Malala Yousafzai is reported to be in stable condition after Wednesday morning’s operation in Peshawar. The campaigner for girls’ rights was shot in the head on Tuesday as she headed home from school in Mingora. The attack, in which two other girls were wounded, has been widely condemned and sparked a social media firestorm. Pakistani politicians led by the president and prime minister condemned the shooting, which the US state department has called barbaric and cowardly. Thousands of people around the world have sent the teenage campaigner messages of support via social media. Doctors who treated Miss Yousafzai in Mingora initially said she was out of danger, but she was then taken by helicopter to Peshawar for further treatment.
Earlier, President Zardari said the attack would not shake Pakistan’s resolve to fight Islamist militants or the government’s determination to support women’s education. The shooting – in which two other girls were reportedly wounded – has been condemned by most of Pakistan’s major political parties, TV celebrities and human rights groups. Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told BBC Urdu on Tuesday that the group had attacked the teenager because she was anti-Taliban and secular, adding that she would not be spared if she survived. Miss Yousafzai came to public attention in 2009 by writing a diary for BBC Urdu about life under Taliban militants who had taken control of the valley.
At that time some of us would go to school in plain clothes, not in school uniform, just to pretend we are not students, and we hid our books under our shawls”
She earned the admiration of many across Pakistan for her courage in speaking out about life under the rule of Taliban militants, correspondents say.
She was just 11 when she started her diary, two years after the Taliban took over the Swat Valley and ordered girls’ schools to close. The group captured the Swat Valley in late 2007 and remained in de facto control until they were driven out by Pakistani military forces during an offensive in 2009. While in power they closed girls’ schools, promulgated Sharia law and introduced measures such as banning the playing of music in cars. In the diary, written under the pen-name Gul Makai for the BBC’s Urdu service, she exposed the suffering caused by the militants. Her identity emerged after the Taliban were driven out of Swat and she later won a national award for bravery, while being nominated for an international children’s peace award. Since the Taliban were ejected, there have been isolated militant attacks in Swat but the region has largely remained stable and many of the thousands of people who fled during the Taliban years have returned. Source: BBC