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U.S. lawmaker proposes Congressional Gold Medal for 'brave' Taliban target Malala

Washington, Thu, 25 Oct 2012 ANI

Washington, Oct. 25 (ANI): An American lawmaker has distributed a letter in the U.S. Congress, urging her colleagues to award the Congressional Gold Medal to 15-year-old Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by the Pakistani Taliban for advocating girls' right to education.

"Malala ... stood against the oppressive policies imposed upon the citizens of Pakistan by the Taliban. Her stand for education for girl and gender equality resulted in a fatwa issued by the Taliban calling for her death," The Dawn quoted senior Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, as saying in her letter.

"The shooting of this young girl has sent shockwaves through the region and around the world; religious leaders and communities are condemning her shooting, yet the Taliban remains unrepentant," she wrote.

Lee, a Democrat from Texas who has been a member of the House since 1995, also heads the Pakistan caucus on the Hill and is one of few U.S. lawmakers who still openly support Pakistan.

"Malala has displayed true courage as she continued to fight for justice, even while her life was in danger. Because of her courage, Malala Yousufzai has become a symbol of hope in a country long beset by violence and oppression," she further wrote.

"It is fitting that Malala has become the new face of Pakistan. She represents the future of Pakistan, where young girls can attend school and expect equal rights," she added.

Lee noted that Malala's actions demonstrated the power one child can have on an entire region.

"Her message could not be silenced by the cowardly acts of the few. It is my firm belief that we should honour her message and recognise her bravery. I, like all of you, value the need for education, justice, and gender equality. Join me in supporting this legislation to honour Malala Yousufzai and her message," she wrote.

Malala, who earned international fame for raising voice against Taliban oppression in Swat, was shot in the neck and head and two other girls sustained injuries when the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) opened fire on their school van in Swat valley on October 9. She is currently undergoing treatment at a British hospital in Birmingham. (ANI)



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