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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs