Malala Yousafzai at a hospital in Birmingham, UK. – File photo by Reuters
Malala Yousufzai at a hospital in Birmingham, UK. — File photo by Reuters

KARACHI, Jan 3: Malala Yousufzai, a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has been chosen as the Herald’s Person of the Year for 2012 for “championing the cause of girls’ education which brought her under direct fire from the Taliban”.

The Person of the Year project, part of the Herald’s special annual issue which hits the newsstands across Pakistan on Friday, set out to recognise those individuals in Pakistan who had a profound influence on the news and who had embodied, for good or ill, what was important about the previous year.

Yousufzai — who is currently recovering in a hospital in the United Kingdom after having been attacked by gunmen in her hometown Swat last year — emerged as the victor in a three-way voting process which included online voting, postal ballots and votes from a panel of 10 eminent Pakistanis.

A 33.3 per cent weightage was assigned to each of the three constituent parts of the voting process.

In the final, cumulative result, Yousufzai received 30.4pc of the votes, followed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, who received 24.1pc. He was included in the list of 10 nominees for Herald’s Person of the Year for “pursuing a campaign of unprecedented judicial activism”.

Other candidates in the running were Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour; Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani; real estate tycoon Malik Riaz; film-maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy; Interior Minister Rehman Malik; Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar; Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim; and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

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