Malala flown to UK for further treatment

Published: October 16, 2012
Malala Yousufzai being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. PHOTO: AFP

Malala Yousufzai being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. PHOTO: AFP


After a final assessment made by doctors at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), iconic child activist Malala Yousafzai was finally flown to the UK on Monday for further treatment.

The peace icon was taken in a specially equipped air ambulance provided by the UAE on a request from the Pakistan government, after her family consented to the transfer early Monday morning. On her arrival, Malala was transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she will receive specialist medical care. She was accompanied on her flight by an army intensive care specialist.

All expenses, including Malala’s transportation and treatment abroad, will be borne by the Pakistan government.

According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesperson Maj Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, the medical team treating the 14-year-old had been reviewing her progress at regular intervals and had been in consultation with international experts. He added that the medical team was pleased with her present condition, described as “optimal”.

The spokesperson said it was expected that Malala would eventually require both repair and replacement treatment of damaged bones in the skull  and long-term rehabilitation, including intensive neuro-rehabilitation.

UK welcomes transfer

The UK welcomed Pakistan’s stance against the attack on Malala. Foreign Secretary William Hague said, “The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.”

“Last week’s barbaric attack on Malala and her school friends shocked Pakistan and the world. Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all,” read a statement issued by the British High Commission in Islamabad.

Hague added that the public revulsion and condemnation of the attack shows that “the people of Pakistan will not be beaten by terrorists.”

The statement added that Malala’s transfer followed “an offer by the UK government to assist Malala in any way that we could.”

The other two victims

Meanwhile, in spite of the government’s announcement that it would help the other two girls injured in the Taliban attack, no aid appears to have come forth so far.

Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz were respectively receiving treatment in the Peshawar CMH and Swat.

Kainat’s father, Riaz Khan, told The Express Tribune that provincial government officials had contacted him about medical treatment of his daughter but never showed up – while he continues to bear all the expenses for his daughter’s treatment, who was shifted home after receiving initial treatment at Saidu Sharif Hospital.

Despite presidential directions, nobody from the federal or provincial governments contacted me to enquire about Kainat’s condition and needs … was that just a publicity stunt performed for a few initial days?” Riaz questioned.

According to Shazia’s uncle, Sher Muhammad Khan, “After Malala, Shazia was shot in the shoulder but now she is a bit stable and is recovering from her injuries.” He added that due to excessive bleeding on Tuesday, she was now facing a blood deficiency according to medics.

It is yet to be known if the government will pay for Shazia’s hospital bills once she is discharged.

Malala, an advocate for girls’ education and their rights, and her two school-mates were attacked on October 9 in Swat on her way back from school by two armed men. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan later claimed responsibility for the attack.

(Read: Malala Yousufzai)

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Oct 16, 2012 - 4:25AM

    The ruling outfit in Islamabad saw an opportunity to get some millage out of this unfortunate girl Malala, they are a shameful bunch of hypocrites. They ignored the other two girls who were also hurt by the same assassins but Malala could get them some sympathy in the nation since elections are around the corner. It also shows the callousness of the people who are in charge in KP and Islamabad. Who are they fooling , the nation could see through them. Why Pakistan has to pay for her treatment in England, it was said that the Brits will be footing the bill. Why was she not sent to US since the US government categorically offered their help including the fully equipped ambulance aircraft. It seems some one saw an opportunity to milk Pakistan’s treasury while the Brits are going to foot the bill, there is no limit to corruption in Pakistan even the Hajis were not spared


  • Laali
    Oct 16, 2012 - 5:47AM

    the other girls must also be taken care of!!! this is not fair to them or their families. shamless!!


  • Maria
    Oct 16, 2012 - 5:51AM

    @naeem khan Manhattan,Ks: I don’t know what you are on about but clearly you don’t see the real issue. I can’t understand why the treatment cannot be provided in Pakistan. After all, there are enough people who are qualified and able to do reconstructive surgery of this nature in Pakistan, including cranial reconstruction. Rehabilitation may be another issue and for that, one can understand being sent to a place where rah services are better but then that would only be after surgery. The reality is that every time some cowardly Taliban wants to attack an unarmed woman or child, the nation cannot send them overseas for care.


  • Aamir, Toronto
    Oct 16, 2012 - 6:08AM

    @naeem khan Manhattan

    I 100% concur with you, it is really unfortunate that the corrupt elite in Pakistan is trying to take political mileage out of a tragedy, only ALLAH (SWT) wrath can spare us from these leeches.


  • sabi
    Oct 16, 2012 - 6:31AM

    Why others injured in this firing not geting euall support for treatment.Is state too poor to take the responsibilty of the other girls.shame.


  • KR
    Oct 16, 2012 - 7:12AM

    Whatever happened to Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s dream ?

