Shot Pakistan girl Malala Yousafzai 'symbol of courage'
- 29 October 2012
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
Pakistan's interior minister has said a 15-year-old schoolgirl activist who was shot in the country by the Taliban is a "symbol of courage and determination" against "extremist ideology".
Malala Yousafzai is recovering in hospital in Birmingham after being shot on school bus on 9 October.
Doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said she could make a good recovery.
On Monday she was visited there by Pakistan minister Rehman Malik and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Mr Hague and Mr Malik, who were also accompanied by United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, met surgeons and Malala's father Ziauddin.
'Acts of cowardice'
Mr Malik said the attack on Malala was "meant to tarnish the true face of Pakistan and to discourage those struggling for human liberties and for the democratisation of our society".
He added: "Let me reassure our international friends that such acts of cowardice will not deter us and the whole Pakistani nation stands behind Malala and her cause."
Mr Hague said Malala's "swift and full recovery is our absolute priority" and thanked the doctors at the hospital.
He added: "The people of Pakistan have paid a high price from terrorism and extremism.
"We will stand by all those who, like Malala, are courageously defending the rights of women in Pakistan and around the world."
Malala's father arrived at the hospital on Friday to visit his daughter, saying he believed she would "rise again" to pursue her dreams.
He had revealed how the Pakistani president had taken the decision to move Malala because of the need for a safe environment for her recovery.
Doctors in Birmingham have said Malala is still weak but stands every chance of making a good recovery.
The Pakistan Taliban said it carried out the attack because Malala was "promoting secularism".
She had campaigned for the rights of girls to have an education and had written a diary for the BBC Urdu service when the Pakistan Taliban controlled her home area of Swat in 2009.
Since the attack, the teenager has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world.