her fight for universal and equal access to education. There was a group photo with all the previous Sakharov Prize winners including Nasreen that Mirza Kashif is scandalising.

Here is how Nasreen has shown her disappointment,

“She (Malala) shook my hand with expressionless face. I came from the Indian subcontinent, almost from the same background, fighting religious fundamentalists for women’s rights, but her expression tells me that it means nothing to her.”

The person standing next to Malala is Martin Schulz, a German politician and president of the European Parliament. It is sickening to note that he has been posed as Salman Rushdie on social media. The same story was spread by the Pakistani Urdu press as well. For instance, Roznama Khabrain circulated such tales against Malala.

Being shocked by this irresponsible reporting by an otherwise seasoned journalist, Zia Shahid, I wrote an email to him. What was worse than the absence of any response was the happening of another hate column being published in the same newspaper the next day.

This was deplorable. I wrote an email to the columnist debunking all his lies. But as expected, I received no reply and neither did the newspaper exhibit any sign of responsibility.

Mirza Kashif presents the same lies.

4- Mirza Kashif objects to the phrase in Malala’s book where her father suggested writing a book in response to Rushdie’s controversial novel.

Does hypocrisy not ensue when Mirza Kashif ridicules anyone, let alone her father, for proposing the same reaction that he had to Malala’s book?

Protesting on roads, burning public and state property may temporarily vent one’s emotions, but it brings more harm than good. This is simply an intellectual discourse that inspires the world in our modern age. Malala’s father suggested exactly that.

Take a look below at the book that I have in my library.

5- Mirza Kashif objects to the starting lines of Malala’s book with a self-contradicting argument:

Mirza Kashif objects to the first line of Malala’s book. He says Pakistan was created on Lailatul Qadr (The Night of Power) and that claiming it was created at midnight is like criticising the creation of the country.

Of course, she was shot after midday, wasn’t she? And doesn’t ‘lail’ itself mean night?

So what is he really objecting to?

6- Mirza Kashif shamelessly compares victims of terrorism:

Mirza Kashif calls the Army Public School students brave while ridiculing Malala for leaving the country. It’s ironic that an individual who hasn’t uttered a single word against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) throughout his media appearances is calling Malala a coward, the same Malala who stood up against the Taliban at the age of nine and later escaped death by inches because of them.

It is actually sickening to witness the manner in which the victims of terrorism are being compared to one another.

Malala was targeted because of her struggles with activism regarding education rights that offended the Taliban. TTP has already threatened to target her again. This is not a matter of bravery or cowardice, but that of wisdom and need for time. Also note that Pakistan’s government and the then army chief were both on board in sending her abroad.

7- Mirza Kashif accuses Malala of badmouthing Pakistan in her interview with Javed Chaudhry:

Again, this is blatant distortion of facts. Malala, during her interview with Javed Chaudhry on March 13, 2014, in fact, defended Pakistan. When Javed Chaudhry questioned her about the negative image of Pakistan circulating internationally, she responded that she would like to inform the world that people of Pakistan promote peace and reject terrorism.

8- Mirza Kashif claims that Malala’s BBC diaries have been ghost written:

He claims that Malala has admitted in her book that it was Abdul Hai Kakar, a BBC correspondent, who wrote the diaries.

This, again, is a distortion of the facts. Malala, in her book, in fact, has written that since she was unable to access the internet, she had to speak to the BBC correspondent on the phone so that he could write her diaries by listening to her.

9- Mirza Kashif accuses Malala’s father of receiving money from General Athar Abbas:

He questions why he received the amount of 1.1 million rupees from the then DG ISPR? The answer is quite clearly provided in Malala’s book, if he ever actually read it he would have known.

10- Mirza Kashif blames Malala’s father of tampering the electricity metre:

It was, in fact, the metre reader who demanded a bribe by fraudulently claiming that the meter was rigged. Like a gentleman, Malala’s father refused.

