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Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:30AM
Malala Yousafzai (C) at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (file photo)

Malala Yousafzai (C) at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham (file photo)

Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in October, has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for her commitment to the rights of girls in Pakistan. Three members of the Norwegian parliament from the ruling Labor Party nominated Malala because of her “courageous commitment to the right of girls to education - a commitment that seemed so threatening to the extremists that they chose to try and kill her.” On October 9, 2012, Yousafzai was shot by Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in the town of Mingora for speaking out against the fanatics and promoting education for girls and women in her home region, the Swat Valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The 15-year-old, who underwent successful surgery on her skull and ear in a five-hour operation at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham on February 2, left the hospital on February 7 after her medical team decided she was well enough to be discharged. Shahida Choudhary, a Pakistani activist who organized a campaign for the nomination of Malala, recently said in a statement issued on the global petition platform that Malala does not “just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender.” Tens of thousands of Britons have also joined the campaign, calling on UK Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior UK government officials to nominate Yousufzai for the prize. Reports say similar campaigns have also been held in Canada, France and Spain. On February 8, the Queen Elizabeth hospital said Yousafzai had made a good recovery and would continue her rehabilitation nearby at her family’s temporary home in Birmingham and visit occasionally for outpatient appointments. The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan militants destroyed hundreds of schools in the Swat Valley during a campaign of violence in 2008 and 2009, which led to a dramatic decline in the number of girls enrolled in schools in the region. MSH/HSN
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