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Classmates wounded with Malala get well, return to school

By: Mushtaq Yusufzai

MINGORA: Undeterred by the October 9 gruesome assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai by the Maulana Fazlullah-led Taliban, the two girl students, Shazia Ramzan and Kainat Riaz, injured with Malala, Thursday resumed their studies and vowed to work for continuation of the heroic mission their friend had launched in Swat valley for promoting female education.

It was first day of the two students in Khushal Public School and College in Shareefabad locality of Mingora city, run by Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai.On their arrival in the school, Shazia and Kainat were received by their teachers and students with warm welcome.

Personnel of the Swat elite police force escorted an auto-rickshaw in which Shazia and Kainat were brought to the school. They were focus of media attention and a large number of local people gathered near the school and later in the streets near their houses.

“I am so excited today as I had no idea whether I will be able to go to school again,” remarked 13-year old Shazia Ramzan, a student of 8th class.Talking to The News here in her rented home, she said she was no doubt very happy on her first day in the school but they really missed Malala Yousafzai in the school.

Shazia had suffered serious bullet injuries on her chest and hand. She doesn’t understand as to why the attacker fired two bullets on her when he fired only a single shot on Malala.

“It was terrible day of my life. As usual we sat in the vehicle and left for the home. I was sitting next to Malala. After stopping the vehicle by a bearded young person, he came to us and asked which one is Malala. We remained quiet and looked towards Malala. He pulled out a pistol and fired a bullet on her head. She fell in middle of the vehicle and then he fired two shots at me. I didn’t realise I was shot at my chest as I only saw my hand bleeding. It was later when I was taken to the hospital where I felt severe pain in my chest,” Shazia recalled.

She said though it was an ugly episode of their life, the October 9 attack on them gave her and other girl students of the valley an extra courage and inspiration to campaign for girls’ education. Shazia said she was shifted to CMH Peshawar next day as her bleeding didn’t stop where she remained for a month. Shazia said she didn’t expect such an unprecedented reaction to the attack on them.

Her father Mohammad Ramzan, who originally belongs to Muzaffargarh in Punjab, said he was proud of his daughter.“The way she handled this incident made me proud on her courage,” Ramzan said.He has nine children, five sons and three daughters. He came to Swat in 1983 and opened a bakery in Mingora city.

Then in 1990 he shifted his family to Swat and all his children are born in the valley. All his children are very fluent in Pashto with Swati accent.Another girl, Kainat Riaz, student of 10th grade, had suffered bullet injury on her right arm.“Today I am very much excited to resume my studies once again in the school but will definitely Miss Malala,” Kainat said.

Her father Riaz Ahmad said they wanted Kainat to take some rest and avoid attending classes but they had changed their mind after her class fellows forced her to start coming to the school.“The students and class fellows of Kainat used to come to our home to enquire about her health and they wanted her to come to the school,” he said.

The News