11- Mirza Kashif questions the right of Malala’s father to demand that Shakeel Afridi should be handed to the US:

This fake news was circulated in Urdu press long ago. Ziauddin Yousafzai immediately denied it and requested media to act responsibly.

12- Mirza Kashif blames Malala of having secretly met with Richard Halbroke:

This again is false. It was just an event organised by UNICEF that was permitted by the government of Pakistan where Halbroke spent some time meeting with human rights activists including Malala. She, in her turn, requested him to help Pakistan in the education sector.

13- Mirza Kashif objects to Malala finding it difficult to get up in the morning:

Malala, in her book, has simply written that (like all kids) she (too) used to find it difficult getting up early in morning. Mirza Kashif, on the other hand, twists her statement and accuses her of speaking against the Azaan call.

14- Mirza Kashif defends Gen Zia’s legislation:

According to the Hudood Law, a woman who has been raped should stay silent if she cannot produce four male witnesses. Otherwise, she will be penalised. It is not difficult to understand that this law by General Ziaul Haq is a man-interpreted law and has been cause for debate. As I understand, the Quran asks for four witnesses, but in an entirely different context. For example, Surah An-Nur asks those to produce four witnesses who question the chastity of a woman. In Surah An-Nisa, four witnesses are required for blaming one of zina (adultery/fornication). Rape is a different case altogether. Asking a rape victim to produce four male witnesses is a travesty of justice.

Malala, in her book, has just made a passing remark on the aftereffects of Zia’s so-called Islamisation. Contrary to the claims of Mirza Kashif, she certainly has not questioned Islam.

15- Mirza Kashif exhibits anger towards the mention of Ahmadis in her book:

Mirza Kashif keeps misrepresenting Malala’s book by distorting the facts. Contrary to his claim that she advocated for them, Ahmadis are mentioned only once in the book and that too as a minority.

16- Mirza Kashif even refuses to acknowledge that the Taliban shot Malala:

Mirza Kashif, along with the host Dr Danish, continued to compare, in a disgusting manner, Malala with the APS students, going as far as to imply that Malala was not even shot.

17- Mirza Kashif misrepresents Malala’s letter to God:

He, once again, tries to incite religious sentiments by calling Malala’s letter to God blasphemous.

This, in truth, is a beautiful letter written by her when she was hardly 9-years-old. She prayed to God to help her make this world perfect.

18- Mirza Kashif speaks against Christina Lamb:

He blames Lamb, co-author of Malala’s book of working for anti-Pakistan agenda. Hold on, and let’s take a look at what she herself has written in the book:

Would Mirza Kashif dare to question the patriotism of men in uniform as well including the then DG ISPR of facilitating an “anti-Pakistan” journalist to visit Pakistan and work on the book?

19- Mirza Kashif believes there are 68-billion dollars in Malala’s bank account:

In remote places, we may find such uneducated people who still believe that the earth is flat. Similarly, Mirza Kashif believes that Malala’s bank account has 68-billion dollars, and Dr Danish presents it as the gospel truth. What’s the source of this ridiculous claim – these two gentlemen don’t care.

20- Mirza Kashif makes fun of Malala’s disfigured face:

After being shot in the head, and going through extensive surgeries, the left side of Malala’s face is now disfigured and she cannot even smile and blink her eyes properly. Mirza Kashif is vicious enough to mock her disfigured face. My ethics and sense of humanity forbid me to elaborate or disclose with whom he physically dared to compare Malala to.

This marks the end of the charges that Mirza Kashif put forward against Malala in his TV appearances on the shows conducted by Ahmed Quraishi and Dr Danish. In both his appearances, he never uttered a single word against the TTP; instead he persistently questioned the religious credentials and patriotism of Malala and her father. Dr Danish, along with two other guests, namely, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan (PTI) and Ajmal Wazir (PML-Q), added fuel to fire.

Are there any ethics or a code of conduct that the media follow? This was a one sided propaganda (and that too ungrounded) along with the display of a deep rooted hatred against someone who is not only a national hero but someone that has inspired the world. It is shameful and disheartening to have witnessed such a sham of an interview. A few years back we lost Governor Punjab as a results of a similar kind of hate campaign. While it is appreciated that Pemra has taken notice of this hate speech in Dr Danish’s show, the damage is already done. Like Dr Abdus Salam, second Nobel Laureate is also made controversial.

