Pakistani gunshot victim brought to the UK
Malala Yousafzai, who was the victim of a Taliban attack in Pakistan’s Swat Valley region leaving her in critical condition, is to be treated in the UK.
Last Tuesday Taliban gunman shot Malala Yousafzai in the head as she was leaving school in her home town, Mingora, in Swat Valley, Pakistan.
Malala was then flown to Peshawar where doctors performed emergency surgery on her injuries.
A statement released on Sunday by the Pakistani military announced that Malala was “making slow and steady progress.”
The deliberate attack against the 14 year old school girl has caused both national and international outcry against militant violence towards innocent civilians.
In particular, Pakistani media outlets were quick to condemn the attack on the school girl. Islamabad’s The News, declared,
“Malala Yousafzai is in critical condition today, and so is Pakistan. We are infected with the cancer of extremism, and unless it is cut out we will slide ever further into the bestiality that this latest atrocity exemplifies.”
In a showcase of their support, the UK government has offered full medical treatment for Malala.
In a press release, the Pakistan military explained,
“The panel of doctors recommended that Malala be shifted abroad to a UK centre which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury.”
Malala will be moved to Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital in Birmingham which houses a trauma department specialising in gunshot victims.
Taliban representatives have openly admitted to targeting the teenager, with one spokesperson of the extremist group, Sirajuddin Ahmed, claiming that, “We had no intentions to kill her but were forced when she would not stop speaking against us.”
Two members of a special hit squad had been dispatched to target the school girl.
Ahmed also added that they would kill Malala’s father who had spoken out against them.
Malala had already gained much popularity over the last few years after becoming a much needed insider voice about living under Taliban rule.
She began writing diary posts at the age of 11, under an anonymous pen name, for BBC Urdu, commenting on the ever growing control of the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley:
“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taleban,” Malala wrote in one of her entries.
“I was afraid going to school because the Taleban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.”
“Only 11 students attended the class out of 27. The number decreased because of Taleban’s edict. My three friends have shifted to Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi with their families after this edict.”
While her diary posts commented mostly on the militant extremism of the Taliban, her main criticism was towards the banning of education for all women and girls.
It was soon after the Taliban occupation of the Swat Valley that the Taliban banned all girls’ schools.
Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani saluted Malala, and insisted that the Taliban had failed to “grasp that she is not only an individual, but an icon of courage.”
Rallies of protests in support of Malala erupted in Pakistan’s major cities of Lahore and Karachi as well as Malala’s hometown of Mingora. Schools also closed down in a mark of respect for the injured girl.
However, concerns of Malala’s safety following her recovery period are now coming into question. BBC Islamabad reporter Ilyas Khan claimed,
“Even if Malala Yousafzai survives, life is not going to be the same for her and her family. No place in Pakistan is safe for people targeted by militant groups.”
“She may have to live under state security or in asylum abroad.”
“In either case, her life and her ability to campaign for girls’ education in north-western Pakistan will be severely limited.”
Malala will remain in the UK for the full extent of her recovery.