Dad Vows: Malala Will Return to Pakistan Following Taliban Shooting

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 03:40 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The brave Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a Taliban assassin’s bullet to the head will return home to resume a normal life when she fully recovers from her wounds in a British hospital.

That’s the word from Ziauddin Yousufzai, whose 15-year-old daughter Malala was gunned down in a coldblooded attack Oct. 9th as she walked home from school in Swat Valley, northwestern Pakistan.

Appearing on Pakistani state television, Malala’s father said he wanted to knock down reports that his family would seek asylum outside the Mideast in a bid to escape further Taliban violence.

When he heard people saying he was going to move, "I first laughed at it because all of our sacrifices, my personal [sacrifices], or this attack on my daughter,’’ said Yousufzai, whose remarks in his native Urdu were translated in the Huffington Post.

“[I] cannot have such a cheap purpose that we would go to some other country and live the rest of our life there.’’

His brave vow will no doubt infuriate Taliban leaders, who have vowed to come after Malala again once she is discharged.

The plucky student has become a symbol of world peace since her near murder. She has been an outspoken critic of the Taliban and has openly promoted the need for more educational opportunities for young girls.

A week after the attack, Malala was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, where doctors say she is steadily improving.
This week, the teen was using a pen and paper to write sentences because a tracheotomy tube inserted into her swollen throat prevents her from speaking.

And she has requested that her father bring her schoolbooks with him when he jets to Britain to visit.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has pledged that the government will provide security for Malala and her family when the girl flies home.

Officials say it could be another two months before Malala is ready to leave the hospital.

The chief suspect in the shooting has been identified by Pakistani police as Atta Ullah Khan, a 23-year-old student who is studying for a master’s degree in chemistry. He remains at large.

Six others have also been arrested in connection with the attack.

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