Terming Malala’s attackers a threat to nation, President Asif Ali Zardari has said the shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban was an assault on all girls in the country.
Addressing an economic summit in the Azerbaijan capital Baku, the president gave most poignant remarks on the incident, pledging not to let her shooting stop the nation’s drive to educate girls.
He observed, “The Taliban attack on the 14-year-old girl, who from the age of 11 was involved in the struggle for education for girls, is an attack on all girls in Pakistan, an attack on education, and on all civilized people.”
He further stated that the work that the young peace activist led was higher before God than what terrorists do in the name of religion, adding that they would continue her shining cause.
Expressing thee clear and present dangers in the religion, he named terrorism, poverty and illiteracy.
He stated, “Let us commit to a collective future in which Malala Yousafzai and her sisters from your countries will have a secure future. A bright and promising future defined by courage, knowledge and prosperity.”
He spoke at a time when more and more voices are demanding that this is the time that the Pakistan Army should go into North Waziristan and show no mercy to the terrorists and militants, both local and foreign, who operate from there and put the lives of Pakistanis at risk.
He said that regional cooperation is very important, as countries must face their challenges with courage and collective action.
Malala was attacked on her school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat a week ago as a punishment for campaigning for the right to an education and free expression.
Zardari said such attacks would not deter Pakistan in its search for broader social justice. “Terrorists should not have an impact on our future. We ourselves must determine our future,” he said.
The shooting has been denounced worldwide and by Pakistan, which has said it will do everything possible to ensure Malala recovers and will meet all the costs of her treatment.
She was flown to Britain for specialist treatment at a hospital in Birmingham on Monday where doctors said she had a chance of making a good recovery.