Radio Sandwell Local News

Malala Yusafzai: Father upbeat about future

2012-10-26 22:55:56

Ziauddin Yusafzai

The father of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist shot by the Taliban, has said his daughter is recovering well in the UK.

Ziauddin Yousafzai said his daughter would "rise again" to pursue her dreams.

He said he had cried when he saw for the first time Malala standing at the hospital in Birmingham.

He said it was "a miracle" she had survived a bullet grazing her brain.

The first time he had seen her after the shooting her "whole body was swollen".

Mr Yousafzai said he had considered making preparations for her funeral.

But when he saw her clean her own mouth with her shawl on a helicopter flight, he thought maybe her condition was not too serious.

Malala Yusafzai was first admitted to a hospital in the Swat valley, then flown by helicopter to Peshawar after gunmen shot her on her school bus in the main town of Mingora.

Turning point?

The Pakistan Taliban has claimed the attack, saying it shot her for "promoting secularism".

Malala had campaigned for the rights of girls to have an education and had written a diary for the BBC Urdu service when the Pakistan Taleban controlled Swat in 2009.

Surgeons in Pakistan worked for days to save her life, operating on her to remove a bullet which had lodged in her neck.

She was moved to Britain because of the need for a safe environment for her recovery.

Mr Yousafzai said the Pakistani president had taken the decision to move her.

Malala Yousufzai poster

But he said his daughter had received "the right treatment at the right place at the right time".

"The person who attacked her, they wanted to kill her," Mr Yousafzai said. "But I will simply say that she fell temporarily.

"She will rise again. She will stand again and she can stand now. But when she fell, Pakistan stood."

He said he hoped the incident would be a turning point.

Mr Yousufzai has said his daughter will return to Pakistan once she has recovered and that she was determined to continue her schooling.

More surgery

Doctors at Queen Elizabeth hospital said she was still weak but stood every chance of making a good recovery.

They added that the girl will need a period of recuperation before undergoing further surgery.

Part of her skull will need to be reconstructed either by reinserting bone that was removed or by using a titanium plate.

Since the attack, the teenager has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world.


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