When Dr Abdus Salam returned to Pakistan in 1980 after winning the Nobel Prize in Physics for his valuable contributions towards the electroweak unification theory, he was invited to a ceremony in Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad’s Department of Physics to honour him for his excellence in the subject. Dr Salam came to Islamabad but could not enter the university due to immense opposition from the right-wing students, who threatened to break Dr Salam’s legs if he dared to enter the university. 38 years later, another Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has returned to Pakistan, and she too faces a lot of opposition from the masses who call her a conspiracy of the West, potentially endangering the conservative values of the country. Private Schools across the country were forced to observe ‘I am not Malala Day’, by the president of the association on Malala’s arrival in the country on 30 March 2018, who blamed her for coming back on a Western agenda. Earlier in 2017, a currently serving MNA and member of royal family of Swat Ms Musarrat Ahmed Zeb of PTI claimed that the attack on Malala was staged. It is not uncommon to come across numerous arguments on the digital and print media drawing comparisons between Malala and Afia Siddiqui, with many people supporting the convicted terrorist as being a true daughter of the country instead of Malala. Although, the hate and intolerance spewed against Malala might not be as intense as that meted out towards Dr Salam, thanks to the fact that she is a constitutional Muslim in the land of the pure, yet it still is very significant. While Dr Salam belonged to a sect that has been institutionally persecuted and disowned, Malala too advocates for a cause that many are not too welcoming about — women education and empowerment. The fact that a large population of the country has managed to attach nonsensical conspiracy theories to two of the most celebrated Pakistani citizens across the world shows the extent of ignorance and jealousy prevalent amongst the masses. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure that the image of the country is not hurt due to ignorance of the masses and that the country does not become a laughing stock for the world The nation turns a blind eye when social issues such as religious intolerance, hatred, inadequate provision of health and education are raised. We are willing to forgive and forget people like Ehsanullah Ehsan, Noreen Laghari, Maulana Abdul Aziz, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, and countless other politicians, bureaucrats, religious figures and generals and ignore their detrimental actions towards the country but not own up our Nobel laureates who have made the country proud. In order to tackle this issue, it is imperative that the state educates its citizens and makes them aware of the good from the bad, and of the real from the unreal. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure that the image of the country is not hurt due to ignorance amongst the masses and to make sure that the country does not become a laughing stock for the world. After all, which country of the world would feel threatened from a 20-year-old girl advocating for peace, education, women empowerment, and against religious fanaticism, and from a theoretical physicist who laid the groundwork for one of the most outstanding theories of the 20th century. The writer is a LUMS Graduate currently working as a consultant with the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, Government of Punjab Published in Daily Times, April 5th 2018.