LONDON – The father of Malala Yousufzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for standing up to the Taliban in defense of education for girls, called his daughter’s survival a miracle Friday and vowed that she would “rise again.”
Ziauddin Yousufzai, visiting his daughter for the first time since she was flown from Pakistan for treatment in a British hospital, also said that the global and domestic outrage over the attack on Malala represented a “turning point” for his troubled country.
“They wanted to kill her, but I would say that she fell temporarily. She will rise again, she will stand again,” Yousufzai told reporters. “When she fell, Pakistan stood.”
Yousufzai and other members of Malala’s family arrived in Britain on Thursday for an emotional reunion with the wounded 15-year-old, who was shot by Taliban militants at point-blank range Oct. 9. Two other girls on the school bus with Malala were also injured, one critically.
Six days later, Malala arrived at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, in central England. Doctors say the teenager is making a slow but steady recovery.
“I’m thankful to all the people all over the world …” her father said. “They condemned the attack in strong words, and they prayed for my daughter, who is not only my daughter; she is the daughter of everybody, the sister of everybody.”
Fifth Tibetan kills self in China protest
BEIJING – A 23-year-old man has become the fifth Tibetan in a week to set himself on fire and die in a county in far western China to protest Chinese rule, a rights group said today.
Tsewang Kyab set himself on fire Friday evening on the main street of Amuquhu town in Xiahe county, London-based Free Tibet said.
Earlier Friday, a 24-year-old Tibetan farmer, Lhamo Tseten, died from self-immolation near a military base and a government office in Amuquhu, the group said. China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported the self-immolation of a Tibetan man by the same name, though details were slightly different. Xinhua said that Lhamo Tseten was a 23-year-old villager and that he set himself on fire near a hospital.
In the past week in Xiahe, which is in Gansu province, a herdsman, a farmer and a man in his late 20s also died after setting themselves on fire.
Dozens of ethnic Tibetans have set themselves on fire in heavily Tibetan regions since March 2011 to protest what activists say is Beijing’s heavy-handed rule in the region.