President Zardari visits Malala in Britain

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has visited Malala Yousafzai in a hospital in Birmingham where she has been recuperating from a gunshot wound.

President Zardari's daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari also accompanied him to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Saturday, the Pakistani state-run APP news agency reported.

Hospital director Dave Rosser briefed the president about Malala's health condition.
This was the first time Zardari has met Malala. Aseefa presented a shawl to the 15-year-old girl rights campaigner.

A Taliban gunman shot Malala in the head Oct 9 when she refused to accept their diktat to not attend school. Two of her schoolmates were also injured in the attack outside their school in the Swat Valley.

The nation was proud of Malala and her schoolmates Shazia and Kainaat, President Zardari said. The government was determined to provide education to all girl child, he said.

"Our response to the attack is to further promote education and fight the extremist mindset in the country," the APP quoted Zardari as saying.

Malala said her family and the people of Swat were grateful to the government for the prompt arrangement for her treatment at the best hospitals in Pakistan and Britain.
She said Benazir Bhutto, former prime minster and wife of President Zardari, was her role model and she would endeavour to follow in her footsteps.

Zardari said Malala's quick recovery was "the fulfilment of the prayers of millions of people not only in Pakistan but also across the world".

He said Malala represented the resilience of Pakistani girls and women.
By refusing to bow to the threats of the militants, Malala stood tall today as a champion of girls' education right and against the extremist mindset.

President Zardari thanked the British government and the management of Queen Elizabeth Hospital for providing the best medical care to Malala.

He also appreciated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UNESCO and other international organisations that supported Malala at a most critical time.

Malala's father Zia-ud-Din Yousafzai, who is with her at the hospital along with her brothers Khushal Khan and Atal Khan, thanked the president for helping Malala.

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