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Malala wants to be a politician to transform Pakistan's future

October 07, 2013 15:32 IST

Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai on Monday said she wants to be a politician in future to ensure compulsory education in her country, an issue for which she was shot in the head by the Taliban.

Yousafzai, 16, was attacked by a gunman on a school bus near her home in Pakistan's restive Swat valley in October 2012 for speaking out for girls' rights to education.

"I will be a politician in my future. I want to change the future of my country and I want to make education compulsory," she said.

"I hope that a day will come (when) the people of Pakistan will be free, they will have their rights, there will be peace and every girl and every boy will be going to school," she told the BBC in an interview.

"The bad thing in our society and in our country is that you always wait for someone else to come," Malala said.

Malala spent months in hospital after being shot and required several operations to repair her skull. She now lives in Birmingham with her family.

Malala marked her 16th birthday with a live address from UN headquarters and has been lauded by a former British prime minister David Cameron as "an icon of courage and hope".

Malala admitted Britain had been a culture shock. "Especially for my mother because we had never seen that women would be that much free -- they would go to any market, they would be going alone with no men, no brothers and fathers," Malala said.

"I'm not becoming western, I'm still following my own culture, the Pashtun culture," she said, expressing her desire to return to Pakistan.

Malala, a front-runner for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, said that discussions with Taliban is needed to achieve peace.

"The best way to solve problems and to fight against war is through dialogue. That's not an issue for me, that's the job of the government... and that's also the job of America," she said.

Malala said it is important that the Taliban discusses their demands. "They must do what they want through dialogue," she said.

"Killing people, torturing people and flogging people...it's totally against Islam. They are misusing the name of Islam," Malala added. 

Photographs: Hazart Ali Bacha/Files/Reuters 

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