The best friend of Taliban shooting victim Malala Yousafzai has said she is praying for her school friend and is calling for more education for girls in Pakistan.
Kainat Riaz, 16, who was shot in the arm when the gunmen attacked her and Malala as they were returning home from school last month, told ITV: ‘I miss Malala. I am praying for Malala.’
15-year-old Malala was left fighting for her life after being targeted by Taliban gunmen on October 9 for speaking out against the militants and promoting education for girls.
The teenager said: 'Education is very important for girls and we need education. More, more, more.
Malala was flown to the UK after the attack and is now being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. Dr David Rosser, who is treating the teenager, said last week that Malala was continuing to make very good progress and was likely to make a full recovery.
Malala, who has won various peace prizes, was on her way back home on a school bus when masked men boarded the vehicle and pointed guns at the girls. A hooded Taliban militant shouted: 'Which one of you is Malala? Speak up; otherwise I will shoot you all. She is propagating against the soldiers of Allah, the Taliban. She must be punished.' Almost as soon as he shouted this, the militant recognised the youngster and shot her at point blank range. She was struck just above the back of her left eye, with the bullet travelling down the side of her jaw and damaging the skull. It went through her neck and lodged in the tissue above her shoulder blade.
After their unsuccessful assassination attempt, the Taliban have vowed to kill Malala, raising questions about whether it would be safe for her to return to Pakistan.