MIRANSHAH: The Pakistani Taliban on Monday said schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai had “no courage” and vowed to attack her again if they got the chance.
Gunmen sent by the Taliban tried to kill Malala on her school bus on October 9 last year.
She amazingly survived being shot in the head and has become a global ambassador for the right of all children, girls as well as boys, to go to school.
Having spread a message of “education for all” across the globe, the 16-year-old is now among the favourites for the Nobel Peace Prize, which will be awarded on Friday.
But Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the main Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) umbrella group, slammed Malala and said they would try again to kill her.
“She is not a brave girl and has no courage. We will target her again and attack whenever we have a chance,” Shahid told AFP.
In an interview with the BBC, Malala dismissed the threats against her life and repeated her desire to return to Pakistan from Britain, where she was flown for treatment after the attack and where she now goes to school.
She first rose to prominence during the Taliban's 2007-09 rule in Pakistan's northwestern Swat valley with a blog for the BBC Urdu service chronicling the rigours of daily life under the militants.
“She even used a fake name of Gul Makai to write a diary. We attacked Malala because she was used to speak against Taliban and Islam and not because she was going to school,” Shahid said.
While she has been feted by celebrities and world leaders across the West, in deeply conservative Swat Malala's achievements are eyed with suspicion by some.