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Malala reunited with Pak school friends injured in attack

Last Updated: Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 22:16

London: Teenage rights activist Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban, was on Saturday reunited with two Pakistani school-mates also injured in the attack.

Kainat Riaz and Shazia Ramzan met the 16-year-old for the first time since the shooting in Swat Valley last October during an event at Edinburgh University in Scotland.

"After I was shot the terrorists thought that I would not continue the struggle for education, but not only did I not stop my campaign but now Kainat and Shazia are with me and they are also supporting me," Malala said at the event held to mark the launch of the Global Citizenship Commission.

"They are not afraid, we are not afraid and now people are supporting us and that is the greatest courage, and that is the weapon that we have got, the unity and togetherness."

Malala was presented with an honorary Masters degree from the University by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has been backing her campaign as UN special envoy for global education.

Malala was airlifted to the UK after being shot by a Taliban gunman in a school bus for speaking out in favour of girls` education.

Riaz and Ramzan, who were in the bus, were also hit by bullets. All three girls are now living and studying in Britain.

Malala has become a major global figure and just yesterday went to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip. Last week she met US President Barack Obama.

She was among the favourites to win the Nobel Peace Prize this month, but lost out to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons for its work in Syria.

She was the guest of honour at the Edinburgh meeting, which is a joint initiative between Brown, New York University and Carnegie UK Trust.

"We all know of Malala`s incredible courage, strength and determination, and I`m so pleased that she will be reunited with Shazia and Kainat, two young women equally determined that every girl and boy should enjoy the most basic of human rights: a secure, safe place at school," Brown said.

While in Scotland, the three girls then joined him at a ceremony for a new primary school in Burntisland, Fife.

First Published: Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 22:16

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