BIRMINGHAM, England – Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari held a private meeting on Saturday with Malala Yousufzai , the teenage Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban after advocating education for girls, at the British hospital where she is being treated.
Malala Yousufzai, who was shot in the head at close range by the Pakistan Taliban in October as she left school in the Swat valley, was flown for specialist treatment at the hospital which has treated hundreds of British soldiers wounded in Afghanistan.
World leaders have since pledged to support her campaign and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.
Yousufzai was a “remarkable girl and a credit to Pakistan”, President Zardari said in a brief statement issued by the hospital, after he and his daughter Asifa Bhutto Zardari held a five minute meeting with the teenager, her father and two brothers.
During his visit to the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham in the English midlands, President Zardari was briefed on Yousufzai’s condition. He left without speaking to media.
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.
The hospital said on Saturday she was “well”. It has previously said she was recovering after suffering fractures to her skull and jawbone, but would need reconstructive surgery.
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