Malala still on ventilator; people offer special prayers across Pakistan

REZAUL H LASKAR/PTI

Islamabad, Oct 13: Teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban, was still on ventilator at a top army hospital though her vital organs were "intact and working properly," the military said today, as people across Pakistan offered special prayers for her speedy recovery.
 Malala, who along with two of her school friends was attacked by militants on Tuesday in Mingora -- the main town in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, was airlifted from a military hospital in Peshawar to Rawalpindi for better care on Thursday after doctors removed a bullet lodged near her spine.
 The condition of the 14-year-old girl, who is still on ventilator in the intensive care unit at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, continued to be satisfactory, a military spokesman said, adding her vital organs were "intact and working properly."
 Geo News channel quoted its sources as saying that the swelling in Malala's head had subsided and that she had responded to painful stimulus.
 However, her ability to move her limbs continued to be limited though this could be a side-effect of medication, the sources were quoted as saying.
 People across Pakistan, especially school children, continued to offer special prayers for Malala's recovery.
 Meanwhile, the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, angered by the coverage of its bid to assassinate Malala, has drawn up plans to target Pakistani and international media across the country, BBC said, amid reports that the militant outfit's leadership had decided already two months ago to kill the girl and sent out a hit squad to carry out the job.
 Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud issued "special directions" to his subordinates in different cities of Pakistan to target media groups, BBC Urdu reported.
 Premier Raja Pervez Ashraf said the brutal attack onMalala has made it clear that the time has come for people to stand together to uproot terrorism from Pakistan.
 "We have to unite and stand together to uproot this menace from our beloved motherland and save our children," Ashraf told reporters after visiting the hospital in Rawalpindi to enquire about the health of Malala last night.
 Protests were also organised in several towns and cities in Pakistan against the attack on Malala.
 In the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, lawyers boycotted all courts to protest the attack on Malala. The protest was organised by the provincial bar council. Lawyers held a meeting to condemn the incident and prayed for Malala.
 A similar protest was organised by lawyers' organisations in Lahore, the capital of the most populous Punjab province.
 Lawyers hoisted black flags at court complexes and wore black bands to condemn the attack.
 In Karachi, Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq said a school named after Malala would be upgraded to higher secondary level to honour the teenager's dream of education for all girls. He made the announcement when he joined students at the school to pray for Malala.
 Hundreds of students joined a protest organised by the Balochistan Private School Foundation outside the Quetta Press Club this morning and condemned the attack on Malala and her school mates. The students carried posters of Malala and banners inscribed with slogans denouncing the attack.
 Teachers, who addressed the gathering, said the attack was against the teachings of Islam.
 In a related development, President Asif Ali Zardari directed authorities to provide free medical care to Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Ahmed, the two other girls injured in the attack on Malala.
 He said Malala, Shazia and Kainat "represent the true face of Pakistan, are a national asset and have raised collective national consciousness against the barbarism of militants and extremists."

Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 13 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 14 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST




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