Kainat Riaz, who was injured in the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai in Swat, says that she now leads a restricted life as she cannot go to school and visit close relatives without police guards.
“I used to go freely to meet my grandmother and to learn Quran in madrassa after school time but I do not enjoy that freedom now,” she told NewsPakistan in a recent exclusive interview at her home in Mingora.
Police guards have been deployed at Kainat home since the October 9 Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, both and their another colleague, survived in the audacious in a crowded area when they were returning home from school in a van.
Taliban claimed responsibility for attack on Malala Yousafzai for her writing for the BBB Urdu website with the name of Gul Makai when Taliban had been in control of most parts of Swat in 2008-9. Malala, who is now under treatment in a UK hospital, appeared in a video recently and vowed to continue her mission for girls’ education.
Kainat said she would not talk as to who had attacked Malala, but reminded the agonies she and her family have undergone since the attack.
“We did not identify Malala when the gunman approached the school van at a turn and asked her who is Malala among us. But the attacker himself identified her Malala and opened fire,” Kainat, flanked by his father, said.
She said although the incident badly affected her free movement, she had the opportunity to receive gold medal and interact with important personalities.
Sharing more about the attack, she said, “I was holding discussions about the paper with my friends inside the van. My sir (teacher) was sitting on my left side. A boy came close to the vehicle and asked us who is Malala among you. We were afraid when we saw pistol in his hand. We started crying. He asked us to stop crying. Then we were silent. He again asked us who is Malala? We did not tell him about Malala, who was sitting ahead of us. When he saw Malala, he directly opened fire on her. She fell down in the van. I and Shazia were injured when the gunman was firing”.
Kainat said that she was an ordinary girl before the attack, but the attack has taken away ‘my freedom’ to go anywhere without fear and police guards.
“I am now gradually returning to normal life,” she said, adding the bullet injury was serious and painful but the injury now recovered after treatment.
She said that the attack did not affect her studies and she continued reading books when she had been at home after the attack. “My father, who is a teacher by profession, and brother, helped me in study”.
She was happy at Malala’s recovery and her video message and said she misses her a lot. She lauded the courage of Malala and hoped she would return Pakistan to continue her campaign for the promotion of girls’ education.