Malala still on ventilator
- Published: 13/10/2012 at 09:07 PM
- Online news:
A Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban remains on a ventilator in hospital, as people continue to pray for her recovery.
The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right to an education, has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than $US100,000 for the capture of her attackers.
"(The) health condition of Malala continues to remain satisfactory. Her vitals are okay and she is still on ventilator," the military said in an update on Saturday.
"A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition."
Women from the Islamic Minhaj-ul-Quran Party hold placards during a protest on Saturday in Islamabad against the assassination attempt by the Taliban on child activist Malala Yousafzai.
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala on Friday, paying tribute to her and two friends who were also wounded when a gunman boarded their school bus on Tuesday and opened fire.
"It was not a crime against an individual, but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values," he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan's struggle with Islamist militancy.
Military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa on Friday said the next 36 to 48 hours would be critical for Malala.
Schools in Afghanistan opened on Saturday with special prayers for Malala's quick recovery, in a move officials said was to show solidarity with her.
"To show sympathy to Malala Yousafzai around 9.5 million students all over the country in 15,500 schools and education centres offered prayers for her quick recovery," education ministry spokesman Amanullah Iman told AFP.
"The students also expressed their solidarity to their sister (Malala) because the attack on her was an attack on education."
Freshta, a student, told AFP: "Malala is just a girl and student like us, she shouldn't have been shot.
"Today we recited Koran and prayed for her recovery."
The attack has sickened Pakistan, where Malala won international prominence with a blog for the BBC that highlighted atrocities under the Taliban who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until a 2009 army offensive.
Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to whose who advocate appeasement with the Taliban, but analysts suspect there will be no seismic shift in a country that has sponsored radical Islam for its own political ends for decades.
Schools opened with prayers for Malala on Friday and special prayers were held at mosques across the country for her speedy recovery at the country's top military hospital in the city of Rawalpindi.