Marvia Malik, Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor, barely survived an assassination bid after two assailants opened fire at her outside her residence. The incident took place on Friday when she was returning home from a pharmacy in Lahore, Pakistan.

Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported that Malik had briefly left Lahore out of fear for her safety and relocated to Islamabad. A few days back, she returned to Lahore for surgery.

Though the motive of the attack is yet to be ascertained, Malik told police that she had been receiving threatening calls for speaking for the rights of the transgender community. She cited her “activism” as the reason for the assassination attempt.

In 2018, Malik was chosen as the TV anchor for a news channel, making her the first transgender person to get such post in the history of Pakistan.

Malik was employed by Pakistan-based Kohenoor News. She later revealed in several interviews how tough it was for her to land her dream job.

“Like other trans people, I did not get any support from my family. On my own, I did some menial jobs and continued my studies. I had always wanted to be a news anchor, and my dream came true when I got selected,” she had said to American broadcaster Voice of America in a telephonic interview.

She revealed how she was discriminated in society based on her sexual orientation and how difficult it was for her to earn a decent wage to survive.

“I got a lot of appreciation from those associated with the fashion industry when I did catwalk modelling two weeks back, and now this… it’s quite overwhelming,” she was quoted by Reuters as saying at the time.

“I was thrown out after (10th grade) after which I joined a beauty salon, earned just about enough to put myself through college, but it was not easy. My story is no different from that of a hijra on the street you see begging,” she said.

(With inputs from agencies)




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