Malala Yousafzai Girl shot by Taliban acts to save pupils from attacks

Malala: take my name off school or pupils will be at risk

The teenage activist who was shot and wounded by the Taliban for working to promote girls' education has urged the Pakistan government not to rename a college in her honour, as she fears the link would put other students' lives at risk.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, who is being treated for her wounds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, contacted Pakistani officials and asked them to revert to the college's old name after students demonstrated and said they feared they could be attacked.

Last week, up to 1,800 students at the Saidu Sharif Degree College for Girls tore down posters of Malala and protested over the decision to rename the establishment after her. They said they feared that by doing so, the authorities would make the school and its students a prime target for the same kind of Taliban gunmen who shot and tried to kill the teenager in October. Such was the level of anger and fear that officials were obliged to close the school a week early, ahead of the winter holidays.

Yesterday, officials in Pakistan confirmed that in the aftermath of the protests, Malala had telephoned from the UK to ask them to change the college's name back.

Kamran Rehman Khan, a government official in the Swat valley, told the Dawn newspaper: "She called me last week and asked that the name of the college be changed and reverted back to its original name or any other name except [hers].

"The protesters were not against Malala but they feared that naming of the college could pose a serious security threat to them as well as their institution."

He said of Malala's call from the hospital: "I think it was very good of her. There was no threat to the college but she understood the girls' unease and sense of insecurity."

Malala, who became well-known when she kept a diary for the BBC after the Taliban seized control of the Swat valley in late 2007, was shot on 9 October along with two of her classmates as they returned home from school. The Taliban claimed that it had targeted the teenager because of her role as a champion of children's education and because of her "Western" views. The injuries sustained by her friends were not life threatening.

While the Taliban claimed there was justification within Islam for such an assault and that if she survived it would try again to kill her, there was deep revulsion and anger within Pakistan.

While military doctors carried out the initial surgery to save Malala's life after a bullet passed through her head and lodged in her shoulder, experts agreed that she could get better longer-term treatment overseas. The Pakistani authorities are paying the costs of the teenager's treatment at the NHS hospital, where her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, is with her.

Earlier this week, Time magazine announced that Malala was a runner-up to US President Barack Obama as its "Person of the Year".

A spokeswoman for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital said yesterday that Malala was responding well to treatment and making good progress. She said it was expected that her cranial reconstruction surgery would begin at the end of next month.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
Sport
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
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

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

SQL Technical Implementation Consultant (Java, BA, Oracle, VBA)

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: SQL Technical ...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Lead C# Developer (.Net, nHibernate, MVC, SQL) Surrey

£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Lead C# Develo...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering