Why are Pakistanis upset at Malala getting into Oxford?


As if receiving the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, founding her own charity fund and being the only Pakistani girl to be nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize isn’t enough, Malala Yousafzai just earned herself a place at Oxford wherein she will pursue a course in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

News of her feat came as no surprise to those who have always been in sync with the work she’s done as an activist her whole life. The foreign media, which in its own way has been instrumental to Malala’s story, covered the event promptly, whilst the age old conspiracy theory laced, ill founded and uneducated of the past chose to dismiss her achievement like they had in the past.

The Dismissal was not limited to the observable lack of coverage in local Pakistani news outlets, but in fact was highlighted by the deep hatred Malala’s own country men still foster towards her to this day.





It is commonplace in Pakistan to attribute everything Malala has accomplished from her peace prize to the money her fund has raised to sustain and promote girls’ education irrespective of  the actual bullet that pierced through her skull to a grand scheme by international powers that only seek to defame the country.


Often the criticism can be so all encompassing that seemingly disparate concerns such as the Trump Administration and the revival of White Supremacism in the US, also finds refuge in the umbrella that is Malala hate.


Calling all the humanitarian work she and her father has done a ‘drama’ is extremely ill founded especially given the fact that the latter was an education activist in TTP controlled Mingora and ran a network of schools despite the Taliban’s disapproval long before Malala’s story became relevant.


Let us forgive the fact the person who tweeted this is unaware of the difference between ‘shooting themselves’ and being shot, arguing that the work she has done is undeserving of a place at Oxford (even though Malala has had to fulfill all academic requirements like ‘everyone else’). Let us instead focus on the age old question that the tweet stems from, ‘What is so special about Malala?’.

Perhaps it isn’t common knowledge that Malala put her life on the line at the age of 11 to act as a correspondent to BBC Urdu so that the Taliban’s growing influence could be reported. Perhaps, she is is like ‘everyone else’ when she became the only person to take up the task amongst all the other schools girls who were scared for their lives.

Despite this, there exist some rational arguments that can be made regarding the issue. The West’s admiration of Malala can very well be seen as hypocritical as it overlooks the plight of other innocent victims in drone strikes, for example, but to cast shame and abuse on a girl that remains an activist to this way and has earned her place the university on the same criterion as everyone else, is devoid of any knowledge of the work she has been able to accomplish with or without the West’s help.



  1. Malala.deserves all the praise for all the humantarian work and creating awareness for childrens education all over the world.
    Pakistanis views of her are maybe maybe not correct. But even today the pakistan gov cannot guarantee safety of its citizens in pakistan
    Otherwise we oversease pakistanis would love to work study and create jobs in our own country of birth.
    But we are faced with red tape and have to pay bribes to get even simple tasks in any gov offices when they see us overseas pakistanis as easy prey to make money sitting in there lucrative jobs which they have achieved by using political contacts .whilst highly educated persons in pakistan have no choice but to look out of the country to make a living for themselves.
    Well done malala hope you achieve the highest of accolades in your future life inshallah.


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