The brutal attack by militants on teenage rights activist Malala Yusufzai has made it clear that the time has come for people to stand together to uproot terrorism from Pakistan, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said on Friday.
“We have to unite and stand together to uproot this menace from our beloved motherland and save our children,” Ashraf told reporters after visiting a military hospital in Rawalpindi to enquire about the health of 14-year-old Malala.
Pakistan, he remarked, had paid a heavy price in men and materials in the campaign and terrorism “but now the nation is united”.
He said: “Malala is Pakistan’s daughter and its actual face. Her message is the message of the people, which is a message of love, security and peace. The whole country will stand against anyone who tries to sabotage this message”.
Ashraf was flanked by leaders of the Awami National Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Jamaat-e-Islami who accompanied him to the hospital.
The Premier said he had invited leaders of other parties to join him in visiting Malala “to send out a message to terrorists that the Pakistani people are united against their mindset”.
He said political leaders and ordinary people across the country were praying for Malala’s recovery.
Ashraf had decided to ask the country’s political leadership to join him to visit Malala during a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
However, leaders of the main Opposition PML-N were conspicuous by their absence.
Malala continues to be on ventilator in a critical care unit of the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi, where she was brought from the northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday so that she could be provided better care.