A Pakistani cleric who threatened to kill Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has been arrested in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
The cleric, Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani, was arrested in the Lakki Marwat district on June 9 after a video of him went viral on social media in which he threatens Malala over her recent comments about marriage, Waseem Sajjad, a local police chief, said on June 10.
In the video, the cleric can be seen standing armed on the stage and urging people to carry out a suicide attack on Malala when she returns to Pakistan, allegedly because of her comments earlier this month to British Vogue magazine about marriage that Haqqani claims insulted Islam.
Malala has been living in Britain since 2012 after the Pakistani Taliban shot and seriously wounded her. She was just 15 years old at the time and had stirred the Taliban's fury with her campaign for girls' education.
In the Vogue interview, Malala says: “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?”
The remark caused a stir on social media in Pakistan and enraged Islamists and some clerics. Under Islamic laws, couples cannot live together outside marriage.
Malala, now 23, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for working to protect children from slavery, extremism, and child labor. She briefly visited Pakistan in 2018.
She remains highly popular in Pakistan but is also widely criticized by Islamists and hard-liners.