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» 10/15/2012
PAKISTAN - GREAT BRITAIN
Malala Yousafzai to be treated in England. Her condition is critical, Christians in prayer
by 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
11/10/2012 PAKISTAN - GREAT BRITAIN
Malala Day: a petition to award the Nobel Prize for Peace to Malala Yousafzai
01/29/2014 PAKISTAN
Peshawar authorities block the presentation of Malala’s book. Activists: "Shame"
by Shafique Khokhar
10/11/2012 PAKISTAN - UNITED NATIONS
Christians and Muslims appeal to Pakistani government to protect human and women's rights
02/01/2013 PAKISTAN - NORWAY
Oslo candidates Malala Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace 2013
12/30/2009 CHINA - GREAT BRITAIN
Strained relations between London and Beijing after execution of a British national

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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