x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pakistan's fighter

Malala Yousafzai's recovery is certainly heartwarming, but it won't solve the problems that led to her being shot by Islamists.

Under the circumstances, the medical news could hardly have been sweeter. "At the moment there seems to be no damage to her memory or motor control," said Dr David Rosser of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England.

His patient, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, appears to be making a remarkable recovery after surviving an assassination attempt last Tuesday. She was gunned down, on her school bus, simply because she keeps a blog where she had written of her eagerness to get an education.

A local Islamist leader boasted of the attack, but it disgusted the world.

Flown to the UK, Malala - who it turns out is 15, not 14 as previously reported - is getting treatment at a hospital specialising in care for wounded British soldiers. It is at once a triumph and a tragedy of modern life that doctors have become so skilled in treating combat wounds.

Malala's survival, and her prospects of a full recovery, will cheer her countless supporters around the world. But the fanatics who tried to kill her have warned that they will try again. And innumerable other girls, in Swat and elsewhere, live without publicity in the same conditions.

One girl's recovery, while heartwarming and welcome, is no solution.