Despite Taliban, Pakistani college named for Malala


Pakistani students pray for the early recovery of child activist Malala Yousafzai at a school in Mingora on October 11, 2012. Malala's shooting has brought attention to the sad state of education in Pakistan.



A government college for young women in Swat Valley will be named after wounded 15-year-old education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Students at the Pakistani school told CNN that they were inspired by Malala and her fight for girls' right to seek an education.

"I think she's a very brave girl," Mehreen, 17, who is studying chemistry, botany and zoology, told CNN.

"She sacrificed her life for us, for education, that girls should take education for their bright future. For women it's very important in this society."

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has approved the name change, making the Saidu Sharif Degree College the first in the valley to be named after a woman, reports The Express Tribune.  

"We always want to send a message across the world, that here we want to develop the female gender and we also want females to come forward in society," Kamran Rehman Khan, a local government official, told CNN.

The Taliban is likely to be angered by the change but Kahn said that he wanted them to know that "we will not be deterred by their actions."

The school's principal, Talat Qamar, said that he was committed to educating girls but said the local government needed to provide more security. 

Some students told the Tribune that they were concerned naming the school after Malala would provoke more attacks by the Taliban. 

Malala was shot in the head on October 9 while on her way home from school. The teenager was targeted by the Taliban for promoting education rights for girls and blogging about life under the Taliban. 

So far nine men have been arrested in connection with the shooting. 

Police on Wednesday told CNN they identified Atta Ullah, a 23-year-old from the the Taliban-heavy northeastern Swat district where Malala was attacked, as the main suspect. Authorities said they are searching for Ullah, who was studying for a master's degree in chemistry.

Malala was flown to the UK for treatment on Oct. 15 and is currently in stable condition. Her family arrived in Birmingham, UK on Thursday to be with her, reports NBC News