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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Irradiated turkey and freeze dried mash potato will be on the menu this thanksgiving
video
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
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

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Associate Recruitm...

SThree: Associate Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Associate Recruitm...

Citifocus Ltd: ACA - Financial Reporting

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...

Langley James : Senior Infrastructure Engineer; VMWare, Windows; Disley; £40k

£40000 per annum + benefits: Langley James : Senior Infrastructure Engineer; V...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?