News / Europe

Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban is Strong, British Doctors Say

Selah Hennessy
Doctors at the British hospital where Malala Yousafzai is being treated, say the 14-year-old Pakistani girl is making good progress.  In London, analysts say the attempt on her life by Taliban gunmen last week has raised the profile of her campaign for female education in Pakistan.

It seems Yousafzai is more than just strong-willed.  British doctors say they are impressed by her physical strength and resilience too.  The 14-year-old was flown Monday to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

Hospital Medical Director David Rosser says doctors are optimistic about her recovery.

"Well, it very clearly says that the doctors, some of whom were people from here in the children's hospital, believed that she has a chance of making a good recovery, as it clearly would have been inappropriate on every level, not least for her, to put her through all this, if there was no hope of a decent recovery," Dr. Rosser said.  "As I say, I have not seen her, but it is clear they believe there is a chance of a decent recovery."

In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations Department, Pakistani army doctors and medical staff transport 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot last Tuesday by the Taliban, to transfer her from a military hospital to the airIn this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations Department, Pakistani army doctors and medical staff transport 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot last Tuesday by the Taliban, to transfer her from a military hospital to the air
x
In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations Department, Pakistani army doctors and medical staff transport 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot last Tuesday by the Taliban, to transfer her from a military hospital to the air
In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations Department, Pakistani army doctors and medical staff transport 14-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, who was shot last Tuesday by the Taliban, to transfer her from a military hospital to the air
The doctor added that she is safe in the hospital.  On Monday, two people tried and failed to gain access to her hospital room by claiming to be family members.

Yousafzai received initial treatment in Pakistan after being shot in the head and neck by Taliban gunmen last Tuesday in the Swat Valley.  The Taliban said it attacked the young teenager for speaking out against the militant group.

In Pakistan, thousands have rallied on the streets to show their support for the schoolgirl, who has been campaigning for female rights in Pakistan since she was 11 years old.  In 2009 she wrote a blog for the BBC about her life in the Swat Valley under the Taliban, when girls were banned from going to school.

  • An ambulance crew and their police escort await the arrival of an air ambulance carrying 14-year-old injured Pakistani girl, Malala Yousufzai, at Birmingham International airport in central England October 15, 2012.
  • The plane carrying Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by Taliban gunmen, arrives at Birmingham airport, England October, 15, 2012.
  • The ambulance carrying Malala Yousufzai leaves Birmingham airport, England, Oct. 15, 2012.
  • An ambulance transfers Malala Yousafzai upon her arrival in Birmingham, central England on October 15, 2012.
  • Malala Yousufzai is brought out of a hospital on a stretcher in Rawalpindi before being flown to the United Kingdom for medical treatment.
  • Nepalese students take part in a candlelight vigil to express their support for Malala Yousafzai, depicted in photograph at left, in Katmandu, Nepal, October 15, 2012.
  • Pakistani students sing as they hold pictures of Malala Yousufzai during a tribute at the Pakistani Embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 15, 2012.
  • Pakistani schoolgirls pray for the recovery of Malala Yousufzai at their school yard in Gujranwala, Pakistan, October 15, 2012.
  • A supporter of Pakistani political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), reacts while holding a poster of  Malala Yousufzai during a rally to condemn the attack in Karachi, Pakistan, October 14, 2012.
  • Supporters of Pakistani political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), attend a rally to condemn the attack on Malala Yousufzai, Karachi, Pakistan, October 14, 2012.
  • Pakistani Christians pray for the recovery of Malala Yousufzai at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Church in Lahore, Pakistan, October 14, 2012.
  • Women supporters of Pakistan Sunni Tehreek protest to condemn the attack on Malala Yousufzai, Islamabad, Pakistan, October 14, 2012.
  • Pakistani students pray for the recovery of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out in support of education for women, in Peshawar, Pakistan, October 12, 2012.
  • Teachers recite verses from the Koran as they pray for the recovery of Malala Yousufzai, Peshawar, Pakistan, October 12, 2012.
  • Pakistani girls display a poster while sitting at their desk, as their teacher, not shown, talks to them about  Malala Yousafzai, Islamabad, Pakistan, October 12, 2012.
  • Pakistani worshippers pray for the recovery of Malala Yousafzai during Friday prayers in a Mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, October 12, 2012.
  • Women hold candles during a rally condemning the attack on Malala Yousafzai, Karachi, Pakistan, October 11, 2012.
  • A student holds a placard with a picture of schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai.

Pakistan expert Gareth Price of the London-based research group Chatham House says the assassination attempt has focused global attention on Yousafzai’s campaign to give girls greater access to education.  

“This attack on her has highlighted the issue, has sparked public outrage and the next step seems to me to move away from her story - and obviously we hope she recovers - and to the government of Pakistan," Price said.  "And the question is, can they take advantage, can the military take advantage of demonstrated public sentiment against the Taliban to take some bold initiatives?”

He says the public support shown for Yousafzai may encourage the government to push harder for female education.  

“The question of girls’ education in Pakistan does go beyond the simple fact of the Taliban targeting schools and particularly in Swat, but also elsewhere in Northwest Frontier Province," Price said.  "Underspending is rife.  In some of the tribal areas of Pakistan, female literacy is below 3 percent, which is pretty minimal.  So whilst this does present an opportunity, the starting point is very low, and I think it is going to be a long-term fight, and that is presuming that the government does take the initiative.”

Malala Yousafzai is in a special hospital unit for complex trauma cases, where hundreds of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan have also been treated.  Doctor Rosser says the girl will need reconstructive surgery, and the hospital has international experts in that field.

You May Like

Myanmar Fighting Poses Dilemma for China

To gain some insight into conflict, VOA’s Steve Herman spoke with Min Zaw Oo, director of ceasefire negotiation and implementation at Myanmar Peace Center More

Australia Concerned Over Islamic State 'Brides'

Canberra believes there are between 30 and 40 Australian women who have taken part in terror attacks or are supporting the Islamic State terror network More

Recreational Marijuana Use Now Legal in Washington, DC

Law allows adults 21 and over to privately possess and smoke 0.05 kilogram of pot, and to grow small amounts of the plant More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Kathy
October 16, 2012 12:19 PM
Why did they have to publicize where this young girl is staying? Her security is of the utmost importance. Perhaps she can get asylum there or somewhere else so she is safe from those outlaws.
In Response

by: ageofreason1 from: Canada
October 16, 2012 4:31 PM
That's a very good point, Kathy. We don't really need to know the specifics; just that she is being taken care of at an undisclosed location.

I too hope she makes a full recovery and continues to lead the cause of female education in Pakistan. She truly is a remarkable young lady.

by: Dustin from: Windhoek
October 16, 2012 10:22 AM
Hope this young lass makes it and continue what she believes is the right thing to do.
In Response

by: hina from: oxford
October 17, 2012 8:32 AM
i hope she gets well soon

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More