The International News: Baroness Warsi condemns ‘cowardly attack’ of Pakistani schoolgirl
LONDON: Overseas Pakistanis have offered to help Malala Yousafzai if she is sent to London for treatment. Although surgeons have removed a bullet from the head of Malala, 14, and she is in stable condition but concerns remain about her health and leading British Pakistanis have expressed their desire to help the young rights’ activist who spoke out against Taliban.
Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi condemned the “cowardly attack” on Malala Yousufzai. She told The News that her activism is inspirational and she “bravely highlighted the need for education to be accessible to all children in Pakistan”.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to Malala and her friends and family, and to the people of Pakistan who have suffered so much from terrorism. They will always have our sympathy, our understanding, and our robust support in confronting terrorism and supporting education for all in Pakistan. It is my hope that Malala and all Pakistani children will be able to reach their full potential without the threat of terrorism hanging over their youth.”
Warsi said her own daughter was 14 years old but she and her peers were lucky to live in peace and security in Britain. “When the second and third generation Pakistanis turn on their TVs, it saddens them but also gives them inspiration the way brave young girls like Malala are standing up for the rights and freedoms of the whole world.” Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan called the attack on Malala was an “outrageous act”. He said, “She is symbol of Pakistan’s resilience, represents our future and youth. We must fight back and eliminate these rascals who are destroying our country. These people are not Muslim. We need to rethink because we have diverted ourselves from the vision of Jinanh and allowed free hands to terrorists. We must eliminate these barbarians.” Since Taliban gunmen in the Swat valley shot the young girl, hundreds of people called offices of Jang and Geo and offered to help Malala’s family through contribution towards her medical treatment, education and rehabilitation. Attack on Malala has sparked outrage among Pakistanis all over the world. Prayers have been held for her life and recovery at homes and in mosques across Britain. Renowned Pakistani neurologist surgeon Dr Irfan Malik offered to the government of Pakistan that he will bear all costs of Malala’s treatment in the UK and would get her treated at a top Harley Street clinic.
“If the government of Pakistan feels that Malala needs treatment abroad at any stage, I will suggest that London has some the best clinics. I will make all the arrangements for her treatment. She is our pride. It’s a tragedy what happened to her but the fact is we mentioned her name with pride and relate ourselves to her.”
Human Rights Society of Pakistan (UK Chapter) offers to bear all costs of Malala Yousafzai’s treatment in the UK. Ahmed Shahzad told this correspondent, “I will pay for her full treatment in the UK, including travel costs. Malala is a national asset. She symbolizes everything good about Pakistani youth, their courage and determination.”
Taliban have issued further threats to her and it is understood that her normal life has already come to an end. The government of Pakistan cannot afford to let her live in her village or anywhere where her whereabouts are known or easily accessible. She may have to leave Pakistan to claim asylum abroad where her application will be easily accepted. In fact many western governments would line up to welcome her and offer her residency.