Malala’s shot friend gets U.K. visa

AFP-JIJI

A Pakistani schoolgirl injured in the Taliban attack against Malala Yousufzai last year has been granted a British student visa after receiving death threats in her home country.

Shazia Ramzan, 15, had a joyful reunion with her friend Malala when she flew into England’s Birmingham Airport on Saturday night, their first meeting since they were shot on their school bus on Oct. 9. Both girls are being supported by the office of Gordon Brown, the former British prime minister who now serves as United Nations special envoy for global education.

In a brutal attack condemned worldwide, Taliban gunmen shot Malala at point-blank range as the bus traveled through northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley. She was targeted because of her work promoting girls’ education, but two other girls were also injured, including Shazia, who suffered wounds to the neck and shoulder.

Her friend will now have a chance to complete her studies at an undisclosed school thanks to a scholarship and support from charities including Brown’s A World At School initiative.