The response of Pakistan to the shooting by the Taliban of the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was a “turning point” for the country, her father said Friday at the British hospital where is recovering.
“When she fell, Pakistan stood… This is a turning point,” Ziauddin Yousafzai said, adding that 15-year-old Malala was recovering “at an encouraging speed” in the hospital in Birmingham.
The 15-year-old’s mother, father and two brothers arrived in the city of Birmingham in central England on Thursday and went straight to see her at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
After flying into Britain’s second city, they were given a police escort through Birmingham to the hospital.
In an attack which outraged the world, Malala was shot on a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of Pakistan’s Swat valley on October 9 as a punishment for campaigning for the right of girls to an education.
On October 15 she was flown from Pakistan to Birmingham in a medically-induced coma, and taken to the highly specialised hospital where staff have extensive experience of treating British soldiers seriously wounded in Afghanistan.
The hospital said Malala was still comfortable and continued to respond well to treatment.
She has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world since she was attacked.
The bullet, which grazed her brain and came within centimetres of killing her, travelled through her head and neck before lodging in her left shoulder.
It will take weeks to months for Malala to defeat an infection in the bullet track and recover her strength enough to face surgery.
Her skull will need reconstructing either by reinserting bone or using a titanium plate.