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Malik, British and UAE ministers visit Malala's hospital

Monday, 29 October 2012 - 7:39pm IST | Place: London

Malala was shot in her home town of Mingora in the Swat Valley of Pakistan on October 9.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik along with British and UAE foreign ministers today visited the hospital where Pakistani teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai is admitted following an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

The British Foreign Ministry said the three ministers had met the father of 15-year-old Malala, who was shot in the head by the Taliban earlier this month as punishment for campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan.

She was flown from Pakistan on October 15 for treatment at a specialist hospital in Birmingham, central England, in an air ambulance provided by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"I visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham today to enquire after the health of Malala and to convey messages of good health and best wishes on behalf of the government and the whole Pakistani nation," Malik said.

"We are grateful to the hospital authorities, especially the doctors treating Malala, for taking care of her in a most professional manner. As a result, she has made very good recovery in the past few days," he added.

Malik expressed gratitude to Britain and the UAE for their support for Malala, who needs reconstructive surgery after a bullet grazed her brain.

British foreign minister William Hague said: "Malala's swift and full recovery is our absolute priority. But we are also determined to do all we can to champion education for women and girls in Pakistan.

"The people of Pakistan have paid a high price from terrorism and extremism. We will stand by all those who, like Malala, are courageously defending the rights of women, in Pakistan and around the world."

He had earlier tweeted: "Visiting the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham today to thank medical team caring for #Malala and show support to her family".

The UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan, said his government had provided assistance because its citizens were "appalled" by the attack on Malala.

"She is in our prayers...Malala's courage inspires us to reinforce our commitment to rejecting ideologies rooted in intolerance and extremism," he said.

Meanwhile, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in a statement said Malala spent a restful weekend.

"Malala Yousufzai spent a restful weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham surrounded by her family, who arrived in the UK last week.

"She continues to make good progress and is grateful for the 5000 messages of support that have been posted on the Trust's website," the statement said.

Malala was shot in her home town of Mingora in the Swat Valley of Pakistan on October 9 and was flown to Britain two weeks ago for treatment at the Birmingham hospital.

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