LONDON: Malala's father Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed Education Attaché at Pakistan Consulate in Birmingham, Britain’s largest city where his daughter is currently recuperating from a gunshot wound at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
‘The News’ can exclusively reveal that the Government of Pakistan through the Foreign Office has sent Ziauddin’s appointment letter confirming his employment and appointment in Grade 19. Pakistan High Commission’s press office refused to comment but a Foreign Office source from Islamabad told this correspondent that Ziauddin will be receiving the letter very soon. He will be entitled to all the privileges given to a Grade-19 officer. In Birmingham, Ziauddin will be given diplomatic status, official accommodation and a car.
“The appointment has been made by the Ministry of Education,” said the source.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Wajid Shamsul Hasan, who is also the legal guardian of Malala Yousufzai, has played the main role in ensuring that President Zardari's instructions that Malala is treated well are executed. Hasan advised to the government of Pakistan that it will be better for Malala if he father has a job to earn money rather than relying on the government handouts.
Ziauddin Yousufzai was interviewed in late November during his visit to Pakistan High Commission. Ziauddin brings with him rich educational and campaigning background and has worked as a senior teacher and administrator in Swat. It is widely believed that it was Ziauddin’s own experience of campaigning for education and human rights that originally inspired Malala as her parents encouraged her by every means to be confident and vocal.
Surgeons treating Malala have told the family that the 15-year-old Malala will take more than two years to fully recover from her severe injuries. She is being treated at the hospital which specialises in treating British soldiers who are injured serving abroad and members of the public who get critically injured.
Currently, Ziauddin and his family are on visit visa and their visas will be expiring around March 2013. It is believed that Pakistan High Commission will soon write to the Home Office to convert Ziauddin’s visit into a diplomat’s visa which automatically allows the transfer of his family members’ visas as dependents. Due to the high-profile nature of Malala’s case and the security situation in Pakistan, the Home office is not likely to raise objections to the conversion of visit visa into the diplomatic status.
In another show of recognition of the brave stance Malala took for the rights of Pakistani girls and peace, she has won the 2012 Tipperary International Peace Award as she has become a symbol of resistance against the Taliban’s efforts to deprive girls of education in Pakistan.
The Tipperary Peace Convention said in Ireland it was recognising Malala’s courage, determination and perseverance, along with the impact she has had on so many people across the world.
Marking World Day of Peace, Peace Convention Secretary Martin Quinn said: “Malala’s courage has proved to be an inspiration around the globe. The right to education is denied to 61 million children of primary school age around the world and the hopes of these children are represented by the courage, determination and by the voice of Malala Yousafzai. The Taliban tried and failed to silence her and have instead amplified her voice.
Meanwhile, a source speaking on behalf of Yousufzai family has clarified to The News that several facebook and Twitter accounts have been set up in Malala’s name which are all fake and have nothing to do with Malala, who at the moment is under treatment and not using any electronic medium of communication under doctors’ instructions. The family clarification came after statements were used on behalf of Malala from fake Twitter and Facebook accounts expressing condolences to the family of the 23-year-old Indian woman who was gang-raped in Delhi and died Saturday.