Pakistan / Malala
Pakistan / Malala

The father of the teenage Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban has paid tribute to those around the world who have shown her support.

Ziauddin Yousafzai spoke Friday from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, where his daughter, Malala, is being treated for serious wounds suffered in the shooting.

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

He said Malala is recovering well and wants everyone to know she has been inspired and humbled by the thousands of cards, messages and gifts she has received.  He said such concern has helped her survive and stay strong.

Taliban gunmen shot 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head and neck a month ago in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley.  She was internationally recognized for documenting Taliban atrocities in the area near her home and for promoting women's education. More than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for her to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Separately, U.N. special envoy Gordon Brown presented Pakistan's government with a petition with more than one million signatures in support of Malala. The petition delivered by the former British prime minister also supported the universal right to education.

Earlier this week, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared Saturday as a day to pay tribute to Malala and to recognize that 61 million children are still not in school.

Pakistan's Human Rights Commission praised the move, saying Malala has been accepted as a symbol of girls' aspirations to receive an education.