LONDON: President Asif Ali Zardari met Malala Yousafzai on Saturday and assured her that the government of Pakistan would extend full support to her till she fully recovers.
Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai were present in the meeting along with the senior surgeons treating Malala.
The president told Malala that the entire Pakistani nation and the world were proud of her sacrifice and stood by her mission of educating girls and standing against extremism.
He thanked the hospital staff for taking care of Malala and congratulated her father Ziauddin on Malala’s recovery. “You are the pride of Pakistan and the nation’s daughter, and we all salute you,” he told her.
Aseefa Bhutto presented a shawl to Malala.
The president told her he was overjoyed to see her walking normally.
On arrival, President Zardari was first briefed by the surgeons on Malala’s recovery. Then his meeting with Malala started. Ziauddin Yousafzai thanked the government for the help it had provided in getting top class treatment for his daughter who had become a global symbol of courage and defiance against extremism.
A source told this scribe that Malala was in a pleasant mood and told the president that she was being treated well. She also asked Aseefa about her education and exchanged light banter with her.
The president arrived amid tight security, and the media was not allowed to film his arrival. Only the hospital and official cameras were allowed to film the meeting which lasted for about 20 minutes.
President Zardari became the first politician to have met Malala after her arrival in Birmingham.