Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that Malala Yousafzai’s family will be under guard when they return to Pakistan after her treatment and the government will pay for it.
In an interview with CNN in London, Malik said that the teenage activist had been offered security thrice before her shooting, but her father had refused.
He said that she would be given security when she returns to Pakistan. Malik said that this will require a cordon of female officers to surround Malala and one of male officers to surround the female contingent.
“I assure to the world community that when she goes back, we do have the ability to protect her.”
The interior minister also said that Malala and her parents can stay in the UK for as long as needed, “until she is fully rehabilitated”.
Police looking for 3 suspects
Malik said that police in Pakistan was searching for three suspects believed to be involved in Malala’s shooting.
He said that the suspects were two youths who were involved in the shooting and a man who is believed to have driven them to the scene. He said the two were brought to Swat by a man identified as 23-year-old Ataullah Khan, who is the primary suspect.
The interior minister said one of the youths had distracted the driver of the vehicle Malala was travelling in, while the other had asked a bystander to identify her.
“Obviously they had done their homework. They had seen the vehicle of Malala going up and down, and accordingly they acted on that.”
Police have said that they are tracking down Khan, who was a student of a master’s degree in chemistry. He had studied for his Bachelor of Science degree in physics at Jahanzeb College in Swat.
Malik also rejected calls from some to bring in the army to bear on the militants, stating that a military solution was not the solution.
He said that Malala was the pride of Pakistan and that “we would love her to come back”.