Nobel Peace Prize laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, during a conversation with Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath”, extensively spoke on how the Pakistani government should welcome and facilitate Afghan refugees, and provide education to the refugee children.

Malala said that the safety of the people of Afghanistan is “a matter of humanity and cannot be ignored”.

“These people have nothing to do with the war, so we must support them,” said Malala.

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“They are those people who lost their homes, their lives, or their loved ones. It is important we think of these people, especially children, a lot of whom have been born during the war. They are not able to understand why this is happening, why foreign wars are being fought on their land and why their own people are failing them in this fight for peace,” she said.

“Every country has its own political interests but the people suffer the most,” she reiterated.

“Neighbouring countries must open their borders and provide such people shelter.”

“Children who are not feeling safe, they must be saved and must be provided education,” she emphasised.

Malala said that several reports have surfaced that women are not being allowed to leave their homes or go to work.

“I myself spoke to a journalist who told me that whenever she would leave the house to go to work, she would be sent back,” Malala said.

She said that there is always this “excuse” presented that women will be allowed to go to work and school “when it is safe” for them.

“I hope, when it comes to Afghanistan and Pakistan, we will be able to define within our own cultures, what equal rights are. And it is possible to safeguard women’s rights within our own culture,” said Malala.

“So if we want to ensure our country succeeds, it is very important that women succeed. Their rights, their education (are ensured). This is not just a matter related to women, it pertains to humanity and the entire nation,” she said.

Talking about her health and remembering the nine years-long journey to recovery, Malala said, “Early August I had my surgery and the very day news that the Taliban had taken Kunduz, the first major city to fall in Afghanistan.”

“This made me think how many people have suffered. So many have lost their lives and home to this war. And the struggles still continue.”