Pakistani child activist sent to Britain for treatment
PAKISTAN: A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the
Taliban because she campaigned for the right to education was being
flown to Britain on Monday for specialist, long-term care, the military
Malala Yousafzai, 14, who was shot in the former Taliban stronghold
of the Swat valley last Tuesday, was being sent abroad at a time when
her condition is “optimal and before any unforeseen complications had
set in”, it said.
Malala was being transported in a specialist air ambulance from the
United Arab Emirates and Pakistan said an army intensive care specialist
was accompanying her. “Pakistan has arranged with the UAE for a
specially equipped air ambulance to transfer Malala to the UK”, it said
in a statement after the United Arab Emirates had told Pakistan it was
ready to send the plane.
The shooting has been denounced worldwide and by Pakistan, which has
said it will do everything possible to ensure that Malala makes a
recovery, paying for her treatment, and offering more than $100,000 for
the capture of her attackers.
The cold-blooded murder attempt has sickened Pakistan, where Malala
came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under
the Taliban, who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until a 2009 army
Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to those who
advocate appeasement with the Taliban. But analysts suspect there will
be no significant change in a country that has sponsored radical Islam
for decades. Malala was first airlifted from Swat to a military hospital
in the northwestern city of Peshawar, then to the country's top military
hospital in Rawalpindi, where doctors on Sunday removed her ventilator
for a “successful” short trial.
The army said that a panel of Pakistani doctors and international
experts now agreed that Malala needs “prolonged care to fully recover
from the physical and psychological effects of trauma that she has
It is also expected that in due time damaged bones in her skull will
need to be repaired or replaced, and that she will need “long-term
rehabilitation, including intensive neuro-rehabilitation”. Pakistan has
not disclosed the name or location of the centre where Malala will be
treated, but said it had the “capability to provide integrated care to
children who have sustained severe injury”.
The army said all expenses, including Malala's air ambulance flight
and treatment abroad will be borne by the government of Pakistan.