Pakistan offers reward for information on who shot young activist

malala_yousafzai_bullet_removed_pakistan_october_10_2012.jpg

Pakistani civil society activists carry placards with a photograph of the gunshot victim Malala Yousafzai as they shout anti-Taliban slogans during a protest rally against the assassination attempt on Malala Yousafzai, in Islamabad on October 10, 2012. Pakistani doctors removed a bullet from a 14-year-old child campaigner shot by the Taliban in a horrific attack condemned by national leaders and rights activists.

Credit:

AAMIR QURESHI

Pakistani officials have offered a 10 million rupee ($105,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of gunman who shot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, a teenage rights campaigner, reports the BBC. 

Malala is recovering from surgery after being shot in the head Tuesday while leaving school in northwest Pakistan's Swat Valley.

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the BBC that the "whole gang" who carried out the attack had been identified and said the nation "will not let them run away, we will catch and punish them".

Despite the reward, human rights activists are not confident the attacker will be arrested. 

“This is not the first time that extremist militant groups have carried out atrocities. I am pleased to see the strong reaction, but fear that little will change,” I. A. Rehman, the Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, told the Christian Science Monitor. 

Malala has campaigned for girls' education and blogged for BBC Urdu under the pen name Gul Makai about life in the Swat under Taliban control.

ABC reports that the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying Malala was a "Western-minded girl".

"She always speaks against us. We will target anyone who speaks against the Taliban," a spokesman for the militant group told the Australian news network.

"We warned her several times to stop speaking against the Taliban and to stop supporting Western (non-government organizations) and to come to the path of Islam."

Malala's doctors removed a bullet lodged near her shoulder Wednesday morning. After the surgery she was said to be in "critical" condition" and now faces a crucial 48 hour wait to assess her condition. 

The BBC reports that Malala moved hospitals to the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology critical care unit in Rawalpindi where there are better facilities.

A member of the medical team treating her told the BBC that "neurologically she has significantly improved" but that the "coming days... are very critical".

Another doctor, Mumtaz Khan, told AFP news agency that she had a 70% chance of survival.