LONDON - Pakistan's Interior Minister and the Foreign Ministers of UK and UAE visited the hospital treating Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai on Monday.
She was flown from Pakistan on October 15th for treatment at a specialist hospital in Birmingham, central England, in an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"I visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to inquire after the health of Malala and to convey messages of good health and best wishes on behalf of the government and the whole Pakistani nation," said Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
"We are grateful to the hospital authorities, especially the doctors treating Malala, for taking care of her in a most professional manner. As a result, she has made very good recovery in the past few days."
He expressed gratitude to Britain and the UAE for their support for Malala, who needs reconstructive surgery.
"Malala's incident should not be seen in isolation," Malik said.
"She is a symbol of courage and determination against the forces of extremist ideology. The attack on her was also meant to tarnish the true face of Pakistan and to discourage those struggling for human liberties and for the democratisation of our society,” he said.
"Let me reassure our international friends that such acts of cowardice will not deter us, and the whole Pakistani nation stands behind Malala and her cause." British Foreign Minister William Hague said Malala's swift recovery was Britain's "absolute priority".
"The people of Pakistan have paid a high price from terrorism and extremism," he added.
"We will stand by all those who, like Malala, are courageously defending the rights of women, in Pakistan and around the world." The UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said his government had provided assistance because its citizens were "appalled" by the attack on Malala's school bus in the Swat valley, a former Taliban stronghold. "She is in our prayers," he said.
"Malala's courage inspires us to reinforce our commitment to rejecting ideologies rooted in intolerance and extremism."
The hospital said the teenager had spent a "restful" weekend surrounded by her family, who arrived in Britain last week.
"She continues to make good progress," it said in a statement.
The hospital released a photograph at the weekend of Malala's parents and two brothers gathered around her bedside. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, now a UN education envoy, has said he will meet Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari on November 9-10 to present him with a list of supporters worldwide for Malala's campaign for education.
Malala rose to prominence three years ago, aged just 11, writing a blog for the BBC Urdu service describing life under the Taliban's hardline rule in the Swat valley in northwestern Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Goodwill Ambassador of Polio Eradication Campaign‚ Aseefa Bhutto Zardari visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and inquired about the health of Malala Yousufzai.
She also met Malala's parents and hospital administration officials.
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari prayed for early recovery of Malala Yousufzai.