Tuesday May 30, 2023

Pakistan's first trans TV anchor survives gun attack

Marvia Malik says she was receiving death threats by unknown people after her support for transgender bill

By Web Desk
February 24, 2023
Pakistans first-ever transgender news anchor Marvia Malik. — Instagram/marvia_malik_official
Pakistan's first-ever transgender news anchor Marvia Malik. — Instagram/marvia_malik_official

A case against unknown attackers has been registered after Marvia Malik, Pakistan's first-ever transgender television anchor, escaped a gun attack in Lahore on Thursday night.

The anchor survived an indiscriminate fire opened at her by two gunmen while she was on her way back from a pharmacy to her home in the Lahore Cantonment area.

As per the complaint, lodged on Friday, Malik said that she was receiving death threats from unknown people via phone calls after sharing her opinions on the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2018.

Last year in September, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) said that the law is "not in line with the Shariah", as "several of its provisions are inconsistent with Islamic principles.

The CII, in a notification, warned that the Transgender Persons Act may lead to “new social problems” and asked the government to form a committee to review the law related to the transgender community. It added that the committee should include CII members, religious scholars, and legal and medical experts.

According to Marvia's first information report (FIR), two suspects opened fire on the anchor on the night of February 23, however, she luckily survived the attack.

To ensure her safety, the trans anchor person has left her home and has shifted outside Lahore.

A few years ago, Malik — in an interview with Geo News — deemed herself an example for everyone and not just the country’s transgender community.

“I am an example for everyone including my own community. If transpersons can make a place for themselves in fashion or media [industries], then they are important in other fields too,” she said.

Malik further said her example gives the message of peace and raises awareness in the country. The news anchor pursued higher education in journalism and later began her career as a make-up artist in the fashion industry. She also dabbled in theatre before joining the media industry.

When Malik decided to make her mark in society, her family was not encouraging, in fact, they tortured her and forced her to sit at home. However, Malik did not pay heed and pursued her dreams.

She also lamented that when transpersons are thrown out of their homes, they have no other option but to beg on the streets.