At the end of the day, such lies hurt the country and any efforts in making education accessible to all. This is what the Taliban wanted as well.

Note: This is the summarised version of the Urdu blog written by the same author and posted here.

All photos: Nayyar Afaq

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Nayyar Afaq

Nayyar Afaq

He is pursuing a doctorate in Physics from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and his objective in life is to become a better human being. Nayyar tweets @Nay_Af (twitter.com/Nay_Af)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • gulK

    Well done Nayyar and thank you for exposing these dangerous idiots.Recommend

  • Tony Singh

    Dr. Danish also said Malala had $85Billion in her bank account!. This “Doctor” either does not know what billion is or he is just a shameless liarRecommend

  • wb

    Both the hosts are paid stooges of a Pakistani organization whose name if I took, my comment wouldn’t have reached you.

    Dr. Danish…in Urdu, Danish means intellect. But this guy is a grade A fool. But then, there are too many fools on Pakistani TV.Recommend

  • Zahoorul Haq

    You could have spent your energy and time for some good cause rather than defending Malala: one of the favourite personality of anti Pakistani and anti Islamic lobbies. Go to Swat and ask the people there who know her very well and they will tell you what went behind the scene.Recommend

  • Usman

    Excellent refutation!

    Just two points for Nayyar:

    1. No journalist will reply to your email. Forget about it. But there is one technique which will make them send you replies within minutes and perhaps even cause them to flood your inbox: send emails using a female name. Gul Bano, Mehrunnisa, Parveen, Pinky etc. Once they see a female name, you’ll get a quick reply and even more ;)

    2. Regarding your point #2, in addition to what you said, also bear in mind that many Muslim scholars have pointed out that it is not fardh or necessary to write “pbuh” or “saw” in a book when writing the name of the Prophet (saw). For example, a leading conservative hadith authority, based in Saudi Arabia, Prof Mustafa al Azmi, writes: “The reader may perceive that I have generally dispensed with the phrases of glorification that follow certain names … My purpose was to maintain the text’s flow as much as possible, with the hope that the Muslim reader will mentally insert these phrases into the text as appropriate. Some of Islam’s greatest scholars adhered to this same practice in fact, including no less a figure than Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal, and though subsequent writers saw fit to add all such phrases explicitely into the text, the eye is just as capable of slotting them in by instinct.” M. M. Al-Azmi, The History of the Quranic Text … 2003, UK Islamic Academy, p. xx.Recommend

  • Noman Ansari

    Amazing blog. Let’s make this viral.Recommend

  • Kashif Riaz

    quite informative article with solid reasoning but there are some points that you need to explain with a bit more clarity e-g especially on the comparison of Malala with APS students!
    Because i do really want to know that why Malala can’t return to Pakistan to study here just like APS students….to run away instead of facing a situation is not bravery but to face the fear and to defeat it is bravery and this is noble thing that APS students are doing and i being a Pakistani feel proud for them!
    Secondly you have mention her voice for women and their education in Pakistan then would you tell me what initiative she had taken to promote Pakistani women!Recommend

  • Eddied

    This fool Mirza kashif should not be allowed near any schools… he is a misogynist and promoter of hate… he should be replaced by the school association as soon as possible…Pakistan deserves better educators that this detractor of the pride of Pakistan…Recommend

  • XY

    Thank you for your article. Personally I think that the most sickening aspect is that the person in question is the “President of All Pakistan Private Schools’ Federation, former adviser to Governor and Chief Minister Punjab”.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan, Kansas.US

    I am and will always be proud of Malala. Look what these people are doing to the humanity in the name of God and Islam.Recommend

  • cautious

    The only mistake this child ever made was being born in Pakistan – and that wasn’t her fault.Recommend

