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Pashtun Father Sets an Example by Breaking Stereotypes

Breaking the stereotype about the Pashtun men who are considered disapproving of their daughters’ education, Mia Khan is an example. The doting father takes his teenage daughter to school covering 12kms on the motorbike. He then stays back for another four hours waiting for her class to end and takes her back home. According to Mia Khan, he is an uneducated man but wants his daughter to become a doctor since there is no doctor in their area.

The picture of the daughter and father has been doing rounds on the internet and people cannot help feeling proud of the loving and empowering father who is willing to go the extra mile for the education of his daughter. Twitter was filled with messages of love and respect for Mia Khan.

Earlier, we had the example of Mala Usafzai’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai who was a school teacher determined to educate his daughter despite the strict Taliban rule which was against the education of girls in Swat. Historically, the Pashtuns have been known to be enlightened and torchbearers of ancient literature and wisdom. However, since the advent of political and strategic complications, their areas fell prey to the religious extremism and fanaticism changing the situation with respect to women rights.

It is true that strong fathers play an important role in creating strong daughters. We have many examples of girls in history including Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto, and Malala Yousafzai who were raised by loving fathers who wanted the best for their daughters in terms of their independence. These girls proved that they were equal to men in all matters which were previously considered reserved for the men only. Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto went on to become the Prime Ministers of their respective countries while Malala Yousafzai is the youngest Nobel Laureate who is considered a symbol of velour and courage by girls all over the world.

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