'I am Malala' petition for 'free, compulsory education' in Pak bags million signatures

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 10, 2012 11:40 hrs

A 17-year-old boy is all set to hand in the petition, which calls for every child to have the right to go to school, to the Pakistan High Commission in London as part of a drive led by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Youth representatives worldwide are handing in the "I am Malala" petition, which has already attracted more than one million signatures.

"This is a really important cause - all young people are entitled to the same level of education and no young person should be excluded because of threats or their gender. If girls are to receive a good level of education they also need the solidarity of men and boys around the world to achieve it," said David Crone, of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, a UN and Plan UK youth representative.

November 10, which has been labelled 'Malala Day', marks exactly one month since the 15-year-old Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousufzai was shot in the head and neck by the Pakistani Taliban as she travelled home from school with two classmates in north-west Pakistan.

Malala is currently recovering at a hospital in Birmingham after being brought to the UK for treatment.

Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, has presented a petition to Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, along with one million signatures from Pakistan demanding free and compulsory education.

"The president of Pakistan has agreed to work with the United Nations to ensure urgent delivery of education for all and to get Pakistan's five million out-of-school children into education for the first time," Brown said.

"No bombs, bullets, threats or intimidation can deter the international community, working in partnership with Pakistan, to ensure we build the schools, train teachers, provide learning materials, and ensure that there is no discrimination against girls," he added.

Malala was attacked for speaking up against the Taliban and for advocating girls' right to education. (ANI)

More from Sify: