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Malala's father gets job in Pakistan's UK consulate near her

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 10:53 AM EST, Thu January 3, 2013
Pakistani Christians attend a prayer service for the recovery of teen activist Malala Yousufzai in Lahore on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Pakistan celebrated Malala Day on Saturday as part of a global day of support for the teenager shot by the Taliban. Pakistani Christians attend a prayer service for the recovery of teen activist Malala Yousufzai in Lahore on Sunday, November 11, 2012. Pakistan celebrated Malala Day on Saturday as part of a global day of support for the teenager shot by the Taliban.
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Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
=Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
Supporters rally behind Malala
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala, will work in Birmingham, England, consulate
  • He will serve as education attache for three years with possibility of extension
  • The job fulfills a Pakistan government pledge to help the family
  • Malala is being treated in England after being shot in the head by Taliban gunman

(CNN) -- The father of Malala Yousafzai, the teenager whom the Taliban tried to kill, has been given a job in a Pakistan consulate in Birmingham, England, where she is recovering from gunshot wounds to her head and neck, Pakistani officials said Wednesday.

Ziauddin Yousafzai has been appointed education attache and will function as head of the consulate's education section for three years, the Pakistani government said. His job could be extended two additional years.

At the time of his daughter's shooting, Ziauddin Yousafzai ran a school in Pakistan's conservative Swat Valley that kept its doors open to girls -- in defiance of the Taliban.

The Taliban forbid girls in the classroom and have threatened to kill anyone who defies them.

Malala was shot by gunmen last fall for her crusade about girls going to school. She had blogged fearlessly about girls' education and accused the Taliban of thriving on ignorance.

Her father's employment fulfills a pledge by Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who visited Malala in December and assured her father that the government would meet "all expenses of Malala's treatment and all the needs of the family while in UK," a government statement said Wednesday.

"In light of that, the present appointment has been made," the statement said.

Malala thanks supporters

On October 9, Malala was on a school van in Swat Valley when Taliban gunmen stopped the vehicle and demanded that other girls tell them who was Malala. They identified her. Malala was then shot, as were two other girls who survived the attack.

"We do not tolerate people like Malala speaking against us," a Taliban spokesman said after the shooting. He vowed to come after her if she managed to live. Islamic militants also threatened to kill journalists covering her story.

Since her shooting, Malala has become an international figure. She was selected as runner-up for Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2012. CNN and Time are owned by Time Warner Inc.

Malala arrived at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on October 16. A bullet that hit her left brow didn't penetrate the skull but traveled the side of her head under the skin and into her neck, the hospital said. The shock wave shattered the thinnest bone of her skull, and fragments entered her brain, the hospital said.

The teen had been in critical condition, but doctors removed the bullet and she has no major brain or nerve damage. Physicians said she will need reconstructive surgery.

Malala is walking, writing and reading again.

The Islamic militants behind the Taliban continue to repress women in northwest Pakistan. Last month, Malala asked a graduate school not to name its institution after her.

Girls were afraid that attending the Malala Yousafzai Post Graduate College for Women in the Taliban-dominated Swat Valley would attract the attention of fighters such as the ones who shot Malala and the two other girls, said Kamran Rehman Khan, a top official in the Swat Valley.

The Saidu Sharif Post Graduate School briefly changed its name to recognize Malala's brave campaign for girls' education in Pakistan.

Several students told Khan that they respect Malala but were concerned about their safety, he said.

Khan told CNN that Malala called him last month from her hospital room in England and asked the school to remove her name. But she wished for people to continue to fight for girls to go to school, he said.

"I was so impressed that despite having threats against her life, she was talking about girls' education in the region and against militants," Khan said.

CNN's Mitra Mobasherat contributed to this report.

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