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Father of Wounded Pakistani Girl Says She Will `Rise Again'

  • VOA News

A handout picture received from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital/University Hospitals in Birmingham on October 26, 2012, shows Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, and her family.

A handout picture received from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital/University Hospitals in Birmingham on October 26, 2012, shows Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, and her family.

The father of the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban says her setback was temporary, and that she will "rise again."

Ziauddin Yousafzai spoke to reporters about his daughter, Malala Yousafzai, while visiting her Friday in the British hospital where she is being treated for serious injuries.

He said the gunmen who attacked Malala wanted to kill her, but that she is recovering at "encouraging speed and we are very happy." Yousafzai added that his daughter asked about the health of her family members and requested to see school books.

"Last night when we met, there were tears in our eyes because of happiness. Out of happiness. For some time we all cried a little bit and then she asked her mother, 'How are the two other girls?' Shazia and Kainat. She inquired about their health. And she told me on the phone, 'Please bring me my books of Class Nine and I will attend my examination in Swat.' The board examination.''

Malala's family members flew from Pakistan to Britain Thursday and went to see her at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Before arriving in Britain, Ziauddin Yousafzai told reporters that his daughter will return home to Pakistan after her medical treatment. They were his first public comments since the October 9 shooting of Malala in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley.

Taliban gunmen shot the teenage girl in the head and neck as she left school. She was internationally recognized for documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home and for promoting women's education.

She has been in critical condition since the shooting.

Pakistan's government is paying for all expenses related to her recovery and has pledged to protect her once she returns. Queen Elizabeth is renowned for its expertise in dealing with her types of injuries. She has been treated there for nearly two weeks.

Yousafzai's doctors say they expect her to make a good recovery.

U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas, has announced she will work with members of Congress to award Malala the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal. On Thursday, she spoke to VOA's Deewa Radio about Malala Yousafzai.

"I think she is an example of of the height of courage, and she's only a child," the congresswoman said. "She has created a movement of peace, but she's also created a movement of consciousness. And therefore, it is extremely important that the world recognizes her."

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