Zardari meets Malala, says Pakistan is proud of her

Published: 10 December, 2012 07:04 IST | Agencies |

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday visited Malala Yousafzai � a 15-year-old schoolgirl and girls' education advocate who was targeted by Taliban militants in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Yousafzai is currently being treated in the United Kingdom at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, after she was shot in the head by gunmen in October in retaliation for her advocacy.

God bless you: Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari showers blessings and praise on education activist Malala Yousafzai at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Zardari’s daughter Asifa also gave the teen a shawl. Pic/AFP

Zardari went “to see for himself the health condition ... and also to pay tributes to her for her courage and steadfastness,” his office said in a written statement. The president hailed Malala as a “remarkable girl and a credit to Pakistan”.

Zardari and his daughter Asifa Bhutto spoke to the doctors who are treating Malala and enquired about her health. “The nation is proud to have such girls like Malala and her schoolmates Shazia and Kainaat. The government has made up its mind to provide education to all girl child at any cost,” said Zardari.

“We are providing education to the girl child to fight the extremist mindset in a proper way in the country,” he added. During the meeting, Malala revealed that Benazir Bhutto, who was the former prime minister and wife of President Zardari, was her idol and said that she would love to follow her footsteps.

Zardari thanked the world for praying for the long life of the daughter of Pakistan and said that the prayers have kept her breathing.

Zardari also thanked the British government and the management and staff of Queen Elizabeth Hospital for providing the best medical care to the fearless activist.

He said that he has all the appreciations for the United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon, The UNESCO and other
international organisations which stood in support of the Pakistani girl.  

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