A court in Pakistan ordered a life imprisonment to ten men involved in the assassination attempt against Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for education and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
In October 2012, Taliban militants in Pakistan shot Malala in the head while riding a school bus on her way home. The militants despised Malala’s outspoken views on girl’s education. Two of her friends were also wounded during the attack. Malala survived the attack.
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In October last year, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize for her courage and determination to fight for the right of all children to gain an education.
“Ten attackers who were involved in the attack on Malala Yousafzai have been sentenced to life imprisonment,” according to a court official. A lawyer present in the trial at the northwestern town of Mingora in Pakistan and a security official confirmed the decision of the court to AFP.
In Pakistan, a life sentence is equivalent to five years. The Convicts may appeal the sentence to a higher court. Mohammad Amin Kundi, an anti-terrorism judge in Pakistan, commented that the convicts could be eligible for release after 25 years in prison.
Pakistan arrested the suspects last year
In September 2014, Pakistan announced the arrest of ten suspects in an operation, which involves the army, police, and intelligence agencies in the country. Pakistani officials identified Ataullah Khan as the person who actually shot Malala. Reports indicated that Khan is hiding in Afghanistan together with Pakistani Taliban chief, Mullah Fazlullah, who ordered the attack.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack against Malala, whom they consider as “a symbol of the infidels and obscenity” for her activism.
Major General Asim Bajwa, the spokesman for the Army in Pakistan said, aside from Malala, the group involved in the attack known as “Shura” had a hit list of 22 targets.
Bajwa previously stated that they “were able to track down the entire gang.” Most of them were residents of Malakand, which is a part of Kyber Pakhtunkhwa province
All of them are residents of Malakand, which is also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Malala continues her activism
Malala became popular in 2009 when she described life under the Taliban rule at the age of 11 with the blog for the BBC Urdu service. The Taliban militants murder their opponents, and they whip people in public for allegedly violating the Sharia law. They prohibit women from going to markets and girls from going to school.
Malala said she received death threats months before the attack. “At night I would wait until everyone was asleep. Then I’d check every single door and window,” wrote Malala in her autobiography published in 2013.
Malala received medical treatments in England. She and her family are now living there since the attack. The Taliban vowed to kill her once she returns to Pakistan.
Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban previously stated, “She is not a brave girl and has no courage. We will target her again and attack whenever we have a chance.”
Despite the threat to her life, Malala continued her activism for the rights of children to educations. She championed the cause for the 219 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram militants last year. She raised money to rebuild the destroyed schools in Gaza. She also called for universal education at the UN General Assembly.
In Pakistan, many still view Malala as a Western agent with an objective to bring shame to her country despite her accomplishments.