LONDON: The father of shot Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has been given a diplomatic role in Britain while his teenage daughter recovers from her injuries, according to reports.
The Pakistani government announced that Ziauddin Yousafzai would become its education attache at the consulate in Birmingham, central England, said the reports.
Malala, 15, is recovering at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where she was brought from Pakistan on Oct.15.
Yousafzai will initially undertake the role for three years, but could get a two-year extension.
Malala was shot on her school bus in northwestern Swat in October by Taliban gunmen for the “crime” of promoting girls’ education, but survived the murder attempt.
Malala first rose to prominence aged just 11 with a blog for the BBC Urdu service in 2009 in which she described life in Swat during the bloody rule of the Taliban.
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.