Malala Yousafzai receiving the 'National Youth Peace Prize' by Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani at the PM House in Islamabad. - APP Photo

PESHAWAR: Malala Yousafzai, 14, who has earned international fame for raising voice against Taliban in Swat, wants to rebuild destroyed schools in the district.

'About 400 schools had been fully destroyed by Taliban in Swat and I like to work for rehabilitation of damaged schools so that students of these areas can be provided an opportunity of getting education,' she told a panel of this news agency at her residence in Mingora, Swat.

She admitted that she was also in a state of shock when militants captured Swat, but ban on female education by them moved her a lot and her inner determination overcome the fear as she decided to stand against obscurantist forces.

'I was scared enough to see pictures of bodies hanging in Green Chowk, but the decision of militants to bar girls from going to school was very shocking for me and I decided to stand against forces of backwardness,' Yousafzai added.

She said that the news that their school might be closed and they would not be allowed to get education was very painful for her and her classmates.

'Though I was a student of grade V in 2009, yet I decided that I would convey the concern of girl students and people of Swat to the world. For this purpose my father guided me to contribute dairies to BBC under the pen name of Gul Makai,' she said.

She regularly made contributions to BBC and reflected the sentiments of her terrorised classmates, relatives and neighbours.

'One of my class fellows once wept in sorrow over the state of affairs during the reign of terror unleashed by militants,' Yousafzai recalled.

She contributed dairies to BBC for around four months. She also expressed the suffering of displaced people after migrating to Shangla when government launched military operation in Swat against militants.

'I had no intention nor had I thought before contributing diaries on brutalities of Taliban that my efforts would earn fame for me and I will become a voice against tyranny,' she remarked.

She said that all her initiatives were based on informing people about the suffering of Swat people at the hands of Taliban in the name of the sacred religion.

However, the courage and bravery of a teenaged girl got recognition and she was nominated for an International Children Peace Award by a Dutch organisation, Kids Right. Yousafzai and four other nominees beat 93 contestants from 42 countries to become finalists.

'The news about nomination for international peace award was a great source of excitement for me and my family because I earned a good name for my country,' she added.

Though the prize of Kids Right ultimately went to a disabled 17 year-old South African girl, Michaela Mycroft, yet the government of Pakistan decided to encourage her so it awarded National Peace Prize of Pakistan to her, making her the first child to be honoured with such a prestigious award.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani also announced a cash prize of Rs1,000,000 for her and issued directives to give such awards to deserving children on annul basis.

The provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh also honoured the brave girl and each of them an-nounced cash prizes of Rs500,000 for her.

The response of both international community and people of Pakistan invigorated Yousafzai with additional courage and she has now decided to continue her efforts for children education, especially female, by setting up an organisation with the name of 'Malala Education Foundation'.

She also plans to play active role in politics after completing her education. 'I want to become an honest, committed and hardworking politician as our country badly needs such political leaders,' she said.

To a question, Yousafzai said that she was impressed by the charismatic personality of Benazir Bhutto and politics of Bacha Khan and wanted to follow both of them.

When asked about security concern, as she is now a public figure and role model for youth after getting prominence for speaking against Taliban, she said that she didn't want security. 'I am feeling secure in my city and don't want to be pointed out owing to security around me,' she added.

Ziauddin Yusafzai, the proud father, when asked to comment, expressed excitement over achievement of his daughter.

'I would not have thought that my little daughter would get such prominence,' he said. Ziauddin, who runs a private school, said he fully supported his daughter and never stopped her from writing against Taliban.

'I have chosen the name Malala for my daughter after being inspired from Malala of Maiwand, who was a brave lady and was famous for her poetry in which she urged her countrymen to fight against the intruders (British soldiers) till death,' he added.

'My daughter fulfilled my dream and played the role played by Malala of Maiwand,' Ziauddin remarked. He has also two sons Khushal, 12, and Atal Khan, 8. —APP

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