Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said she wanted peace between Pakistan and India but when it came to cricket, she always wanted Pakistan to win.
“Yes, I want India and Pakistan to have good relations always but in cricket, I always want Pakistan to win,” the teenage human rights activist said, while speaking to India Today.
When asked if she would like to go to Pakistan again, Malala replied, “Inshallah, that is my wish. I want to go to Pakistan and serve the people of my country. I started my campaign for education from Swat. The terrorists who stopped me from getting education motivated me to stand up for my rights. I will continue my campaign there.”
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Malala even expressed a wish to go to India, especially Delhi and Mumbai, to inspire young girls there. “I am very surprised and happy that people in India love me a lot. People in India love me, respect me. They don’t care about my religion or where I belong to,” she said, adding that “People stand with me knowing that I am doing good work. This is what is good about India and I would love to visit India. I would love to see Delhi, Mumbai and other places.”
When asked if winning a Nobel prize and having a documentary film on her life made her feel like a superstar, Malala replied, “Well, I am just a normal girl and I am doing what is the responsibility of all of us, which is to stand for what is right in your society and to stand against injustices. I cannot tolerate women being denied the right to have an identity and girls being denied a right to education. That is what I am standing for and I think this is the right thing we all should do.”
Speaking about the Taliban, the 18-year-old said that the only weapons needed to fight against terrorism were books, pens and our voice. “In order to fight the power of extremism, this power of terrorism, we have to empower our young generation through education. The weapons that we need are our books and pens and our voice, that is the most important thing. There is no investment done in education, which is needed right now. We need our leaders to invest more in education, to empower the future generation against terrorism.”
The youngest-ever Nobel laureate confessed to being a little afraid when she was targeted by the Taliban. “When I was targeted, I was a little afraid. But I realised on that day no power in the world can stop my fight for education. This fight for education will continue.”
However, when asked if she felt any anger towards her attackers, Malala replied, “When I think about others, one thing is very important. If I expect others to treat me with fairness, kindness and forgiveness and justice, I want to treat people with the same feeling. If I expect a terrorist not to shoot, I feel I should also believe in forgiveness.”
Malala also expressed sadness for the students of the Army Public School who were targetted by the terrorists. “It is a matter of horror and sadness that children have been targeted. This is unimaginable. It is sad that politicians grieve for a few days but do nothing. We hope something is done. Hope safety is ensured for everyone.”
Further, answering a question about what has been the most difficult thing for her to adjust to in the years since her attack in 2012, Malala said candidly that it was living in the UK. “It is a totally different country and culture and, specially for my mother, it was very difficult to adjust. Now after three years, we have adjusted quite well.”
The teenager maintained that her father was her inspiration but also revealed that it was her mother who encouraged both her father and her as she always believed in speaking the truth. “Well, he is my inspiration and also my mother. She is the one who encouraged both of us. She strongly believes in telling the truth and it is her strong belief that you should say what is right and deny all injustices. My father has so much energy. He is so passionate and it was his struggle for women’s rights and education that motivated me.”
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Responding to the criticism that she said what the West, America, told her and that she did not raise issues of Pakistanis, the 18-year-old said, “Pakistan is my nation and people there love me. Some people criticise me, but my struggle for education is not Western or Eastern. It is a human right which cannot be ignored.”
Malala also revealed that she would one day want to become the prime minister of Pakistan. “Hopefully, if people vote for me. But my dream is to help children get education.”
This article originally appeared on India Today