Why so many Pakistanis hate their Nobel Peace Prize winner

The CIA angle is a common one in Pakistan, which tends to see “foreign hands” as the root of the country’s problems. As I noted shortly after Malala was shot in 2012, everything that happens in Pakistan is a plot by the Indians, America, or Israel. Or all three. The Taliban, power cuts, corruption, economic stagnation, Osama bin Laden, all of it.

The tendency to see plots and enemies behind every tree is a common trait of the English-speaking Pakistani middle class, which is overwhelmingly conservative, nationalistic, and suspicious of the West. Non-Muslims, foreigners, anyone embraced by the United States (such as Malala), and even minority religious sects in Pakistan are all seen as agents of foreign powers.