Waleed Khan — a survivor of the tragic attack on APS Peshawar in 2014 — has slammed people comparing him to Malala Yousufzai in light of criticism being hurled at her following her British Vogue interview. Social media had been criticising Malala for leaving Pakistan after the terrorist attack on her, while Khan, they claimed, didn't leave the country. Khan clarified in his tweet that he did in fact leave the country and now resides in the UK.
Earlier this week, Malala made history by being featured on the cover of British Vogue with a stunning cover photo. Malala got candid, speaking about her life as an immigrant, coming of age at Oxford, her family and life aspirations. When the interviewer tried to learn about Malala's personal life, Malala reluctantly shared her confused, but typical young adult views on marriage. Her casual remark was blown out of proportion in Pakistan and made headlines across the country. Twitter spoke about it for days and the strange debate even made its way to the floor of the KP Assembly.
A picture was shared among Malala haters comparing Malala's struggle to Khan's and holding up Khan as an example of a "better Pakistani" than her.
This picture caught Khan's eye and prompted a stern response. Khan, who was shot eight times during the horrible attack on his school, has since gone on to become a campaigner for children's right to education.
"From a long time I have been seeing images of me and Malala circulating around. I would like to request everyone please stop this comparison," Khan wrote. He said such antics of degrading one person to uplift another do not yield any meaningful results. Pledging his support to Malala, he said, "Malala is an inspiration for many young people like me and millions around the world."
He also appreciated Malala's family for the support they have provided him, saying they've been "like a family to me throughout this journey."
Khan also took the opportunity to address the inaccuracy in the picture floating around on the internet. It claims that Khan didn't leave the country. Khan clarified that he now lives in Birmingham, the same city as Malala, where he is getting medical treatment and education.
Here's a lesson for everyone: don't always believe what you read on the internet. Hating people will get you nowhere and, as Khan said, these baseless comparisons serve no one. Let's stop pitting people against each other and recognise the good that everyone has done instead.