  • Pro Truth

    This book mostly written by her father and christina, she narrates incidents well before her birth in the book :)
    The most offending i found in her book that his father and his friends observe Pakistan independence day 14 August as black day!Recommend

  • Imran Ahmed

    These liars and tricksters are extremely dangerous and effective in spreading hate and fitna. The State must prosecute such characters in a court of law and charge them not just with slander but with sedition.Recommend

  • Pro Truth

    Why rely on any of the side, read the book yourself and decide it for yourself!Recommend

  • siesmann

    None of these misogynist misanthropes have actually read the book.Mirza Kashif is right ,however,when he says “I am not Malala”..A coward fighting with lies and misrepresentations can’t even think of being one.Today’s news in this very paper says half of school-age children don’t go to school in Pakistan.What would one expect of a country where people like Mirza Kashif head school associations,and people like Dr.Danish(Dungar Dr.) act as TV anchors.?And ,off course’ Pakistan have OBL,TTP,Mumtaz Qadri’s as heroes.Malala belongs to the world now.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I did watch the show and I was thoroughly disgusted.Recommend

  • Ghazala

    Thank you for unmasking the lies these vicious people have been prolifersting ! Recommend

  • Aamir – Toronto

    Malala is being used by the West to propagate their heinous agenda against Muslims and Pakistan……..I had a great respect for her but not anymore because she lacks credibility !!!!!!Recommend

  • Keyboard Soldier

    The wahhabification of pakistan is now complete.

    No turning back now..the dark times are only going to get darker.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath

    All Indians are proud of Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen and now Malala!Recommend

  • Lalai

    Malala should not be afraid of these mental dwarfs. These are real cowards who fail to say a word against the terrorists but are real champions of creating a storm in the cup of tea.Recommend

  • LS

    This is the reality of every such anchors and so called Analysts, Dr., Generals on TV. They lie blatantly about every other topic so that they can conform to their own, their channel or National agenda. They have to lie about everything.Recommend

  • Jor El

    “Do you agree or disagree with the opinion of the author?”
    Why are there options “Yes” and “No”
    Shudn’t they be “Agree” and “Disagree” …Recommend

  • jay

    Pakistan has always been a nation of lair. OBL was not in Pak, Kargil was done by Mujahids, RAW is behind TTP, We have golrioulsy won 1965 war,( paper cuttings are avlaibale ) 1st pakistani was Bin Qasim( seriously ?) , water kit car ( this one is the cake ) etc etc etc ,,, People love lies in Pak and the army and politician have understood it very well.Recommend

  • Jazzy

    My only observation is that in whole of Pakistan she could only find Musharaf corrupt praising Zardari and Nawaz Sharif which shows her father as opportunist Recommend

  • pakhtoon

    get a life

  • Alter Ego

    “Let the devil speak its due.”
    That is what freedom of expression is all about , right?
    So why are you stopping Mirza Kashif Ali from speaking his point of view.
    If you dont agree to his point, then ignore it but he must be given a chance to speak.
    By the way, Christina lamb was banned from entering Pakistan well before Malala so you might want to think on that.Recommend

  • Juan

    The Pakistani right wing religious nationalists are incredibly twisted people.Recommend

  • Truth

    I disagree with the author. You can’t completely ignore the facts of Mr. Mirza. He has had strong arguments. Most of these attempts at rebukes by the author are nonsense. The money story is correct, not her bank account, but the charity’s bank account of $68 billion. You have to wonder, what’s the agenda/drama.Recommend

  • Truth

    The Doctor is right, the charity’s bank account does have that figure, do research.Recommend

  • Truth

    Learn to accept other points of view with an open heart, otherwise you are no different than other extremist elements in our society.Recommend

  • Kashif Riaz

    quite informative article with solid reasoning but there are some points that you need to explain with a bit more clarity e-g especially on the comparison of Malala with APS students!

    Because i do really want to know that why Malala can’t return to Pakistan to study here just like APS students….to run away instead of facing a situation is not bravery but to face the fear and to defeat it is bravery and this is noble thing that APS students are doing and i being a Pakistani feel proud for them!

