Marvia Malik, Pakistan's first-ever transgender TV anchor, escapes gun attack

Marvia says she was receiving death threats from unknown people after her opinion on Transgender Bill

Web Desk
Pakistans first-ever transgender anchor Marvia Malik. — Twitter
Pakistan's first-ever transgender anchor Marvia Malik. — Twitter

A case was registered on Friday against unknown assailants for attacking Pakistan's first-ever transgender news anchor after she survived a gun attack in Lahore a day earlier.

Marvia was attacked by two gunmen — who opened indiscriminate fire on her — when she was returning to her home in the Lahore Cantonment area from a pharmacy.

As the complainant, Marvia 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, Marvia — 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.

Marvia 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 Marvia 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.