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Pakistan

Malala's Schoolmate Says Taliban Bullet Has Only Strengthened Her Resolve

Kainat Ahmad, seen here recuperating in a Pakistani hospital shortly after the attack, says Malala's courage and defiance has made her an inspiration to a generation of Pashtun girls.
Kainat Ahmad, seen here recuperating in a Pakistani hospital shortly after the attack, says Malala's courage and defiance has made her an inspiration to a generation of Pashtun girls.
By Niaz Ahmad Khan and Abubakar Siddique
MINGORA, Pakistan -- Recovered after being struck by a Taliban bullet, 16-year-old Kainat Ahmad is now focused on two things -- continuing her education and seeing her best friend again.

Ahmad was wounded during the attempted murder last month of teen peace activist Malala Yousafzai, targeted by the Pakistani Taliban for her criticism of the hard-line group's influence in the restive Swat Valley.

On November 1, Ahmad returned to the girls' school she and Malala attend in Mingora, the capital of the Swat district. Ahmad spent nearly a week in a hospital in Mingora after being struck by a bullet in her right arm when Taliban gunman fired on the vehicle she and Malala were riding in.

Malala is slowly recovering in a British hospital from a serious bullet wound to her head.

Ahmad says she's looking forward to the day when Malala will join her at school and says everyone in the community is praying for her recovery.

'We Are All Capable'

While the 10th grader says her friend's relentless promotion of girls' education incurred the wrath of the Taliban, Ahmad says the incident has only strengthened her resolve to pursue an education.

She says Malala's courage and defiance has made her an inspiration to a generation of Pashtun girls.

"Girls will be attracted to an education because of Malala," Ahmad says. "Many are saying, 'If Malala can do what she did, why can't we do something similar?' They say, 'We all are capable.'"

Ahmad says girls' education is necessary for the progression of society and is an avenue for opportunity.

WATCH: Malala Yousafzai is seen in this silent video with her father and two brothers as she recovers in a hospital in Birmingham, England.



"Education is a must for both boys and girls. The boys can pursue any jobs," she says, "but girls need a respectable profession where nobody can point fingers at what they do."

She says the early October shooting has given her a career goal. She wants to become a doctor.

"I will work very hard to become a doctor so I can serve the poor and my nation," she says.

The shooting of Malala because of her activism for peace and child rights focused global attention on the Taliban's opposition to girls' education. Rallies condemning the shooting and in support of Malala were held nationwide.

The Taliban threatened journalists and media outlets across the country in the wake of the shooting and even said they would try to kill Malala again if she survived. Malala's story continues to dominate headlines in Pakistan, reflecting the public's outrage over the shooting.

Written by Abubakar Siddique in Prague, based on reporting by RFE/RL Radio Mashaal correspondent Niaz Ahmad Khan in Mingora
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by: jacfin from: perth
November 01, 2012 16:33
good for you Kainat Ahmad. I hope your dreams of becoming a Doctor are fulfilled. Just as we have praised your friend Malala, you have also been in our thoughts

by: Anonymous
November 02, 2012 05:11
Problems emanating due to Partition of India .

Radical ideology propagated and supported by military establishment of Pakistan has made Pakistan on verge of Civil war.

Bangladesh long gone , Baluchistan is fighting , and innocent girls are shot if they wish to study.

Pakistan and its leader must think if this "Puritanical -Land" was correct to ask for?

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