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Pakistani education rights activist Malala Yousafzai is celebrated as an icon of human rights, but around the world some questioned the sincerity of Western adulation. Theories abound as to why one girl captured so many hearts in the West, including the politicians who facilitated her life-saving medical treatment after she was shot in a Taliban attack. As Malala's iconic status grows, critics accuse her of becoming a political pawn. For some, the suspicion has grown into full-blown theories about covert Western support for Malala in a bid to destabilise Pakistan.