I am sure most of us know the story of Malala Yousefzai who was shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls. News.

Malala has dedicated her childhood to championing education for girls like her in Pakistan. As she lies in a hospital bed, a tragic victim of Taliban gunmen, let's help make her dream come true.

One part of Pakistan has already started a successful programme of paying families which send their girls to school regularly. But in Malala's province the government is dragging its feet. Senior politicians have offered Malala help, and if we act now we can get them to commit to rolling this out nationwide.

Before the media spotlight moves on, let's raise our voices to demand that the government announces funding for all Pakistani girls who attend school. In days the UN Education Envoy will meet Pakistan's President Zardari and he says hand delivering 1 million signatures will strengthen his case. So let's help make Malala's dream come true and sign this.

 

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Tags: Malala, Yousefzai

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:16am

Attacker of Pakistani schoolgirl was held, freed in 2009

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The alleged organizer of the Taliban shooting of a Pakistani schoolgirl was captured during a 2009 military offensive against the hardline Islamist group but released after three months, two senior officials told Reuters.

They identified the man who planned the attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai only as Attaullah, and said he was one of the two gunmen who shot her on a school bus this month in the Swat Valley, northwest of Islamabad.

Believed to be in his 30s, Attaullah is on the run and may have fled to neighboring Afghanistan, they said. He organized the attack on the orders of one of the Taliban's most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah, officials said.

The two officials said Attaullah was detained by security forces after a 2009 Pakistani military campaign pushed the Taliban out of the Swat Valley. "He spent three months in the custody of security forces but was freed after no evidence (of wrongdoing) was found," one official said.

The second source, a senior security official, said authorities had now gathered enough evidence to arrest Attaullah after raiding his house in the Swat Valley, a former tourist attraction.

If Attaullah is in Afghanistan, finding him could be difficult. Some of the world's most dangerous militants have operated in the unruly, ethnic Pashtun border area for years, a forbidding area hard for security forces to reach.

The officials said Pakistani security forces were trying other ways to bring him to justice. "His mother and two brothers were taken into custody to force him to surrender," said the second senior official. "Also two other close relatives of Attaullah have been taken into custody because we heard he spent the night in their house after his escape from Swat."

The Taliban commander in charge in Swat was Fazlullah, who melted away during the crackdown and eventually moved to Afghanistan with some of his fighters. From there, he has orchestrated cross-border raids against Pakistani government forces and has again emerged as a major security threat, security sources have said.

The Taliban, fighting to topple the government and impose a radical theocracy, have blown up hundreds of girls schools in recent years in Swat and other areas to further their opposition to the education of women.

Police and security officials say dozens of suspects were arrested after the Taliban gunmen shot Yousufzai, including four employees of her school. Two of them were released.

[Edited for brevity]

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:17am

Doctors Say Shot Pakistani Girl Improving

By ROBERT BARR Associated Press
LONDON October 19, 2012 (AP)

Doctors treating 15-year-old Pakistani shooting victim Malala Yousufzai said Friday that she is able to stand with help and to write, though she still shows signs of infection.

Malala is "well enough that she's agreed that she's happy, in fact keen, for us to share more clinical detail," said Dr. Dave Rosser, medical director at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham,

"She is also keen that I thank people for their support and their interest because she is obviously aware of the amount of interest and support this has generated around the world."

The infection is probably related to the track of a bullet that grazed her head when she was attacked by Taliban gunmen, he said.

"She is not out of the woods yet," Rosser said. "Having said that, she's doing very well. In fact, she was standing with some help for the first time this morning when I went in to see her."

She is in Britain alone. Hospital officials have been in touch with her family in Pakistan.

Rosser said the girl "is communicating very freely, she is writing" but not speaking because she has a tracheotomy tube in her throat.

"We have no reason to believe that she would not be able to talk once this tube is out, maybe in the next few days," Rosser said.

Scans have revealed some physical damage to her brain, but "at this stage we're not seeing any deficit in terms of function," Rosser said. "She seems able to understand. She's got motor control, she's able to write.

"Whether there's any subtle intellectual or memory deficits down the line is too early to say," he added. "It is possible she will make a smooth recovery, but it is impossible to tell I'm afraid."

Officials in the Swat Valley originally said Malala was 14 years old but officials at her school confirmed that her birthday was July 12, 1997, making her 15.

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How can even the Taliban say, "This is not the will of Allah"?

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:19am

Doctors say shot Pakistani girl improving
By ROBERT BARR | Associated Press


LONDON (AP) — The British hospital treating a 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban raised hopes for her recovery Friday when doctors said she was able to stand with some help and to write.

Malala Yousufzai appeared with her eyes open and alert as she lay in a hospital bed, in the first photographs released by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham since she arrived from Pakistan on Monday.

It was a series of positive developments since the shooting, which was a brazen bid by the Taliban to silence the girl, who has been an outspoken advocate for girls' right to education.

Dr. Jaime Levine, medical director of brain injury rehabilitation at the Rusk Rehabilitation unit at NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, said Malala's ability to stand with assistance and move her arms was a "wonderful sign," but the doctor said it was too soon to say whether she would make a complete recovery.

"For some, recovery from a brain injury is a lifelong process," Levine said. "Some people are left with limitations for the rest of their lives. We speak about recovery in terms of goals and function. For a 15-year-old girl attending school with the promise of her whole life in front of her, goals for her are to finish school and to have a job one day and to have a family. ... But we're not talking about those goals yet. We're talking about short-term goals."

Levine said the girl "is communicating very freely, she is writing" but not speaking because she has a tracheotomy tube in her throat. "We have no reason to believe that she would not be able to talk once this tube is out, which it may be in the next few days," he said. Scans have revealed some physical damage to her brain, but "at this stage we're not seeing any deficit in terms of function," he added. "She seems able to understand. She's got motor control, she's able to write. Whether there's any subtle intellectual or memory deficits down the line is too early to say. It is possible she will make a smooth recovery, but it is impossible to tell I'm afraid."

Brain injury experts stressed, however, that she is at the start of what will be a long process. Malala needs time to recover her strength before surgery to reconstruct her skull, either with her own bone or a titanium plate, the hospital said in a briefing note. That could be weeks or months in the future.

The medical briefing Friday offered the first real indication of her progress. The upbeat report galvanized Malala's many backers, who had feared the worst.

Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of the late Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto,* described Malala's progress as wondrous. "Miracles of today: Malala able to stand," she tweeted.

Canadian writer and journalist Irshad Manji celebrated the girl's progress on Twitter: "So listen up world; Miracle Malala has more 2 say."

[Edited for brevity]

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*It might be remembered that Benazir Bhutto was the first woman in Pakistan to head a major political party, the first woman in Pakistan to head a Muslim state, and Pakistan's first and only female Prime Minister, elected for two, non-consecutive terms, and well on the way to being elected for a third time, when she was killed by a bomb that blew up her car, just three weeks before the election.

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 1:30am

As of this writing, 756,066 Have signed, and the numbers are climbing at the rate of about one per second, from countries all over the world!

Comment by _7654_ on October 21, 2012 at 3:55am

done :-)

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on October 21, 2012 at 5:08am

Thamks Arch for the additional info. Yes it will be interesting if the Taliban see it as their gods will - but don't hold your breath.

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 11:48am

"I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."
-- Susan B. Anthony --

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 11:50am

BTW - 766,680 signatures --

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 3:07pm

772,000!

Comment by archaeopteryx on October 21, 2012 at 5:06pm

775,000

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