Malala Yousafzai

Friends disappointed and Taliban delighted Malala did not win Nobel

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 3:59am

Friends and supporters of Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan voiced disappointment as she missed out on the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, but the Tailban said they were "delighted" at the news.

The 16-year-old had been hotly tipped to win the Nobel after courageously fighting back from a Taliban attempt on her life to lead a high-profile international campaign for the right of all children to go to school.

Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which rules Malala's home province, said he was disappointed.

"We are proud of this daughter of Pakistan who had to suffer trauma at such a young age ... simply because she stood for the right of girls to education," he said.

Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, Sherry Rehman, voiced astonishment on Twitter, writing: "This award too is now loaded with political concerns."

In Mingora, the main town of the northwestern Swat Valley where Malala grew up and where on October 9 last year a Taliban gunman tried to kill her, friends and former schoolmates were philosophical about the disappointment.

"Life is bigger than the Nobel Prize and her life is a major award for us. She will win many more awards," 17-year-old Muhammad Fahad, who studied with Malala, said.

The Taliban said they shot Malala for speaking out against them, demanding that girls should go to school, and they have said they will try again to kill her.