Threats to Malala's father-run school affect attendance

Published: Oct 18, 2012, 12:26 IST | Agencies |

Most of the girls enrolled at the school run by Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai's father have stopped attending classes due to threats against the institution in the wake of an attempt on her life by the Taliban.

Parents and students were uncomfortable with the attention given to the school by the media and the threats received by the institution, members of the school's administration were quoted as saying by The News. 

The principal of Khushal Public School, Maryam, confirmed that the institution had received threats after the attack on Malala and her schoolmates, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Ahmed, on October 9.

The administration had banned coverage of the schoolgirls by the media as a "good number of girls" had stopped attending classes due to the attention given to the institution by the media, she said. Some girls had taken admission in other schools as they were scared and offended by the media's intrusion, Maryam said.

"Due to this reason, we are not allowing the media to approach the students," she said. The administrator of the school, Iqbal Hussain, said the school was earning a bad name because of the media's attention.

Malala's father Ziauddin Yousufzai had instructed the administration not to allow the media to interfere in the school's affairs and to visit classes as this disturbed the students, he said.

Fourteen-year-old Malala was attacked by Taliban militants in Mingora, the main town of Swat Valley, last week. After undergoing surgery in Peshawar to remove a bullet lodged near her spine, Malala was flown to Britain so that she could be provided specialist care at a hospital in Birmingham.

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