Malala Yousufzai, a 15-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, has thanked her sympathizers for their support and prayers while thousands of campaigners from the UK and elsewhere called on the government to nominate the teen activist for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malala, who has become a symbol of girls’ education in Pakistan after the attempt on her life in October, is recuperating at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the UK, where she was flown to give specialized treatment.
In a statement, Malala’s father Zianuddin Yousufzai said that the teenage activist wanted to thank the well-wishers for helping her “survive and stay strong,” the BBC reported.
"She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being. We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, color and creed," Yousufzai said.
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The attack was condemned globally and Malala has received thousands of goodwill messages and support letters from all around the globe.
The teen activist from Swat valley was vocal in criticizing the militant group for depriving women of education and has been pushing for girls’ education in Pakistan through media campaigns. She and her two friends were shot by militants when they were returning from school.
Call For Nobel Peace Prize
The UK and Canada-based campaigners have called on the governments to nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize. A Canada-based group has started an online petition on Change.org, seeking Malala’s nomination for the award. It has received more than 60,000 signatures.
In the UK, Shahida Choudhary, who works for the cause of education for the Muslim girls, has launched a similar campaign. "Malala doesn't just represent one young woman; she speaks out for all those who are denied education purely on the basis of their gender,” Choudary said, according to a Guardian report.
Choudary was forced to discontinue her education when she was 16 after she was married off to a man in Pakistan. She later escaped from Pakistan and continued her studies when she was 28.
"I started this petition because a Nobel Peace Prize for Malala will send a clear message that the world is watching and will support those who stand up for the right of girls to get an education," she told the Guardian.
Malala became popular in 2007 she was eleven years old as she started writing for the BBC Urdu under a pseudo name on the atrocities committed by the Taliban.