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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 13/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Police in Swat have arrested a key suspect believed to be involved in the attack on Malala Yousafzai as Pakistanis at mosques across the country prayed on Friday for her recovery as doctors said the next two days were critical.

Express News TV channel reported on Friday that arrest of the suspect was announced by the District Police Officer of Swat.

Malala is in a critical condition and doctors have said the next 24 hours are important for her life. The shooting of 14-year-old campaigned for the right to an education has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than 100,000 for the capture of her attackers.

Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to those who advocate appeasement with the Taleban, but analysts suspect there will be no seismic shift in the country.

Schools opened with prayers for Malala on Friday and special prayers at mosques across the country for her speedy recovery at the country's top military hospital in Rawalpindi, where she is still on a ventilator.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala, paying tribute to her and two friends who were also wounded in the terrorist attack.

"It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values," he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan's struggle with militancy.

He said, "We have sacrificed, both in terms of man and material, be it our valiant armed forces, innocent civilians, children or security forces. We have to unite to uproot this menace to save our children."

After a special mass at a Catholic Church in Islamabad, Father Rahmat Michael Hakim told AFP that he had called on politicians to promote education "because there can be no peace and development in the country without education".

In Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city, thousands of worshippers prayed for Malala's health.

"May Allah bestow her with His blessings and grant her a long life," said Ikram-ul-Mustafa Aazmi, prayer leader at the city's prominent Memon Mosque.

He condemned the attack, but did not mention the Taleban, calling on the government to protect all those striving for peace and education.

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Friday advised party officials, workers and citizens to submit within a week the details of muftis and ulema of their localities, regardless of their sectarian affiliations, to the unit and sector offices.

This unusual step by the MQM chief came after the lapse of the 24-hour ultimatum he gave to the clerics and religious scholars of the country to denounce the atrocities of Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan being committed in the name of Islam.


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