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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
10/10/2014 NORWAY - PAKISTAN
For Pakistani Christians and Muslims, Nobel Prize to Malala helps fight for human rights in the country

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

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