Seventeen-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousufzai said she was “honored” to be the first Pakistani and the youngest person to be given the award and dedicated the award to the “voiceless.”
“This award is for all those children who are voiceless, whose voices need to be heard,” she said.
She invited the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers to the prize-giving ceremony which she will share with fellow winner Kailash Satyarthi of India.
“I myself requested that honorable prime minister Narendra Modi and honorable prime minister Nawaz Sharif both join us,” she said, referring to a conversation she had with Satyarthi.
Yousufzai’s invitation to the two leaders came amid a spike in tension between the countries after clashes along the border.
Pakistan said Friday this week’s “unprovoked firing” by India set back the peace process between the two nuclear-armed rivals and warned New Delhi to refrain from any “adventure,” saying the army would respond to aggression.
Exchanges of fire are common along the tense and heavily guarded frontier, but this week’s flare-up, which left more than 20 people dead, is the most serious violation yet of a 2003 cease-fire agreement.
“We say yes to peace, but we will not accept hegemony of any country,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan said after attending a top-level meeting convened by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss tensions along the Line of Control that separates Pakistan-controlled Kashmir from Indian-held Kashmir.
Khan said the National Security Committee decided to write a letter to the United Nations about the “unprovoked Indian firing” which began on Sunday as Muslims in the region were preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Adha holiday.
New Delhi has accused Pakistan of starting this week’s skirmishes, saying it wants to create a distraction to help separatist militants infiltrate into Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied this, saying it gives only moral and diplomatic support to separatist groups who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.