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Malala Yousafzai


Malala Yousafzai is a 14-year-old Pakistani girl who is a social activist and is an advocate of education for girls. She is known for her opposition to the Taliban group.

Malala started writing against the Taliban and the life under Taliban by writing a diary for BBC Urdu. She wrote under the pen-name Gul Makai about the suffering caused by the Taliban militants.

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Attack by Taliban

In October 2012, Malala Yousafzai is attacked and shot by Taliban gunmen in the north-western Swat Valley. She was admitted in the hospital and is currently recovering. The Taliban has claimed the attack and warned that they would gun her down even if she recovers. The Taliban alleged that Yousafzai is promoting secularism.

On 11 October 2012, Yousafzai has being transferred to a new military hospital at Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology critical care unit in Rawalpindi by helicopter. A doctor has given her 70% chance of survival.

Reactions to the attack

The attack has been severely condemned by world leaders. There have been widespread protests in Pakistan against the attack.

The Pakistani government condemned the attack and offered 10m rupee ($105,000) for information leading the arrest of attackers. Army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kalyani visited the girl at the hospital in Peshawar on 10 September 2012.


US offers assistance

The United States offered to provide all means for transportation and medical treatment for Malala Yousufzai. The State Department's Victoria Nuland said on 11 October 2012, "President Barack Obama and his press secretary Jay Carney were pretty explicit about what we have proposed and offered. But my understanding is that the Pakistanis have not come back to us with any specific requests"

Pakistan Police begin making arrests

Pakistan police, on 12 October arrested a number of suspects in the attack on Malala Yousafzai and two other girls. The police are also questioning people in Mingora of Swat Valley where the shooting took place. Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that two gunmen staged the attack and were not among those arrested.

Shifted to United Kingdom

Malala Yousufzai was sent to the United Kingdom for treatment on 15 October 2012. The movement is necessary as she requires prolonged care to fully recover from the physical and psychological effects of the attack. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people rallied in Islamabad on 14 Oct 2012 to show support for her.

Yousufzai was shifted to the UK in a specially equipped air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates.

After arriving at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the doctors said that there is a good chance of recovery for Malala Yousafzai. The hospital has a unit which expertise in dealing with complex trauma cases. It has a good record of treating hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and patients with gunshot wounds, burns, spinal damage and major head injuries. The hospital has the world's largest single-floor critical care unit.

The hospital and government refused to reveal any security details provided to Malala, but since the hospital specializes in treating wounded soldiers, it already had a fairly robust security, according to a hospital spokesman.

Two people at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were questioned on 16 October 2012 fueling fears to the security of the girl. However, Medical Director Dave Rosser stressed that the security at the hospital is under control.

"I am Malala" petition

One month after Malala was shot, November 10th has been named as "Malala and the 32 million girls day". Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is now the UN Special Envoy for Global Education has presented a petition to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari which called for every child to have right to go to school. The Pakistan President has promised to deliver education to all. The "I am Malala" petition has already attracted more than one million signatures.

Pakistan President visits Malala

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and his daughter Asifa Bhutto has visited Malala at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on December 9, 2012. Malala thanked the President for the government's prompt response in her evacuation and subsequent treatment in the UK.

Daughter of Pakistan

The Pakistan government has declared Malala Yousufzai as the "Daughter of Pakistan". The declaration came on 10 December 2012 after the Pakistani Parliament unanimously adopted the resolution moved by Saadat Qaimkhai of the ruling Pakistan People's Party in the National Assembly.

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