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Father vows Malala’s return to Pakistan despite threats

Published Oct 25, 2012 02:05pm


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Father of Malala Yousufzai, Ziauddin Yousufzai called on Federal Minister for Interior, Senator A. Rehman Malik.— Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD: The father of 15-year-old Pakistani activist girl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot and wounded by a Pakistani Taliban gunman, vowed Thursday that she would return home after finishing medical treatment abroad despite new insurgent threats against her.

Since she was shot on Oct 9 in northwestern Pakistan, Malala has become a hero both at home and internationally, although her work in speaking out against the Pakistani Taliban’s atrocities and advocating for girls’ education has long been respected and known beyond her native Swat Valley.

The comments by the father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, were recorded by Pakistani state television. He’s expected to fly soon to Britain to see his daughter and it was the first time he has spoken publicly since the shooting.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have vowed to kill Malala, raising questions about whether it would be safe for her to return but her father dispelled reports the family might seek asylum abroad.

“I first laughed at it because all of our sacrifices, my personal (sacrifices), or this attack on my daughter, cannot have such a cheap purpose that we would go to some other country and live the rest of our life there,” he said, speaking in Urdu.

The TTP said they targeted Malala because she promotes secular “Western thinking,” and have vowed to finish the job in the future.

Malala’s father spoke alongside Interior Minister Rehman Malik at the minister’s Islamabad office. Malik promised that the government would protect Malala and her family when they returned.

Malik said Malala had asked her father to bring some of her school books with him when he goes to Britain.

“Even while sitting there she is taking care of her schooling,” said Malik.

Malala has started talking and has spoken to both of her parents by phone, the interior minister said.

At the age of 11, Malala began writing a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC about life under Mullah Fazlullah’s Swat Taliban. After the military ousted the militants in 2009, she began publicly speaking out about the need for girls’ education. She appeared frequently in the media and was given one of the country’s highest civilian honors for her bravery.

A Taliban gunman shot her in the neck and head as she was in a school bus on her way home from school in the Swat Valley city of Mingora. Two other girls were injured in the attack. She was airlifted to a hospital in Britain on Oct 15.

The 15-year-old is being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in central England, which has a trauma center specializing in treating severe gunshot wounds, major head injuries and road accident victims. It is also home to the Royal Center for Defense Medicine, the primary receiving unit for military casualties returning from overseas.

The medical team caring for Malala at Birmingham hospital said in a statement Thursday that she was comfortable and continued to respond well to treatment.

Last Friday, the hospital released the first photographs of Malala since the shooting showing her lying in her hospital bed and said she was able to stand with help and write.


