ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Thursday Malala Yousufzai had started talking and had spoken to both of her parents by phone.
Malik promised that the government would protect Malala and her family when they returned. Malik said Malala had asked her father to bring some of her school books with him when he goes to Britain.
“Even while sitting there she is taking care of her schooling,” said Malik. The interior minister said attack on Malala was actually attack on Pakistan.
The federal minister said that Malala’s father would remain with Malala till her complete recovery. Ziauddin Yousufzai, father of ailing Malala Yousufzai, has said the health condition of his daughter is improving gradually. He appealed to the nation to pray for the early recovery of his daughter. He also thanked the media on behalf of Malala Yousufzai. Zia said she would return home after finishing medical treatment abroad despite new insurgent threats against her.
Malala has become a hero both at home and internationally, although her work in speaking out against Taliban atrocities and advocating for girls’ education has long been respected and known beyond her native Swat Valley. Zia is expected to fly soon to Britain to see his daughter and it was the first time he has spoken publicly since the shooting.
Malala’s father dispelled reports the family might seek asylum abroad. “I first laughed at it because all of our sacrifices, my personal (sacrifices), or this attack on my daughter, cannot have such a cheap purpose that we would go to some other country and live the rest of our life there,” he said. Meanwhile, before boarding the flight, Zia said he was grateful for the world’s tributes and prayers but now he just wanted to concentrate on helping his daughter recover.
“I have seen doomsday and survived, you might say. Malala has been honoured by the nation by the world, by people of all classes of all creeds of all colours. I am grateful for that,” he said talking to a British newspaper by telephone from a secure, secret location. “But I am a father. I respect all those feelings but the only priority now is the life of my daughter and her total rehabilitation. “I don’t need any awards. I need my daughter.”
Zia said he was grateful for all their efforts. “The way they saved my daughter was miraculous,” he said. He added that he had stayed in daily contact with medical staff in Birmingham but had not yet been able to speak to his daughter.
He also said that the Pakistan Taliban would not silence his family’s campaign to ensure that more girls were able to go to school. Meanwhile, the medical team caring for Malala at Birmingham hospital said in a statement Thursday that she was comfortable and continued to respond well to treatment.
Last Friday, the hospital released the first photographs of Malala since the shooting showing her lying in her hospital bed and said she was able to stand with help and write.