Islamabad: More than 87,000 people have signed a
global petition calling for Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala
Yousafzai to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, campaigners said
The 15-year-old is recovering in a hospital in Britain. Taliban
gunmen in her native northwest Pakistan shot her last month after
she protested against the restriction of girls’ education.
attack has drawn international condemnation and Yousufzai has
become a powerful symbol of resistance to the Taliban suppression
of women’s rights.
On Friday, a campaign led by a
Pakistani-British woman urged Prime Minister David Cameron and
other senior government officials to nominate Yousufzai for the
Nobel Peace Prize.
“A Nobel Peace Prize for Malala will send a
clear message that the world is watching and will support those
who stand up for the right of girls to get an education,” said
Shahida Choudhary, a campaigner involved in the petition.
Choudhary said she wanted Cameron and other prominent politicians
to write to the Nobel committee in Sweden to recommend Malala for
Choudhary said that Malala does not represent just one
woman, but all those who are deprived from their basic rights to
Writer and broadcaster Tarek Fatah originally started
the appeal in Canada via petition website Change.org.
on Friday, the United Nations special envoy for global education,
Gordon Brown, presented the Pakistani government with a separate
petition that received more than one million signatures in support
Brown said that the international community is ready to
collaborate and further facilitate Pakistan in their efforts to
“There is no more precious asset, no greater investment, nothing
that signifies better your faith in the future, but the help and
support you give to every child in your country,” Brown added in
the meeting attended by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
recent U.N. report noted that Pakistan had the second worst global
rate of children out of school with as many as 5.1 million
children out of classrooms. Of these, 3 million were girls. Malala
on Friday thanked her global supporters, one month on from the
“She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is
and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world
are interested in her well-being,” said her father Ziauddin
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham on Friday published
photos of Malala sitting and reading a book, while surrounded by
Armed men in Mingora, the main town in the Swat
valley in northwest Pakistan, shot Malala in the head and shoulder
on Oct. 9 after stopping the school bus on which she was
The Pakistani Taliban claimed to have targeted Malala
because of her “pioneering role” in calling for girls’ education,
and because of her general criticism of the Taliban.
was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the
young girl against Maulana Fazlullah, one of Pakistan’s most
ruthless Taliban commanders.
Fazlullah and his men have taken over
Yusufzai’s native Swat District of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The Taliban insurgents have blown up
girls’ schools and publicly executed those they deem immoral. An
army offensive in Swat has however forced many Taliban fighters to