Malala Yousafzai hit back at claims that she has become a figure of the West, insisting she was proud to be a Pakistani.
The 16-year-old, who was shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ right to an education, claimed she retained the support of people in her homeland, and reiterated her desire to enter Pakistani politics.
The activist was shot in the head on her school bus on October 9 last year for speaking out against the Taliban.
On Thursday, she won the European Union’s prestigious Sakharov human rights prize, while US President Barack Obama welcomed her to the White House on Friday.
Asked in a BBC television interview broadcast Sunday about some people in Pakistan thinking she was a “figure of the West” and “a Westerner now”, she said: “My father says that education is neither Eastern or Western. Education is education: it’s the right of everyone.”
Malala added, “The people of Pakistan have supported me. They don’t think of me as Western. I am a daughter of Pakistan and I am proud that I am a Pakistani.”
She said later on life she wants to join politics. “I want to become a leader and bring the change in Pakistan. I want to be a politician in Pakistan because I don’t want to be a politician in a country which is already developed,” she said.