Some of the students of one of the leading universities in Pakistan, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) have reportedly asked the administration to uninvite the Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai, the famous girl rights activist, from their annual convocation. Their reason for doing so? These students say that Malala is peddling an ‘anti-state’ agenda.
@Malala will be joining the virtual convocation of #LUMS class of 2020 as a guest speaker. Wouldn't be surprised if LUMS face another backlash this month on all social medias. pic.twitter.com/qM4cGpT2hK
— zeeshan khan ?? (@MhZkhan7) June 29, 2020
However not all were disappointed by the choice. Some were rather excited to have her visit. Graduated from LUMS and some who weren’t even from the university were looking forward to the event.
So happy for 2020 LUMS kids getting Malala as their convocation keynote speaker, while we got a shady philanthropist later arrested for financial fraud (Arif Naqvi, 2017)
— Ali Rafi (@TheAliRafi) June 29, 2020
— Shanza Siddique (@Shanzasiddiquee) June 29, 2020
LUMS is getting Malala as their keynote speaker!! https://t.co/KCv1cReUUe
— Ayesha Noor (@Ayeshamxnz) June 29, 2020
— Marium Chaudhry (@MariumCh) June 30, 2020
I hope @Malala Yousafzai knows that the vast majority of students & faculty are absolutely thrilled to hear she might be our convocation speaker! Have never been so excited about any of our potential convocation speakers before!
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) June 30, 2020
So good to read that. We (Pakistanis) need to own her like our sister, and stop living in conspiracy theories. Noone can take a bullet on the face and then talks about girl education. She is ours and we must feel proud of her. Jab khud hum nahi apnain gay tou koi aur apna lega.
— zebra khan (@Aqal_k_dushman) June 30, 2020
Proud moment. ❤️ When she graduated from Oxford, a South African and Belizian from my cohort congratulated my Afghan friend thinking she is from Afghanistan. I don’t blame them, as I do believe that a lot of Pakistanis don’t seem to own her as they should.
— Noor Zafar (@NoorZafar2) July 1, 2020
However, some are of the opinion that being a girls’ rights and education activist isn’t good enough. They argue that she isn’t a good fit because she just graduated from Oxford and doesn’t really have anything to inspire Pakistani students with.
Read a comment by a kid on a forum who says Malala is not suited for being a key note speaker because apparently she is an equal and the institute should invite more accomplished alumni from LUMS as guest speakers. I can’t even…
I need this confidence in life :’)@LifeAtLUMS
— Maheena (@Maheena_a) June 29, 2020
Abhe Malala ko graduate huay ek maheena bhi nhe hua or Pohnch gye LUMS walay usko convocation pe bulanay. Ajeeb monopolists na hon tou.
— ونیزا (@vaniza_08) June 30, 2020
Don’t think so, she never speaks for the oppressed in her own country neither for student rights, cause of her we blocked dozens of friends on social media, just to defend her…. but was mistake.
— Aimal khan (@aimalkn) June 30, 2020
Keynote speaker of LUMS class of 2020 is Malala Yousafzai. ?
Is this true?
Now Greta Thunberg can join LUMS as a full time professor of environmental science.
— Zunaira khan (@ZunairaThekhan) June 29, 2020
Just like in all other matters, Pakistanis have a lot to say about this too.
— Tin Chin Xi (@adilshahji162) June 30, 2020
The students against the decision of Malala as the keynote speaker wrote to the Vice-Chancellor expressing their disapproval and anger regarding the matter. According to a tweet that came from a professor at LUMS, he stated that:
(The blacklash on the subject matter has) come from army families and that Malala is anti-state.”
One reason put forth by some of our students for disinviting Malala is that they come from army families and that Malala is anti-state. What does this even mean? Didn’t the same army eventually operate against the very people Malala stood against?
— Sanval Nasim (@SanvalNasim) June 29, 2020
They further suggested that instead of Malala, the university’s alumni, the singer Bilal Khan be invited to grace the convocation.
What do you think?