Shot in the head by Taliban insurgents two years ago after she spoke out against them for opposing girls' education, it comes as little surprise that hardline Islamists continue to revile the 17-year-old.

More difficult for her supporters to comprehend is the outpouring of invective from Pakistan's middle classes, who may be keen to educate their daughters but who object to airing the country's problems abroad.

"#MalalaYousafzai should b awarded Oscar Award instead of Nobel Prize," tweeted user Adnan Karim Rana, a common refrain among detractors who believe her shooting, hospitalisation and coma were all staged as part of a conspiracy that involved Britain where she now lives.

Inquilab Khan, a 45-year-old pharmacy owner in Peshawar the main city in the Islamist insurgency-racked northwest said he did not understand why Malala had been awarded the Nobel prize.

"Through Malala they want to malign the image of Pakistan and Islam and they were in search of a figure from this region with a Muslim name, so that they could use her against us," Khan said.

Bookshops in the city continue to refuse to stock her autobiography, "I am Malala", after receiving threats from the Taliban and being warned by police against selling the book.

Malala is the country's second-ever Nobel laureate after Abdus Salaam, who won the physics prize in 1979 but was widely shunned for being a member of the persecuted Ahmadi minority.

She has been widely praised by some sections of the public and by politicians including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who called her the "pride of Pakistan".

Malala was also hailed in her home town of Mingora in the Swat Valley. Even in Peshawar, some 200 people gathered last week to celebrate the award by distributing sweets and dancing to a powerful drum beat.

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