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Comments (26) Closed

M. Ali Oct 25, 2012 04:20pm
Malala, you will definitely have my Vote (If I am alive) when you run for the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Cyrus Howell Oct 25, 2012 04:56pm
I'm sure she will want to be home after a long hospitalization, but home will never be the same. She should return home for awhile and then get an education abroad. She needs to speak her own language and heal spiritually, but she may have great fear after what has happened to her. She is still a child. For the Taliban to continue their threats against Malala is bad public relations to say the least. Their arrogance should be a personal challenge to Pakistan's leaders.
majid canada Oct 25, 2012 04:58pm
i think she should only return to pakistan when security improves and unfortunately it might not come in her lifetime.she can help fighting for the rights of pakistani girls and there cause even if she lives abroad.this morning i read that canada is also considering giving her residensy.get better education and you will be able to serve pakistan better.
AHA Oct 26, 2012 04:02pm
Great family.
Barakzia Oct 26, 2012 03:05am
Yet Pakistani gov supports, finances and creates Afghan Taliban and send them in Afghanistan to burn school. I know it might sound cruel but the chicken is coming back to roost, how does it feel Pakistani people? Pay back is a bitch!
Khan Oct 26, 2012 05:13am
Thank you Malala for keeping nations head up by not accepting asylum or preference to live abroad. We wish you a happy, healthy and long life. Remember, you are the future. Allah be with you.
Rp Oct 26, 2012 05:12am
Did you see the eyes of the girl holding the banner? - scared but determined! Just Lovely! - may God protect you - we need you here to guide us kiddo!
Rp Oct 26, 2012 05:09am
The banner "We want protection for our sister" - and not worrying about their own lives at the hands of these brutes - is just lovely! I admire all these daughters of Pakistan, who will eventually win and take this country to the hieghts it desreves to be at!
M. Asghar Oct 25, 2012 03:25pm
As the things are moving at present coupled with Malala stirling and "enlightened" courage, she should recover well and return to her place in Pakistan. However, to ensure her security, one has to ensure the security of the country and all of its cityzens. Here, one has to be very careful about what the interior minister says, because he say the same thing all the times without anything concrete on the ground such the longdrawnout mayhem in Karachi.
Ravian Oct 25, 2012 07:40pm
We are whole heartedly with you Malala whatever you would like to do, but just DO NOT believe this Rehman Malik and DO NOT base your decision on his assurance(s).
Khan Usafzai Oct 25, 2012 07:52pm
that's the spirits ...Hates off to you and your daughter bravery ...
Fair Reforms Oct 25, 2012 02:13pm
Malala spoke to her parents??? While she is still breathing through the tube. Why cant these politicians learn to be honest for a change
NASAH (USA) Oct 25, 2012 03:46pm
Like daughter like father!
muthu Oct 25, 2012 04:33pm
All the best Malala. Return and show the so called men of taliban and their sympathisers what manhood really is.
karim Oct 25, 2012 03:43pm
Malik Ishaq can walk free in Pakistan while Malala Yousafzai is shot, then character assasinated and her family has to leave for their safety. What a disgrace the country is to the legacy of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Absolute disgrace.
shahidmasud12 Oct 26, 2012 07:33pm
My sincere Advice to Malala and Mr Ziauddin : No Pakistani politician including Rahman Malik or any government official is worthy enough to be trusted with your Presious life. I beg of you please stay anywhere in the world but don't go back to Pakistan, you don't have to be in Swat , Pakistan , you can achieve your goals residing anywhere in the world.
Zimbo_Indian Oct 26, 2012 04:40pm
Hats off to Mr. Ziauddin Yousufzai. Obviously, Malala is only the face of the uprising against Taliban. The real crusaders are the family, particularly the father. You have my best wishes, as also those of all well meaning human beings.
Yawar Oct 26, 2012 12:00am
Both Malala and her father have demonstrated true Pashtun bravery by wanting and willing to live in Pakistan unlike the coward Taliban who threaten and target unarmed young school girls and then hide in the mountains.
gita Oct 25, 2012 10:53pm
Pakistan is blessed to have a brave fourteen year old Malala and an equally brave Father. The only way to confront the Taliban is to continue with the mission espoused by Malala i.e education for all. The Taliban push for Sharia and non-secular practices will turn pakistan to a Theocracy, which was not the goal of the Founding father of Pakistan. This is a crucial phase in Pakistan and people like Malala and others must stand up for their values, if the country wishes to be saved
Imran Oct 25, 2012 04:47pm
I would suggest not too, these animals will attack you again. I would say, some how stay over there finish your study and then return to Pakistan.
Muhammad Oct 26, 2012 09:16am
Taliban rules Pakistan.
adam memon Oct 25, 2012 02:31pm
Keep it up great Malala and her family.Our prayers are always with you.
capt Khan Oct 25, 2012 02:33pm
She can support the cause of girls education,much better, if she stays in Britain,gets educated and come back with a bigger impact.
Agha Ata (USA) Oct 25, 2012 04:46pm
I trust what Mala says, but I am not sure about what Interior Minister Rehman Malik says!
gangadin Oct 25, 2012 06:26pm
Are we supposed to believe that Rehman Malik will protect Malala? That's a joke of the day.
skeptic Oct 25, 2012 03:55pm
God bless you and your beautiful family. It's people like you who still instil hope in your country men that we will survive this InshAllah