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Doctors say Malala making ‘slow and steady progress’

Dubai: Pakistan’s Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE) Jamil Ahmed Khan has said that an air-ambulance and a team of expert doctors are ready to go to Pakistan to shift Malala Yousafzai — a schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban — to the UAE for treatment.

Khan while talking to private news television said that he had contacted the foreign office to shift Malala to UAE, adding that the visas had also been issued to the team of six doctors which would go to Pakistan with the ambulance.

He said that the ambulance was a part of the royal fleet, adding that it had also been equipped with advance machines which could be required during the flight.

Khan said that they had also completed the standby arrangements for Malala’s treatment in three hospitals of the UAE.

Meanwhile, Pakistan military’s Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) said that the air-ambulance’s arrival was a part their plan, however, the decision to shift Malala abroad had not yet been taken.

Malala Yousafzai, 14, is still on a ventilator in hospital, Pakistan’s military says © AFP

Doctors are continuing to monitor Malala’s condition and will carry out a detailed examination on Sunday evening, military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said on Sunday.

“Doctors have reviewed Malala’s condition and are satisfied,” Bajwa said.

“She is making slow and steady progress which is in keeping with expectations. Recovery from this type of injury is always slow.”

“We are waiting for the doctors’ decision – we are ready to follow the doctors’ advice,” he said.

No decision has yet been made on whether to send Malala abroad for treatment, Bajwa told AFP.

According to the military, Malala showed signs of improvement by moving her limbs on Saturday, though she remains unconscious and on a ventilator.

“The sedation given to Malala was reduced today so that neurosurgeons could do their clinical assessment and as a result of it Malala responded and moved her hands and feet,” military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said.

A Pakistani female activist of Islamic Minhaj-ul-Quran Party holds a photograph of child activist Malala Yousafzai © AFP

Malala won international recognition for highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat with a blog for the BBC three years ago, when the Islamist militants led by radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah burned girls’ schools and terrorised the valley.

Her struggle resonated with tens of thousands of girls who were being denied an education by Islamist militants across northwest Pakistan, where the government has been fighting local Taliban since 2007.

She received the first-ever national peace award from the Pakistani government last year, and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by advocacy group KidsRights Foundation in 2011.

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