In a strong voice and speaking in English, Gulranga Ali, 17, said students have ‘‘gotten courage from her (Malala) and everyone is attending school. No one is staying home.’’ She said the attack has turned the country against extremists and ‘‘now every girl and child is saying ‘I want to be Malala.'’’
Malala’s father says the family will return to Pakistan after his daughter is well enough.
But even her classmates worry for her safety.
‘‘I don’t think she will come for education anymore in Swat. She will not be safe here. Now she is a celebrity,’’ said Gulranga.
There is also a deepening concern that Malala’s attacker has not been arrested, that the outrage her shooting generated throughout Pakistan has subsided without substantive changes and that fear will prevent real change.
Ahmed Saeed, a close friend of Malala’s father, said politicians and Pakistan’s military establishment still have to decide if they will support Malala’s worldview or that of the Taliban. Saeed said the teenager will have another operation in three months to reconstruct her skull but that she is talking and walking ‘‘and gossiping with her family.’’
In what has been cheered as a first step toward compulsory education for both boys and girls in Pakistan, Parliament last week introduced legislation making it a crime to keep a child at home. Offending parents can be fined upward of $500.
Still, earlier this month the Taliban attacked on a busload of girls returning from school in the tribal regions, throwing acid in their faces. In a statement, the Taliban accused the girls of embracing the West through education.
‘‘I don’t know if this has changed Pakistan,’’ Shazia’s father said of the shooting. Still, he wants his daughter to continue at school.
‘‘Now I want to be an example to other girls,’’ Shazia said. ‘‘They (Taliban) can’t stop us from going to school.’’
Kathy Gannon is AP Special Regional Correspondent for Pakistan and Afghanistan and can be reached at www.twitter.com/kathygannon