THE president of Pakistan yesterday visited a 15-year-old schoolgirl who is being treated in hospital in Britain after being shot in the head by a Taleban gunman.
Asif Ali Zardari also met the father and brothers of Malala Yousafzai during a private meeting at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Malala, who became a target after campaigning for girls’ education and criticising Taleban militants, was shot on 9 October in north-west Pakistan as she walked home from school.
The hospital said Zardari had received a briefing from its medical director about Malala’s progress and future treatment.
A statement released by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said: “The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on Saturday to receive an update on the recovery of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.
“President Zardari, accompanied by his daughter Asifa Bhutto, met clinicians who have been treating Malala since her admission to the hospital on 15 October.
“They were brought up to date on the 15-year-old’s medical progress and her future treatment plan by [the trust’s] medical director, Dr Dave Rosser.
“President Zardari and Asifa Bhutto then had a five-minute private meeting with Malala, her father Ziauddin and her brothers Khushal Khan and Atal Khan.”
During the visit, the hospital added, the president had thanked staff for their outstanding care and had described Malala as a “remarkable girl and a credit to Pakistan”.
In the attack, the teenager was hit just above her left eye by a bullet that grazed the edge of her brain.
Doctors have previously said that, despite the prospect of lengthy treatment, Malala could make a good recovery.