Malala's friend's family decides to leave Swat out of fear

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 12:04 hrs

Islamabad: The family of a girl who was injured in the Taliban attack on teenage rights activist Malala Yousufzai has decided to leave the restive Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan and move to Punjab province for security reasons.

Shazia Ramzan was injured when two Taliban fighters attacked Malala near their school in Swat on October 9.

Her father Muhammad Ramzan was quoted by the Dawn newspaper on Tuesday as saying that he planned to settle in his hometown of Muzaffargarh in Punjab for security reasons.

Ramzan said he had been living in Swat for 20 years and was running sweet shops there.

Though the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had offered him security, a bomb exploded near his home in Swat two weeks ago, he said.

He claimed the bombing was a "warning" to his family.

The blast had panicked him and the family and he had decided to move to Muzaffargarh, he said.

Ramzan further claimed that the family of Kainat Ahmed, another girl who was injured in the attack on Malala, too was planning to shift from Swat to some other city.

The Taliban had claimed responsibility for the attack on Malala, saying she was targeted for backing secularism and Western values.

Malala is currently being treated in a hospital at Birmingham in Britain.

Her father Ziauddin Yousufzai has been appointed a special UN adviser on Global Education.

Ramzan said he was happy that Malala's father was invited to a conference in Paris on Monday to honour Malala. However, he added that Shazia too should have been called to the conference.

Shazia was in hospital for two months and returned to her school in Swat four days ago, he said. Malala had contacted Shazia four days ago and inquired about her health, he added.

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