Zardari to visit Malala at UK hospital

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 06:38 hrs

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is all set to visit the United Kingdom on Saturday to meet 15-year-old education activist Malala Yousufzai, who is being treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Foreign Office officials have termed the visit as an "unprecedented gesture" by Zardari, because the president did not have any diplomatic engagements in the UK other than meeting Malala, reports The Express Tribune.

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar will accompany Zardari to the UK.

The Pakistani Taliban had shot Malala while she was returning home from school on October 9 in the Swat Valley. She was attacked for speaking up against the terror outfit and advocating access to education for girls in an area that has been one of the Taliban's main strongholds in the country.

Over the past months, the teenage activist has received messages of support from across the globe with some suggesting a Nobel Peace Prize for her.

In a special message, Zardari said Malala stands tall as a symbol of girls' education and of defiance against those who wish to impose their obscurantist agenda behind the facade of religion.

To reinforce the idea that Malala represents the government of Pakistan, a special initiative has been launched to give free education to the children. 

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