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.
Police question 2 at Pakistani girl’s hospital
Police on Tuesday questioned two people at a hospital where a teenage Pakistani activist is recovering after being shot, raising fears about the girl’s security amid pledges by the Taliban to finish the job.
Fourteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban last week as she was returning home from school. She was airlifted to Britain on Monday to receive specialised medical care and protection from follow-up attacks threatened by the militants.
Medical Director Dave Rosser of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham stressed on Tuesday that security was “under control”. He said several individuals had turned up at the hospital claiming to be the girl’s relatives – but didn’t get very far. He said the people were arrested, but police said they had merely been questioned.
“We don’t believe there’s any threat to her personal security,” Rosser told journalists, explaining the hospital did not believe the suspects were related to Malala. “We think it’s probably people being over-curious.”
Police could not immediately confirm the details of the incident.
The attack on Malala, who campaigns for girls’ right to education, horrified people in Pakistan and across the world.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced a US$1 million bounty for Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan during an interview with CNN that aired on Tuesday. Malik said “we want to definitely get him” because he was the one who announced that the Taliban carried out the attack on Malala.
Malala was targeted by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education and criticising the militant group’s behaviour when they took over the scenic Swat Valley where she lived. Two of her classmates were also wounded in the attack and are receiving treatment in Pakistan.
The Taliban has threatened to target Malala until she is killed because she promotes “Western thinking”.