Asia

Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai 'hopes to be Pakistan PM'

  • 10 December 2014
  • From the section Asia
Media captionMalala Yousafzai: "If I can serve my country best through politics and through becoming a prime minister, then I would definitely choose that"

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has told the BBC ahead of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize on Wednesday that she hopes to pursue a career in politics.

She said that she may even aspire to be prime minister of Pakistan once she has completed her studies in the UK.

Ms Yousafzai has been jointly awarded the prize with Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner.

Ms Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education.

She is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.

Inspiration

"I want to serve my country and my dream is that my country becomes a developed country and I see every child get an education," Ms Yousafzai told BBC HARDtalk's Stephen Sackur in Oslo.

Media captionHow BBC Urdu gave Malala a platform

She said that she had been inspired by Benazir Bhutto - a woman who twice served as Pakistani prime minister before her murder in 2007.

"If I can serve my country best through politics and through becoming a prime minister then I would definitely choose that," Ms Yousafzai said.

The teenager said it was a great honour to win the prize alongside Kailash Satyarthi.

"I had this wish from the beginning to see children going to school and I started this campaign," she said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The Nobel committee said it was important that a Muslim (Malala Yousafzai) and a Hindu (Kailash Satyarthi) a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education
Image copyright AP
Image caption The blood-stained school uniform Ms Yousafzai wore on the day she was shot by the Taliban is on display in Oslo
Image copyright AP
Image caption Ms Yousafzai's image (centre) is also on display in Oslo alongside previous winners of the Nobel Peace Prize

"Now this peace prize is very important for me and it has really given me more hope, more courage, and I feel stronger than before because I see many people are with me.

"There are more responsibilities but I have also put responsibilities on myself. I feel I am answerable to God and to myself and that I should help my community. It's my duty."

Colleagues killed

Meanwhile, Mr Satyarthi told BBC HARDtalk that receiving the Nobel Peace Prize was "a great opportunity" to further his work against child slavery.

"It is important for me, but much more important to millions of those children who are still languishing behind... The children who are sold and bought like animals in the world, not only in India alone."

He said that his work campaigning for child rights in India had been very dangerous.

"You will find the scars on my body right from leg to head," he said. "I have been attacked several times and the latest one was in 2011."

Child traffickers were "very powerful", "very well-connected people", he said, adding that two of his colleagues had been killed because of their work.

'Disappointed'

At a joint press conference with Mr Satyarthi on Tuesday, the 17-year-old repeated her message that girls have as much right to an education as boys.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ms Yousafzai has invited other young women activists - including Mezon Almellehan from Syria (right) - to the awards ceremony

The laureates, who have split the $1.4m (£860,000) prize money, were nominated for their work to protect children from slavery, extremism and child labour at great risk to their own lives.

Media captionMalala's father: 'Nobel peace prize is a turning point for Pakistan'

Ms Yousafzai said she was disappointed that the prime ministers of India and Pakistan were not attending the award ceremony.

But correspondents say that the presence of Ms Yousafzai and her Indian co-winner in Oslo has attracted hundreds of people into the freezing streets hoping to get a glimpse of them.

The Nobel committee said earlier that it was important that a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism.

Media captionMs Yousafzai met BBC School Reporters in Birmingham in August

Nobel peace prize

95

Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded 1901-2014

  • 16 women have been awarded the prize, including Malala Yousafzai

  • 17 Malala's age, making her the youngest ever laureate

  • 62 average age of laureates when they were awarded the prize

  • 3 laureates were under arrest at the time of the award: Carl von Ossietzky, Aung San Suu Kyi & Liu Xiaobo

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