Sitara-e-Shujaat, one of Pakistan’s highest civilian awards for bravery, will be given to 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by the Taliban last week for speaking out against the militants, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.
Malik made the announcements after visiting Khushal Public School run by Malala’s father in Mingora, the main town of Swat Valley, located 160 km from Islamabad.
Malik also visited Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Ahmed, the two girls who were injured in the attack on Malala and gave them cash awards.
Speaking at the school, Malik said Malala was a symbol of bravery. He called on the students to follow her example.
Earlier, Malik said that security and intelligence agencies were hunting all the persons involved in the attack and had made some arrests. He contended that the assassination attempt was planned by Pakistani Taliban militants based in Afghanistan.
Four men had come from Afghanistan to carry out the attack and one of them had been identified, he said. Some associates of the terrorists and the fiancee of one of the attackers have been detained, he said.
The government is providing security to the families of Malala and the two other girls.
After being treated in military hospitals in Peshawar and Rawalpindi, she was flown to Britain on Monday and is currently being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Rs 5-crore bounty on Taliban spokesperson
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik has offered a $1 million bounty (Rs 5.2 crore) for Ehsanullah Eshan, the central spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala’s life. Malik said that agencies were investigating the attack and hunting down those whose involvement had been ascertained. “All our law enforcers, agencies are hunting all those who were involved. Let me assure my Pakistani nation, and the entire world, that we’ll get them soon.”