Malala Yousafzai, born in 1997, is a Pakistani activist known for fighting for education rights for girls under the Taliban regime. She was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize for her cause of education. On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Malala in her head and neck in an assassination attempt. Pakistan authorities subsequently offered an US$100,000 bounty on capture of the attacker. She remains in critical condition.
Pakistan flies wounded Malala to UK for treatment
A teenage Pakistani rights activist was flown to Britain for specialist long-term care yesterday after being shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for the right to education.
Malala Yousafzai, 14, who was attacked on her school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley last Tuesday, was sent abroad at a time when her condition is "optimal and before any unforeseen complications set in", the military said.
An air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates took off from Islamabad airport, and Pakistan said an intensive care specialist was accompanying her.
The shooting has been denounced worldwide and by Pakistan's government, which has said it will do everything possible to ensure Malala recovers, paying for her treatment and offering more than US$100,000 for the capture of her attackers.
The murder attempt has sickened Pakistan, where Malala came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under the Taliban.
Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to those who advocate appeasement, but analysts suspect there will be no real change in a country that has long sponsored radical Islam.
On Sunday around 10,000 people gathered in Karachi for a rally in support of Malala, organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement political party.
But right-wing and conservative religious leaders have refrained from publicly denouncing the Taliban. They have warned the government against using the incident as a pretext for an offensive in the militant bastion of North Waziristan.
The United States has long called on Pakistan to wage an operation in the district. It is considered the leadership base of the Haqqani network, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, as well as a Taliban stronghold.
A senior police official said investigators had questioned dozens of suspects, but the hunt for the main culprits continues.