'When she fell, Pakistan stood': Taliban victim Malala Yousufzai's family arrive in UK

 

The 15-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban was reunited with her family yesterday – as her father spoke of his joy at the “miracle” of her treatment in Britain.

The attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai had been a “turning point” for his country that had united people of all faiths in horror against violent extremism, Ziauddin Yousafzai said during a visit to the NHS hospital where she is being treated.

Malala was shot down while travelling home from school with two classmates in the Swat valley in north-west Pakistan – an area once ruled by the Taliban. The teenager has been an outspoken public campaigner for girls’ education, something which the Taliban are vehemently against.

Mr Yousafzai, his wife and two sons were reunited with Malala, who is being treated at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, after flying in from Islamabad on Thursday night. Doctors now say they expect her to make a full recovery despite significant damage to her skull and jaw.

Her father said she would “rise again” despite being shot in the head at point-blank range on 9 October.

At a news conference Mr Yousafzai, sitting beside Malala’s younger brother, Kushal Khan, 12, described the shooting as a pivotal moment for the country and said the decision to fly her to the UK was a “miracle”.

“The person who attacked her wanted to kill her, but she fell temporarily. She will rise again and she can stand now. But when she fell, Pakistan stood and the world rose. This is a turning point,” he said. “In Pakistan for the first time we saw that all political parties, the government, children, women, elders, they were crying and praying to God. Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, indifferent of caste, colour or creed, they prayed for my daughter. I’m thankful to all the people all over the world. They condemned the attack and prayed for my daughter … She will rise again, she will stand again.”

His message of hope comes after police in Pakistan named the prime suspect in connection with the shooting as Atta Ullah Khan, 23, a chemistry student from the Swat district.

Dr David Rosser, who is treating the teenager in Birmingham, said Malala was now walking with very little help, eating well and talking, and both her short and long term memory seemed intact. Specialists are increasingly confident that her brain is relatively unscathed despite the bullet entering just above the back of her left eye.

Dr Rosser said her skull would need reconstructive surgery over the coming weeks but that her long-term prognosis was “excellent”. He said: “She’s very tired but she managed a big smile for her mum and dad and her brothers … There’s no reason to think she won’t make near to a full recovery.”

Mr Yousafzai fought back tears as he described how he was told to prepare for Malala’s funeral after the shooting.  “I’m thankful to God,” he said. “I found angels on my side all around me … she got the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time.

He added: “I am thankful that you are very much concerned about my daughter’s health. You have supported the cause for which she stands, the cause of peace and education.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Walker and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 5
film
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss