ISLAMABAD/Lahore - PPP Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari has felicitated Malala Yousafzai and the people of Pakistan and said that by winning the Nobel Peace Prize Malala has made every Pakistani proud.

The award of Nobel Peace Prize is recognition of Malala's courage in standing up to the bigot and narrow minded. "It is also a stinging rebuff to the extremists and militants who reject girls' education and tormented Malala for seeking right to education for herself and for girls like herself," said former President in a message. Malala was attacked by forces of darkness only because she had aspired for education, he said, adding that the people of Pakistan are grateful to God for having spared her life and also grateful to the international community for honoring her with the Nobel Peace Prize. It demonstrates the resolve of the international community to support the cause of education for girls everywhere particularly in Pakistan, Zardari said.

He also said that the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala strengthens the national resolve to fight its battle against the bigots and fanatics with democracy, political commitment and support of the international community. "It will be decisive in winning this existential war. It is a giant leap forward to put every Malala in school. Congratulations Malala Yousufzai," he added.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said it was a national honour that Malala has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan tweeted: "Want to congratulate Malala on Nobel Peace Prize. Proud as Pakistani for her Nobel prize, especially for (the) cause of education which must be our national priority."

PML-Q chief Ch Shujaat Hussain and Punjab President Ch Pervaiz Elahi also congratulated Malala Yousafzai. In a press statement, Shujaat and Pervaiz said Malala Yousufzai had become example of courage who had improved the image of Pakistan across the globe. They said Malala had given message to the entire nation particularly the young generation that they should continue their journey without being bothered by difficulties and obstructions on the way towards achievement of great objectives for which Pakistan was established.

PML-Q top leaders said that Malala’s struggle was also a lesson for women that they should pay full attention on getting education so that they were able to play prominent and better role for the progress of the nation and the motherland.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar declared Nobel Prize to Malala as a proud moment for the whole of Pakistan. Ch Nisar Ali Khan said that Malala's Nobel Peace Prize Award was a proud moment for the whole of Pakistan and the population in Swat. Nisar said it was the first time in history that a minor had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. "The country's brave daughter has made each and every Pakistani proud," he said.  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan has congratulated Malala Yousafzai for getting Nobel Peace Prize and said, "it is equally an honour for the people of Pakistan and especially of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA". In his message of felicitation on Friday, the Governor said, "the award is not only a recognition of the exemplary contribution of the daughter of this soil but also the acknowledgement of the great sacrifices of our entire nation which we are rendering to fight international terrorism."

ISPR DG Asim Bajwa also congratulated Malala. In his message on Twitter, he greeted Malala and said except terrorists, all Pakistanis wanted to see their children in the schools.