As doctors reveal that the teenage peace icon’s health is now stable, officials have said that the alleged attacker was captured during a 2009 military offensive against the Taliban, but released three months later.
Officials identified the man who planned the attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai as Attaullah, and said he was one of the two gunmen who shot her in Swat.
Attaullah is on the run and may have fled to neighbouring Afghanistan, they said. He organised the attack on the orders of Maulana Fazlullah, officials said. The two officials said Attaullah was detained by security forces after a 2009 military campaign pushed the Taliban out of Swat.
“He spent three months in the custody of security forces but was freed after no evidence (of wrongdoing) was found,” one official said. The second source, a senior security official, said authorities had gathered enough evidence to arrest Attaullah after raiding his house in the Swat Valley.
‘Stable’ in UK
Malala spent a third night in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, having been flown to Britain on Monday for specialist care for her injuries.
“Malala Yousafzai’s condition remains stable. She spent a third comfortable night in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and doctors are pleased with her progress so far,” the hospital said in a statement.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2012.