Islamabad: Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan, the two fellow students who were injured when Taliban shot at teenaged rights activist Malala Yousafzai, are overwhelmed with the news of the rapid recovery of their 15-year-old friend in Britain.
Malala was shot by a Taliban assassin as she took a bus home from school in Pakistan’s northwest Swat region in October 2012. She was flown to Britain shortly after the attack and was treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A student of Class 10, the 15-year-old Kainat said she had spoken to Malala’s mother by telephone and enquired about her friend’s health. “I will personally speak with Malala in a couple of days to invite her to come to Swat after her complete recovery,” a jubilant Kainat told Dawn News.
She said the news that Malala has been sent home after her recovery was received well by people of the region. “We desperately need people like Malala to come and guide us in these trying times. Doctors are focusing on her physical therapy for her rapid rehabilitation,” Kainat said.
Shazia, the other 14-year-old girl who was injured in the attack, said: “God protects brave people and it is exactly what has happened to Malala.”
Kainat told Dawn from her home in Makan Bagh, Swat, that Malala was very courageous and they wished her good health. “Her fast recovery from critical injuries is a clear sign that our prayers have been answered by Allah and soon she will be able to live normally,” she said.
Kainat said Malala’s recovery was important for the people of Swat because she campaigned for girls’ education there and became a global face against militant forces.
Shazia said she knew that scale of justice will tilt in favour of Malala. “She is a ray of hope for million of girls around the world. She championed boldly the cause of female education in hard times,” she said.
Commending Malala for always insisting that they should attend school even during the Taliban’s two-year rule in 2007-2009, Shazia said: “Malala deserves praise for what she has done and god has awarded her a second chance to live in recognition of her matchless efforts.”