Girl, 14, Survives Taliban Assassination
PAKISTAN- Malala Yousafzai 14-year-old education and women’s rights activist has survived a Taliban assassination attempt. She was shot point blank in the head and neck by a Taliban gunmen on October 9th.
Malala was ambushed in a van with other schoolgirls, while returning home from school in Mingora. She was targeted because she spoke against the group, supporting Western ideas, and a secular government, says the Taliban Pakistan, who claimed responsibility for the attack.
Malala gained attention at age 11 when she started writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, a broad group of organisations fighting the Pakistani state who had taken control of the Swat Valley in the late 2007.
She began using the pen-name Gul Makai, as she wrote about suffering caused by militants who forbade girls from attending school and ordered the schools to close.
Although, the Taliban were driven out of Swat in 2009, Malala continued to receive death threats.
The local police in Mingora took 60 to 70 suspects into custody for questioning. Which resulted in the Pakistani Police arresting four people in connection with the attack. However, the investigation will continue until the police can identify the assassins.
The 14-year-old, who has been in the intensive care unit of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology since Thursday, was flown today to Britain, and shifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for specialist care, arriving at around 4 PM. The decision to shift her outside Pakistan was made by a panel of doctors that had been supervising her treatment.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham is equipped with a major trauma center specializing in both gunshot wounds and head injuries. The cost of her care and rehabilitation is being met by Pakistan.
On Monday, the UN’s Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, also the former British Prime Minister, said he was launching a petition in Malala’s name, calling on Pakistan to ensure that every girl like Malala has the chance to go to school, and the international community to ensure all children have access to education by the end of 2015.
A group of United Nations independent experts on human rights, is urging the Pakistan Government to make every effort to ensure that school children are protected throughout the country, and that extremist groups do not restrict human rights.