Zee Media Bureau
United Nations: Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban in October 2012, on Friday addressed the United Nations. At the onset of her speech at a gathering of youth leaders from across the world, Malala thanked everyone who prayed for her fast recovery.
Malala also thanked all the nurses, doctors and the hospital staff in both Pakistan and Britain, who helped her survive and recover.
Addressing the huge gathering Malala asserted that it was not just her birthday, but it was a day of “every boy and girl who have raised their voice for their rights”.
Pointing that the thousands had been killed and millions injured by the terrorists, Malala said that she was just one of them, and said that she spoke for the others who could not be heard. She asserted on the need to their right to be educated.
Hitting out at the Taliban, she said, “On 9th of October, 2012, Taliban shot me. They thought the bullets will silence us, but they failed...out of that silence came thousands of voices.”
She added that following the attack, what died was “weakness, failure and hopelessness”, and what was born was “power and encouragement”.
“I am here to speak up for the right of education of every child...I also want education for the children of the Talibs who attacked me and other terrorists across the world,” said Malala.
According to Malala, she got her power from world leaders like Martin Luther king, Nelson Mandela and Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and learnt the philosophy of non-violence from Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa.
Malala said that the terrorists were frightened by the power of education, power of women, adding, “That is the reason why they are attacking women and blasting schools.”
"They thought that the bullet would silence us, but they failed," said Malala, adding, "Lets pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in life, except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, courage and fervour was born."
Terming Pakistan as a peace loving country, Malala outlined that Islam was a religion of peace, equality and brotherhood.
Batting strongly for the rights of women, Malala said that the women need to be independent to fight and speak up for themselves. “I call upon the world leaders to change their strategic policy to focus on peace and equality...any deal going against rights of women is unacceptable.”
She advocated “free and compulsory education for all children across the world”, saying, If we want to achieve our goals, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of education. Let us wage a global struggle against poverty and terrorism.”
Malala ended her encouraging speech saying, “Education is the only solution, education first.”