    Secondly you have mention her voice for women and their education in Pakistan then would you tell me what initiative she had taken to promote Pakistani women!Recommend

  • Truth

    I disagree with the author on many points, there is a lack of evidence.Recommend

  • siesmann

    Well,will you take the responsibility of protecting her should she want to come back?Recommend

  • Shehryar Khan

    Mallala’s book was ghost written by a Zionist shill !Recommend

  • Eddied

    If women in Pakistan are not allowed education, get educated then how do they manage to fill up Universities with more female to male ratio? How then are there female doctors, engineers, civil servants, police and military if women have no education in Pakistan…according to Malala? Where are they coming from?

    Can anyone tell me why uneducated women who were not allowed education are given medical and engineering degrees in Pakistan? MBA ? Pilots? How does that happen? Is Malala an anti Pakistan propagandist, liar?Recommend

  • El Cid

    I have studied what weapons can do to humans. A head shot explodes the skull due to the high pressures created in an enclosed space. No one in Pakistan seems to question ballistics and wounds a la Malalla.

    I have seen brick walls and even granite rocks crumble under automatic fire. And have tested rifle rounds punch through 1/4 steel beam.Recommend

  • Zh yusuf

    The world should feel sorry for those whose criticism is a outcome of their own prejudice. Meanwhile those who stand for positive change, move on.
    Bravo Malala.Recommend

  • Hameed

    “Point of view” is quiet different to outright falsities intentionally designed to malign someone. That does not need any accepting and should be challenged again and again.Recommend

  • Hameed

    Please read the Malala’s book yourself. More than half of Mirza’s “strong arguments” are proved utter lies.Recommend

  • Hameed

    Its interesting to note that the “Zionist shill” kept defending Islam and Pakistan again and again in the book. Now why would he do that??? Could there be a simpler explanation than the ridiculously complex( and idiotic) conspiracy theory?Recommend

  • Hameed

    Wow so you are saying that Mr. Mirza has the right to spread misinformation and writer should just ignore it. For your kind information freedom of speech also means that you have the right to disgree. A right the author also possess especially since Mirza is abusing his right to spread misinformation.

    “So why are you stopping Mirza Kashif Ali from speaking his point of view.” He is not stopping but calling out on his lies.Recommend

  • Truth

    The book isn’t even written by her, its written by an anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam author who was kicked out of Pakistan.

    Plus most of her book is filled with lies, wrong facts, and it’s only purpose was to make happy the Western world. Nothing good about Pakistan is written in it. I read it all, a big waste of my time to be honest. But that is just my opinion.Recommend

  • Truth

    You can’t force your view on me. I’m sorry that isn’t a very liberal or secular thing to do. Or is there more double standards from your lot again? lolRecommend

  • Shehryar Khan

    Not really. Islam, Muslims and MuhammadPBUH have been artfully compromised. I have read the book. And followed up on the works and intentions of the writer. You obviously have not.


  • Hammurabi

    Convincing blog. But you cant convince brain washed people.Recommend

  • Ahmed Quraishi

    It is unfortunate that the author referred to my television show without informing the reader that in my interview I defended Malala Yousafzai in a spirited and informative discussion with Mr. Mirza, where his arguments were confronted and scrutinized.

    The author apparently did not watch my interview, did not actually check the theme and the direction, and decided to include my name in his article with a clear implication that somehow I was part of some kind of character-assassination of Ms. Yousafzai.

    This goes to show that, even if you are pursuing a PhD in Physics, as the author says he is, you are not immune to intellectual dishonesty. I hope the author does not pursue his degree in physics in the same way. Recommend

  • http://www.id9189612.sexyql.website Serisly

    You seem to forget that it was the Taliban forbidding education of females not Pakistan. Why are you making this a national issue? She has never denounced Pakistan’s education and you’re just making yourself sound petty with your idiotic “i’ve studied gunshot wounds” argument. There’s nothing to argue about, since you’re misinformed to begin with.Recommend