WASHINGTON, DC (19 October 2012) - Following the attack on Pakistani schoolgirl and rights activist Malala Yousafzai, the United Arab Emirates dispatched a medical team to evaluate and facilitate her transfer to the United Kingdom for lifesaving medical treatment.
Fourteen-year-old Malala was leaving school in her hometown in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan when she was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban.
In a statement issued shortly after the shooting, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said the attack must be "universally denounced." "The attempt on Malala's life was not only an attack on a defenseless child, it was an attack on her and every girl's right to a future unlimited by prejudice and oppression, we must all stand with Malala in promoting tolerance and respect."
UK, UAE and Pakistan Ministers visit Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, Emirati Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, and the Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik, today visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham where Malala Yousafzai is receiving treatment after being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban. The Ministers met Dr David Rosser, the hospital’s Medical Director, and Mr Zia Ud Din Yousafzai, Malala’s father.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“We are profoundly grateful to the full multi-disciplinary team of medical staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, for all they are doing to help Malala recover from her appalling injuries. I thanked Dr Rosser and his staff on behalf of the Prime Minister and our whole Government. I offered our support and sympathy to Mr Yousafzai and his family as they go through this ordeal, as well as our best wishes for Eid al-Adha.
“Malala’s swift and full recovery is our absolute priority. But we are also determined to do all we can to champion education for women and girls in Pakistan. The people of Pakistan have paid a high price from terrorism and extremism. We will stand by all those who, like Malala, are courageously defending the rights of women, in Pakistan and around the world.”
Emirati Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, said:
"The people of the UAE were appalled by what happened to Malala, which is why we helped to bring her for medical care in the UK. We are grateful to the excellent medical team here at the Queen Elizabeth hospital for what they have done for her.
“I would also like to convey the best wishes of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan to Malala and her family. She is in our prayers.
“Malala's courage inspires us to reinforce our commitment to rejecting ideologies rooted in intolerance and extremism. By helping Malala, whose courage we applaud, the UAE is also voicing its firm belief in the right of girls to education everywhere."
Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik said:
“I visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham today to enquire after the health of Malala and to convey messages of good health and best wishes on behalf of the government and the whole Pakistani nation.
“We are grateful to the hospital authorities, especially the doctors treating Malala, for taking care of her in a most professional manner. As a result, she has made very good recovery in the past few days.
“The Government and people of Pakistan are also thankful to the British government and the British people for their strong support to Malala and to Pakistan. We are equally thankful to the government of UAE for its valuable and timely support.
“Malala's incident should not be seen in isolation. She is a symbol of courage and determination against the forces of extremist ideology. The attack on her was also meant to tarnish the true face of Pakistan and to discourage those struggling for human liberties and for the democratisation of our society. Besides, she is a strong exponent of education, especially for girls.
“Let me reassure our international friends that such acts of cowardice will not deter us, and the whole Pakistani nation stands behind Malala and her cause. We will do whatever possible to counter obscurantist forces and to take Pakistan on the path of peace and moderation, as envisioned by our founding fathers.”