Recently, Imran Khan had to tweet the following message out to his supporters regarding Ayesha Gulalai’s sister, Maria Toorpakai
My request to all PTI supporters is to immediately refrain from targeting Ayesha Gulalai's sister.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 3, 2017
This became necessary after our desi gairat brigade went after Maria in an effort to defame her sister alongside. Some pretty crude comments were passed
Ya Allah khawaja sb ke bachi ko athlete bana jo nicker pahan kr puri dunya main pak ka naam buland kray.Happy mw
— abdullah cheema (@maverickcheema) August 2, 2017
Maria Toorpakai became an easy target for those looking to release their anger that stemmed from Ayesha Gulalai’s statements
— Dr.A A Khatak (@draftabaziz) August 1, 2017
For those of you who do not know much about Maria Toorpakai, her journey happens to be one of immense resilience and courage.
Born in Waziristan in an extremely conservative region, Maria had to disguise herself as a boy to follow her dreams of playing squash. Her family had to endure constant threats and she had to endure constant belittling. She was taunted and bullied. Maria became a target for the gairat brigade back then, too. They targeted her for playing while wearing shorts. But she powered through, nonetheless. She went on to win several junior championships. In 2007, she was awarded the Salaam Pakistan Award by Pervez Musharraf.
Maria Toorpakai is, undeniably, a national hero. Which is why Pakistanis jumped in to support her amidst the dirty political battle
— Bilal Ahmad Usafzai (@BilaalAhmaad7) August 3, 2017
People rightfully pointed out how her sister’s political stance is another domain altogether
— Asif J Raja (@aj_raja) August 3, 2017
Others reminded our countrymen of how she is a source of pride for Pakistan
— Noor (@noorpamiri) August 2, 2017
People pointed out how they would be lucky to have a daughter like Maria
If I ever had a daughter, I'd be immensely proud if she was as brave, as accomplished, and persevered as Maria Toorpakai has. She's a hero. https://t.co/DN5Glvnn8J
— Asad Khawaja (@asadmkh) August 2, 2017
And constant reminders were given to keep our heroes out of politics
— Awais Hameed (@awais_hameed) August 2, 2017
Pakistanis demanded that Maria be given the respect she has earned
Maria toorpakai wazir has done more for Pakistan than the people dragging her into her sister's dirty politics. Respect our national icons
— maXes (@HORUS_PTI) August 3, 2017
And the fact that she was dragged into the matter in the first place was considered shameful and disgusting
Those maligning Maria Toorpakai Wazir to get back at Ayesha Gulelai, well, shame on you.
This is the most disgusting thing one could do.
— Sikander F. Bhadera (@SikanderFayyaz) August 2, 2017
The entire incident and the way people reacted can fully be addressed by Maria’s own tweet, where she urges people to not lose faith in their nation’s daughters
Never lose hope in your Nation's daughters . They are purer than you can imagine ! Believe whole heartedly and… https://t.co/1hfUYpSViP
— Maria ToorpakaiWazir (@MariaToorpakai) August 2, 2017
It is extremely saddening to see that women are still easy targets in battles that have nothing to do with them. To shame someone like Maria, who defied all odds to follow her dreams and become a source of pride for Pakistan, is pretty unfortunate. Maria’s involvement in sports and her sister’s allegations against Imran Khan are two separate things altogether. They need not overlap. Perhaps it’s time we learned to give respect to women who have done everything in their power to earn it. If we do not treat our heroes right, who will?
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via: @asfandyarbhittani/twitter.com