Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Hague meets Taliban victim's father

Malala Yousufzai in her Birmingham hospital bed surrounded by her family (Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/PA)

Foreign Secretary William Hague has met the father of a teenage girl who was flown to Britain for treatment after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan.

Mr Hague also chatted with staff caring for 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai while visiting Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital along with the Pakistani Interior Minister, Rehman Malik.

In a statement issued after the visit, the Foreign Secretary praised the courage of Malala - who escaped death by inches when a bullet "grazed" her brain - in standing up for women's rights.

Mr Hague, who was also accompanied by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, 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 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."

Mr Hague added: "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."

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