UK & World News
Pakistani Girl Shot By Taliban On Way To UK
A Pakistani teenager who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls to be allowed to go to school has been sent to the UK for medical treatment.
An air ambulance has been provided by the United Arab Emirates to transport 14-year-old Malala Yusufzai. She is travelling from Islamabad with her parents and medical staff, after being shot in the head and neck.
A Pakistani military spokesman said Malala, whose shooting has drawn condemnation abroad and at home, would require prolonged care to fully recover physically and psychologically.
"The panel of doctors recommended that Malala be shifted abroad to a UK centre which has the capability to provide integrated care to children who have sustained severe injury."
Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that she would receive "specialist medical care in an NHS hospital".
"Last week's barbaric attack on Malala Yusufzai and her schoolfriends shocked Pakistan and the world," he said.
"Malala's bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.
"The public revulsion and condemnation of this cowardly attack shows that the people of Pakistan will not be beaten by terrorists. The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism."
Sky sources said Malala was heading to a specialist rehabilitation centre in Birmingham.
Malala has become a potent symbol of resistance against the Pakistani Taliban's efforts to deprive girls of an education.
Pakistanis have held some protests and candlelight vigils, but government officials have refrained from publicly criticising the Taliban by name over the attack.
However, the Pakistani authorities have offered a reward of more than $100,000 (£62,000) for the capture of her attackers.
Former prime minister Gordon Brown, who is UN Special Envoy for Global Education, said he will be visiting Pakistan next month to discuss girls' education with President Asif Ali Zardari.
"We are launching on www.educationenvoy.org a petition under the headline 'I am Malala' in support of what Malala fought for, that every girl has the chance to go to school.
"Today, sadly, 32 million girls are not going to school and it is time to fight harder for Malala's dream to come true."
Malala and two classmates were attacked by gunmen as they were on their way home from school in Swat, in the northwest of Pakistan.
Malala received life-saving treatment by neurosurgeons at the country's top military hospital in Rawalpindi, the twin city of the capital Islamabad, where doctors on Sunday removed her ventilator for a "successful" short trial.
"The medical team treating Malala have been reviewing her progress at regular intervals and consulting with international experts," the spokesman said.
"The acute phase has been managed in accordance with international standards and the medical team is pleased with her present condition, which has been described as optimal."
Pakistan has agreed to cover Malala's medical expenses in the UK.