EFEBy Jaime León. Islamabad

An apparent candid remark by Pakistani Noble Peace laureate Malala Yousafzai questioning the need to get married has triggered a storm in the country.

The controversial statement that triggered a backlash against the young activist was even discussed in a provincial assembly.

“I still do not understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why cannot it just be a partnership,” the 23-year-old said in an interview to the Vogue magazine.

People in the conservative country where family-arranged marriages are still a norm have perceived it as an attack on Pakistani culture and Islam

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says 21 percent of women are married before 17 years in Pakistan.