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Thousands sign Nobel petition for Malala

Teen activist thanks global supporters

Image Credit: AFP
Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai reading cards sent by well-wishers at the QueenElizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in central England.
Gulf News

LONDON More than 87,000 people have signed a global petition calling for Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousufzai to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, campaigners said on Friday.

The 15-year-old is recovering in hospital in Britain after Taliban gunmen in her native northwest Pakistan shot her on her school bus last month for daring to campaign for the right of girls to go to school.

“A Nobel Peace Prize for Malala will send a clear message that the world is watching and will support those who stand up for the right of girls to get an education,” said Shahida Choudhary, a British campaigner involved in the petition.

Choudhary said she wanted British Prime Minister David Cameron and prominent politicians to write to the Nobel committee in Sweden to recommend Malala for the award.

In Islamabad on Friday, the UN’s special envoy for global education Gordon Brown presented the Pakistani government with a separate petition with more than one million signatures in support of Malala.

At a meeting attended by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, former British premier Brown said the international community was ready to support Pakistan in its efforts to tackle poverty and ensure all children could go to school.

Malala on Friday thanked her global supporters, one month on from the brutal attack.

“She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being,” said her father Ziauddin Yousafzai.