    August 11, 1947 address of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to the members of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly, to the status of a national covenant. That it has taken more than 50 years to reach such a conclusion is indeed most intriguing. In that address the Quaid said, among other things, the following:

    “You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State… We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State… I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.”


  • Deepwater
    Oct 16, 2012 - 7:22AM

    @naeem khan: You obviously have no qualms about taking charity from the rest of the world. Perhaps you are vaguely familiar with the terms “self-respect” or “ghairat” as you call it? Pakistan is already the world’s basket case, no need to make it any worse.


  • Rationalist
    Oct 16, 2012 - 7:46AM

    The neglect by the Pak establishement of the other two girls who got hurt proves that the concern shown for Malala is all for interntional media consumtption. Wish all the best for the other “less worthy” girls who got shot and their families.

    Of course, I pray for the full recovery of Malala, but am saddened that the Pak establishment is playing a hypocritical international media political game with this horrible traqgedy.


  • Rationalist
    Oct 16, 2012 - 7:54AM


    Pakistan’s priorities haven’t been to establish good healthcare and medical facilities for all people. Many Pakistanis prefer to go to India for serious medical conditions and surgery. Malla couldn’t have got the treatment she needs in Pakistan.


  • Irtiza
    Oct 16, 2012 - 8:08AM

    We have this habit of criticizing everything. The other two victims were not that seriously hurt as Malala and were shown on TV talking to the media. Had the government sent all the three abroad for treatment, you whould have criticized that as well on the grounds that only Malala was critically injured requring treatment abroad.


  • sabi
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:21AM

    We have this habit of criticizing everything. The other two victims were not that seriously hurt as Malala and were shown on TV talking to the media. Had the government sent all the three abroad for treatment, you whould have criticized that as well on the grounds that only Malala was critically injured requring treatment abroad
    No I didn’t mean that other should be send abroad for treatment rather their treatment at home
    but if you say they are ok and taken care of then it’s allright.No way to citicise for the sake of criticism.


  • Angry citizen
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:51AM

    There is something fishy!! why is ARMY so much involved in this matter? There have been many instances where Taliban attacked other high-profile individuals and kidnapped teenage boys and girls. I am not against the treatment being provided to this poor girl but its awkward to see so much involvement of govt, army and MEDIA !! Anyways i wish Malalaa may recover soon and i wish this war come to an end asap.


  • Salman
    Oct 16, 2012 - 9:54AM

    The other girls were the result of ‘collateral damage’ in the attack conducted by Talibans(the terrorists) and fortunately, they are almost Out of Danger unlike poor Malala. I understand that the IQ level of most of the Pakistanis is low, as exhibited by some of the posters earlier in this topic but it will be a good idea to think twice before posting anything in the forum. Please do make it a habit.


  • RizwanTKhan
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:41AM

    One taken abroad for treatment and other still waiting for the govt to take 1st step for her treatment…Shame on govt and the whole world for this two faced move.


  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Oct 16, 2012 - 10:45AM

    And why not the other girls are being treated like Malala?????
    Isn’t this prejudicial and shameful attitude of present government with the other girls????


  • HolierThanThough
    Oct 16, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Its simple… that we are a nation of brainless twats that hear things from many sources and make their own conclusions.

    Fact 1: Malala shot in the head and neck, seriously injured with bullets to the brain and neck. Other two unfortunate girls caught in the terrorists burst got badly injured but nothing that could not be treated locally. These girls needed immediate monetary support but it was delayed because everyone was in shock to save Malala. Malala needs neurological treatment which will be extensive physiological and psychological treatement depending on her brain condition. As told by the Doctos in UK, they have the best reconstructive radiological equipment in the world.

    Fact 2: The People who call themselves Taliban accepted this assassination and vowed to repeat it again.

    Fast 3: Media has many problems, but it is a reflection of society. Corruption might be there to some extent but NEWS CANNOT BE MANIPULATED to the extent which the conspiracy theorists claim.


  • HolierThanThough
    Oct 16, 2012 - 12:24PM

    She was shot in the brain and neck guys… please have a heart. The other two precious kids don’t require the same level of treatment. All three are small 13-14 year old kids. Lets just pray for these kids right now and forget about any shortcomings… because we are all to blame, nit just the government.


  • Curious...
    Oct 16, 2012 - 4:00PM

    When the christians and hindus in Pakistan were attacked, killed, raped, driven out from their homes and their churches and temples were burnt there was no fatwa from the clerics and there was no demonstration. But, now a Muslim girl was shot there are fatwas, demonstrations etc. not only in Pakistan but elsewhere also. This double standard is ridiculous…

    The fact that Malala has to go abroad for treatment is really shameful. When will money be spent on education and healthcare instead of the military…

    Admit it, Pakistan will be more peaceful and stable under Taliban rule…


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