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Rally in support of Malala Yousufzai Peshawar, Pakistan

A rally in support of Malala Yousufzai in Peshawar, Pakistan shows girl students holding signs of solidarity. Image: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS

 

(WNN) Karachi, PAKISTAN: “We will not be stopped from getting an education,” said one of the girl classmates of the recently shot yet miraculously surviving, Pakistani human rights hero, Ms. Malala Yousufzai. Malala has been known throughout her region as a remarkable teenager and a highly intelligent girl who recently turned 15-years-old. She is also an established and steady global humanitarian.

With all arrangements made, Yousufzai’s parents will be at Malala’s side today as she continues her recovery surrounded by the best medical team possible at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in England. As one of her most important mentors and guides, Malala’s father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, has always encouraged all his children to become educated, including Malala. He has also been an outspoken advocate for education in the Swat Valley region.

“The moment she recovers, God willing, I will be back in Pakistan,” said Ziauddin in an interview with PAKTV. Explaining to the media that the trip to England is not part of any desire for the family to permanently leave their home region since Malala was attacked, Ziauddin appeared happy to be on his way to his daughter’s side.

Building from the age of 11, Malala has not hesitated to speak out in opposition to local extremists views on issues of human rights, democracy and education for girls, say her advocates. Over the last year, Malala has had increased appearances on both Pakistani television and radio, as well as being interviewed by international media.

Authorities on the case now suspect that 23-year-0ld student Atta Ullah Khan, who is suspected to have ties to the local Taliban and is working toward a Masters Degree in Chemistry, has not been apprehended or arrested. It is still uncertain if the alleged Ullah Khan was personally involved himself and/or just acting as the mastermind to the violence. “Six people have been arrested in connection with the shooting,” said the police force on the case in Pakistan to CNN yesterday.

Advocates are now asking that Pakistan’s legal system work swiftly and strongly to stop the growing tide of extremism in the region. It is hoped also that those involved with the shooting of Malala will be brought to justice as soon as possible.

Opponents to Malala’s philosophy shot her through the head on October 9 only minutes after she left school to ride her school bus home. She was struck down as a bullet was fired at her close range. Miraculously the bullet went completely through her skull without killing her, lodging between her neck and shoulder.

Malala’s classmate Kainat Ahmed was sitting next to Malala and was also injured when the shooting occurred, although her injuries are not critical. “Girls education here is more important than boys, because boys can have any jobs they want here but girls cannot. I want to tell all the girls to continue their mission to get an education,” said Ahmed in an exclusive CNN interview at her hospital bedside.

The local Taliban in the north-western region of Pakistan has been trying to keep control of the urban corridor of Saidu Sharif, and its surrounding regions since 2007. Saidu Sharif is known as the largest city in in the Swat Valley region with a population of 175,000 people.

As two undetermined men suspected of having close ties to the local Taliban in the region, boarded Malala’s school bus on October 9 they were looking for the girl who continued to speak out regardless of numerous warnings and threats made against her. They then asked, “Where is Malala?” Realizing that Malala was sitting in the back of the bus with her classmates, the act of violence carried out against her has caused Malala, and her classmates, to become the world’s largest symbol for girls education worldwide.

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Bringing the words of Malala, as well as the movement inside Pakistan to bring education to all girls, this video was placed on Youtube by ThinkTwice Pakistan last April 2012. The ideas and human rights focus is undeniable in the words that have come from Malala herself.

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2012 WNN – Women News Network
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