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    » 10/15/2012, 00.00

    PAKISTAN - GREAT BRITAIN

    Malala Yousafzai to be treated in England. Her condition is critical, Christians in prayer

    Jibran Khan

    The 14 year old Pakistani activist needs more specific medical treatment. Fears for her life, after an initial cautious optimism. Nation gathers around the girl. A candlelight vigil in the Cathedral of Lahore. Bishop of Islamabad: the attack against her, a cowardly act, and sign of profound weakness and fear.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Malala Yousafzai, the 14 year old Pakistani activist victim of a Taliban attack in recent days is going to be transferred to Britain for more specific medical treatment, according to army sources said in Islamabad.  The young girl needs of treatment "integrated care" in order to heal. After an emergency surgery to limit the damage from the bullet to the head, following which doctors considered her condition "stable", she was admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi where her situation has, however, become increasingly "critical ". Hence the decision to send her to Europe, thanks to the financial contribution of the Government of the United Arab Emirates, where she will be welcomed in a specialized center; meanwhile the nation - and the entire international community - continue to pray for her, for a prompt and complete recovery.

    On 9 October Malala Yousafzai - who has won national awards for her social commitment in favor of female education - was the victim of a Taliban attack in the Swat Valley, a mountainous area in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the border with Afghanistan, stronghold of Islamic extremists opposed to the education of women. The girl was shot while on board the school bus that was taking her home, after morning lessons. So far, investigators have detained four persons held responsible for having taken part in various capacities in the attack. In all nearly 100 people have been stopped, most of them released after the payment of bail.

    Meanwhile, support is building across Pakistan for the girl, whose life is still in danger, with prayers for a full recovery. Human rights activists, members of civil society and professional organizations, including Masihi Foundation and Life for All have condemned the attack, describing her as a "symbol of resistance" against the folly of extremists despite her young age. Even the local Catholic community has been mobilized, promoting a candlelight vigil - in the Cathedral of Lahore - and prayer vigils in several parts of the country. Speaking to AsiaNews, the bishop of Islamabad Msgr. Rufin Anthony said that "targeting a child is the most vile and cowardly act" and is a sign of "profound weakness and fear" of a 14 year old girl. The prelate held a special prayer vigil for the "brave" teenager and noted "the irony" that the attack against her took place in the week that celebrated the International Day for Women and Girls.


    The girl became famous in 2009 at the age of 11, with her blog on the BBC's Urdu site in which she denounced the attacks by Pakistani Islamists against girls and women's educational institutions, to prevent them from studying and emancipation. Within her virtual diary, Malala bore witness to the cruelty of the Taliban and the violence through which they maintain power, terrorizing the local population.

    The northwestern border is considered a stronghold of the Taliban, so that in some areas Shariah and the Islamic Courts are active, called in to judge disputes, as well as social behaviors and morality. There are hundreds of schools - even Christian - that have been closed in the Swat Valley, jeopardizing the education of tens of thousands of students and the work of about 8 thousand female teachers.

    The education of the new generations is one of the key ways for the government to overcome poverty and to ensure genuine development in the nation, as outlined in a special AsiaNews dossier (see Education can stop the Taliban in Pakistan). Among the few realities in the area for some time, a group of Sinhalese Carmelite nuns women dedicated to education (see AsiaNews 22/06/2012 Sinhalese Carmelites educate girls in Pakistan), however, the sisters had to leave after a year and a half because of threats from Islamic fundamentalists.

     

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    See also

    10/11/2012 PAKISTAN - GREAT BRITAIN
    Malala Day: a petition to award the Nobel Prize for Peace to Malala Yousafzai
    Tens of thousands of people around the world support the initiative to reward the courage of the child activist who defied Taliban madness. 30 days on from the attack on her life , the UN secretary general announces today a world day dedicated to her. Slight improvement in her health conditions.

    29/01/2014 PAKISTAN
    Peshawar authorities block the presentation of Malala’s book. Activists: "Shame"
    After a series of threats and intimidation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa authorities cancel the launch of the autobiography written by the young girl who has become the symbol of the fight against the Taliban. For activists and civil society the episode is worse than those carried out under dictatorships. Blame laid with Imran Khan, leader of the majority party in the province, who claims to be unaware of event.

    11/10/2012 PAKISTAN - UNITED NATIONS
    Christians and Muslims appeal to Pakistani government to protect human and women's rights
    Today is the United Nations' first International Day of the Girl Child. In Pakistan, indignation continues over the attack against Malala Yousafzai. Army chief slams Taliban attackers as government puts reward on their capture. Muslim and Christian leaders call on Islamabad to cooperate with the United Nations on effectively enforcing human rights.

    01/02/2013 PAKISTAN - NORWAY
    Oslo candidates Malala Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace 2013
    Members of the ruling party presented in an official request. The young Pakistani activist, victim of Taliban violence, conducted a "courageous battle" for "the right to education of girls." She is still undergoing medical treatment for head injuries caused by a shooting attack. Pakistani blogger: "Allah bless and protect you."

    10/10/2014 NORWAY - PAKISTAN
    For Pakistani Christians and Muslims, Nobel Prize to Malala helps fight for human rights in the country
    Malala Yousafzai, 17, from Pakistan, Kailash Satyarthi, a child advocate from India, are this year's recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Committee recognised their "struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education". For Paul Bhatti, they are a "symbol of hope and an example for everyone in the struggle against fundamentalism."



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