The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered all government departments and education institutions to observe a minute’s silence today (Friday) to express solidarity with Malala Yousafzai, who was airlifted to the country’s top military hospital for specialist treatment on Thursday.
The government, via the Auqaf department, has also directed clerics to offer prayers for Malala and to condemn the Taliban during Friday sermons, K-P Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said on Thursday.
Malala was shifted from the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Peshawar to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) in Rawalpindi on Thursday, where she has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) department, she was taken by an army helicopter to a helipad near General Headquarters (GHQ), and then transported in an ambulance to the AFIC. A team of specialist doctors accompanied Malala in helicopter, while the general surgeon of the Pakistan Army received her in Rawalpindi.
All resources are being utilised to ensure the best possible treatment for the 14-year-old, the ISPR stated. Sources said that Malala will be treated by the senior most doctors of the Pakistan Army, with special assistance by two neurosurgeons from the UK. A husband-and-wife team of British doctors, who were attending a seminar in Pakistan at the time of the attack, joined local surgeons in treating Malala on Thursday.
“Now she needs post surgery care. The doctors recommended that AFIC has better facilities for post-surgery care,” military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa told AFP. Bajwa said Malala was still unconscious and that the next 24 hours would be crucial.
On Wednesday, she underwent an operation to remove the bullet from between her shoulders.
“She has been put on a ventilator for two days. The bullet has affected some part of the brain, but there is a 70% chance that she will survive,” one of her doctors, Mumtaz Khan, told AFP.
Mehmoodul Hasan, one of Malala’s relatives, said the family had been told doctors were sending her medical reports abroad for advice.
Dozens rounded up
Officers in Swat said that dozens of people were rounded up after the attack but no one has been charged.
Mingora police station chief Ahmad Shah told AFP that nearly 200 people had been detained over Malala’s shooting, including the bus driver and a school watchman, but added that most had been released.
Altaf calls on clerics to condemn TTP attack
Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Thursday called on Pakistan’s muftis and clerics to condemn the assassination attempt on Malala by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and express their stance within 24 hours, otherwise he would be “forced to reveal them in his speech on Sunday.” He said that if the clerics did not do so, the MQM’s representatives in the National Assembly would present a bill stating that only rightful clerics (‘ulema-e-haq’) should be allowed to teach religion.
Meanwhile, more than 50 ulema and muftis of the Sunni Ittehad Council issued a collective fatwa denouncing the attack on Malala and terming it “un-Islamic,” Express News reported on Thursday.
The fatwa declared that the murder of innocent people is tantamount to killing entire humanity.
(With additional reporting by our correspondent in Karachi and additional input from Agencies)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2012.