The father of a 15-year-old Pakistani activist girl who was shot and wounded by a Taliban gunman said she'll return home after medical treatment abroad.
Ziauddin Yousufzai's comments were recorded today by Pakistani state television.It was the first time he has spoken publicly since the October 9 shooting in northwestern Pakistan.
Malala has been honoured by the nation by the world, by people of all classes of all creeds of all colours. I am grateful for that," The Telegraph quoted Ziauddin Yousafzai, as saying by telephone from a secure, secret location hours before beginning his journey.
"But I am a father. I respect all those feelings but the only priority now is the life of my daughter and her total rehabilitation. I don't need any awards... I need my daughter," he added. Ziauddin and his wife began their journey from Pakistan to Birmingham on Thursday, 10 days after Malala was flown to the city's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for specialized treatment.
Malala, who earned international fame for raising voice against Taliban oppression in Swat, was shot in the neck and head and two other girls sustained injuries when the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) opened fire on their school van in Swat valley on October 9.
A National Peace award winner, Malala had become the voice of all the girls in Swat when she began maintaining a diary on the website of the BBC under the pen name of "Gul Makai" describing the atrocities of the Taliban.
Malala's family was threatened repeatedly by extremists for promoting "Western" and "secular" values. Ziauddin said he was desperate to be at his daughter's bedside.
The problem, he said, was that his wife's Pakistani documents were not up to date so they had to wait for the government to issue new ones. He also said that the Pakistan Taliban would not silence his family's campaign to ensure that more girls were able to go to school.
The Taliban have vowed to kill her, raising questions about whether it would be safe for her to return but her father promised Malala would come back as soon as she's recovered.
London: Hours before embarking on his journey to meet his daughter, Pakistani teen education campaigner Malala Yousufzai's father expressed his gratefulness for the tributes and prayers from people across the world for quick recovery of the 15-year-old who was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls'' right to education. "I have seen doomsday and survived, you might say.
First Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012, 18:39