Malala thanks supporters around the world


Sat, Nov 10, 2012 - Page 6

Malala Yousufzai, the teenager being treated in Britain for gunshot wounds inflicted by the Taliban in Pakistan, yesterday thanked her global supporters, one month on from the brutal attack.

“She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being,” her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, said on behalf of the 15-year-old.

“We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, color and creed,” he said in a statement issued by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where Malala is being treated.

“I am awfully thankful to all the peace-loving well-wishers who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and support the grand cause of peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression,” he said.

The hospital yesterday published photographs of Malala sitting and reading a book, while others showed her poring over get-well cards.

Armed men in Mingora, the main town in the Swat valley, shot Malala in the head and shoulder on Oct. 9 after stopping the school bus on which she was traveling. The attack was claimed by the insurgent Taliban Movement of Pakistan.

They claimed to have targeted Malala because of her “pioneering role” in calling for girls’ education and because of her general criticism of the Taliban.

The teenager was transferred to the British hospital on Oct.15.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Britons yesterday called on the government to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.

A campaign led by a Pakistani-British woman urged British Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate the teen for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Malala doesn’t just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender,” campaign leader Shahida Choudhary said in a statement issued by global petition platform

More than 30,000 people have signed the petition in Britain as part of a global push by women’s rights advocates to nominate her for the prize. Similar campaigns have sprung up in Canada, France and Spain.

Under the Nobel Committee’s rules, only prominent figures such as members of national assemblies and governments are able to make nominations.

Additional reporting by Reuters