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Four key suspects of Malala attack held in Swat


Four key suspects of Malala attack held in Swat
Mushtaq Yusufzai
Saturday, October 13, 2012 
From Print Edition

PESHAWAR: The law-enforcement agencies in Swat have arrested four key suspects, including a woman, reportedly involved in shooting Malala Yousafzai, but the mastermind of the attack, identified as Attaullah, is said to have escaped from the scenic valley.

A senior police official in Swat said the four suspects were captured during raids in different areas outside the Mingora city on Thursday night.

During initial interrogation, the official said the suspects revealed that Attaullah, a resident of Sangota area near the Mingora city, was the mastermind of the attack on Malala in which two other young girls were also injured.“Before the police and other law-enforcement could raid the hideout of Attaullah, he escaped,” a source said.

Security officials familiar with the development, however, said that Attaullah had already left Swat.“Besides Attaullah, there are other people who masterminded the attack on Malala. We are now utilising all means to trace the culprits,” a security official said on condition of anonymity.

The sources said those who attacked Malala were aged between 20-30 and were not involved in militancy at the time when the Maulana Fazlullah-led Taliban held sway in Swat.“The people who are presently carrying out terrorist attacks and targeting their opponents in Swat are totally a new lot. They are specially-trained in carrying out attacks people in the cities,” the official said.

The Afghanistan-based militants from Swat refused to confirm if any of their members have been arrested, but claimed that they had dozens of trained target-killers in the valley.Spokesman for the Swat Taliban Sirajuddin Ahmad, who is now based in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, said Maulana Fazlullah had personally ordered Malala’s killing after her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, who runs his school and is also a spokesman for the Swat Qaumi Jirga, allegedly failed to stop her from speaking against the Taliban.

He said PML-N leader Afzal Khan was his close relative, but he ordered the target-killers to kill him as he was against the Taliban.“We have a clear stance. Anyone who sides with the government shall die at our hands. You will see other important people would soon become victims of our trained squad in Swat,” Sirajuddin warned.

Our correspondents/agencies add: Yaum-e-Dua was held across the country to pray for early recovery of Malala Yousafzai, while Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf along with other political leaders visited Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) to inquire after the health of Malala.

Prayers were held in mosques throughout the country after the Jumma prayers, while the students, political parties, lawyers, social activists and other people belonging to different walks of life took out rallies and offered Dua for early recovery of Malala.

According to ISPR, health of injured Malala is satisfactory while the next 48 hours are critical.“According to neurosurgical and intensive care specialists, health of Malala Yousafzai is satisfactory but next 36 to 48 hours are critical,” said DG ISPR Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa at a press briefing.

He said Malala has been placed on ventilator but the team of doctors has described her health condition as satisfactory.General Bajwa said Malala was shifted to Rawalpindi on the advice of doctors’ panel treating her as there are better intensive care facilities at the AFIC as compared to CMH Peshawar.

He said all the medical sketches and pathological investigations of Malala were carried out afresh in AFIC, according to which all her vital organs are well intact and working properly.

The DG ISPR added that a special medical team, headed by a major general, had been constituted and the decision to send Malala abroad would be taken by the medical board.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf said attack on Malala is not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on the country’s core moral and social values.

Talking to media persons at Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC), the prime minister said the nation stands united in condemning the brutality and degradation of those who perpetrated this crime and the poisoned mindset that seeks to destroy the soul of the nation.

He said that extremists attacked Malala for what she stands because they were scared of the power of her vision.He said that she had a simple message, “The right for girls to be educated”. “Malala is a true Pakistani and is the real face of Pakistan. We will not allow anyone to destroy the face of Pakistan,” he maintained.

Pervaiz Ashraf said Malala has created a movement across Pakistan. “Our girls want to follow her footprints,” he added.“I have often said that we face a threat from a bigoted and radicalised mindset, which wants to rob us of our cherished values of peace, pluralism, moderation, tolerance and passion for knowledge,” the premier said.

“Today, we pledge to fight this mindset. It was this mindset which was behind the martyrdom of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. We pledge that we will not allow the future of our children to be endangered by the militant mindset,” he maintained.

The prime minister the enemies of Pakistan will never be allowed to succeed. “We pledge that we will uproot this menace of extremism and militancy. We pledge that we will not surrender the soul of the nation.” The premier said every Pakistani is praying for the complete recovery of Malala. He said Malala is under the best possible care and being treated by the best professionals of the country. He further said that he has inquired from the doctors about her condition and was told that next 36 hours are critical for her.

The PML-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain has suggested to the prime minister that Malala Yousafzai, who raised her voice for education and peace, should be named as Pakistan ambassador for peace and education.

During his meeting with the prime minister, Chaudhry Shujaat said that the decision to appoint Malala Yousafzai as ambassador for education and peace would be welcomed both nationally and internationally and this would also reflect determination and commitment of the Pakistan government to eliminate extremism and terrorism, establishing peace and spreading of education.

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