PARIS: “A country with talented, skilful and educated people is the real superpower and not the one with tonnes of soldiers,” said education campaigner Malala Yousafzai at a ceremony where she was given the European Union’s Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought on Wednesday.
She is the first Pakistani to be awarded this honour.
Malala was shot by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) gunmen last year for promoting girls’ education. She now lives in the UK after she was flown there for medical treatment.
Dedicating the award to Pakistan’s unsung heroes, she urged that the “fittest among us should struggle for the survival of the weak.”
“If we leave the disadvantaged one behind, even the fittest can’t survive,” she added.
The Sakharov prize
The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought has been awarded by the European Parliament each year since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. Malala was chosen on October 10 by a vote among the heads of all the political groups in the 750-member parliament.
Past winners include South African anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.
Three jailed Belarussian dissidents, along with Edward Snowden, were shortlisted for this year’s Sakharov prize.
Last year’s award went to detained Iranians, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film-maker Jafar Panahi, to honour those “standing up for a better Iran.”
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I think that she is overplaying her role. We all agree and sympathize with the pain and suffering she underwent but I think its time to stop and continue pursuing her own goals.
She should stop lecturing the world. Pakistan should be her stage and audience. The western world doesn't need her views. They already have their societies for the betterment of their populace.
Shhhhhhhhhh......don't tell that to our leaders. Why would they ever want educated, well informed voters? They'll ban it once and for all.
how many schools and scholarships she is sharing with girls in Pakistan esp effected by Taliban
@Khurram: spot on
Malala is right....education is all that enlightens people....boys, girls, men and women....if today our lot was educated..mullahs & Taliban would not be ruling the roost...with only 23 % literacy rate among our people, can we imagine a democratic govt in place, when 53 % rural vote playing as the main mover and shakers in electing their representatives who once gets elected forgets his constituency`s need, but falls for making money only.....trying to re-coup his spent election money and making for future election. Without even with basic education, we will slide further into abyss...education should be our most important focus...
@007: I guess taking a bullet to one's head campaigning for an enlightened cause doesn't count as "something substantial"? If not, then no one has ever done anything for Pakistan.
She began her speech with a famous quote attributed to the 18th Century French philosopher Voltaire: "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." :')
cyber-Taliban get the heartburn.They are again at it maligning a girl who is fighting what these cowards should be .
Malala is not bringing a bad name to Pakistan, rather she is highlighting what is good in Pakistan: people wanting to learn, to improve their condition through education, to look forward to a better future, to believe in their country. Those of you who cannot see this are the real losers.
You keep going Malala, and never be discouraged by these naysayers. If you ever feel discouraged, then remember that the once mighty British Empire was against the creation of your country, along with many of those for whom Pakistan was envisioned, but Qaid-e-Azam was educated and he had conviction of his beliefs that directly led to the founding of Pakistan. Malala zindabad, and with her children of Pakistan zindabad, and with all of them Pakistan zindabad.
Akhtarrao you have touchd the reall issue of the day.
Im all for her being the symbol of education and human rights but these weekly sermons have to stop.
I am not Malala's fan as yet. I don't see any reason to admire her. So far she hasn't achieved anything to deserve all these accolades. And the day she actually walks her talk and does something substantial for Pakistan; I'd be her biggest supporter.
Oh Malala, you talk far too much sense for you to be taken seriously in this country...
I am amazed that how did this living saint and more so her father, miss on a Nobel Peace Prize...perhaps next year.
@farazjamal: Do you say similar things to your sisters ?? Do you ?? Shame on you regardless of what she has done or not.
@Khurram: Explain why is she pride when the news reporter start the news Malala, the girl shot in Pakistan, flown to UK and now a human rights activist. Isn't it a shame for Pakistan that it did not give security to its own people and the people (small minority) supports her. I am sure what she has gone through is big but the way she is portraying Pakistan is not good. She is in criticizing mode at the moment. I think it would be best to leave her on her own and lets not judge her too early.
@kk: I agree. let her study first and do not expect so much.
Malala bibi always speaks about an ideal world that is not possible -------- at all. No state and society can exist without proportional defenc--- ( soldiers)... Ironically, where she speaks about armsless state ,that state has already accomulated maximum power, USA, FRANCE, BRITIAN,.
malala r u on leave from ur school?i wonder when this yuong girl go to school
And too prove Malala wrong we will keep ourselves ignorant! Take that Malala!
she is insulting Pakistan. entire world is insulting Pakistan by choosing her for the awards. guess why.
Then Pakistan must be a super power! It is full of educated (in Islamic studies) people!?
The truth is all the most developed countries are countries that have 'reason'/'logic' as the basis for creating law & system. The countries which rot at the bottom have given the 'reason' a go by. Education should help build reason - any education that does not - is a waste of time.
She continues to serve as an inspiration to girls around the world. We wish her best of luck in her future endeavors.
Ooohh!!!...I guess nobody in Pakistan would have guessed that.... ;-)
It is not hate but Malala is bringing bad image to the country. Get out of your homes and look at the schools, colleges and unis. There are more girls than boys who are getting education. The system is not good which definitely needs improvement but portraying Pakistan as if every person has been deprived of education is not the reality.
Malala....whatever your haters say against you...but really...u r a pride of Pakistan...wish you more success in ur life