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Malala Yousafzai’s father says Taliban now fighting a nation united

Pakistani girl, 15, shot by Taliban making remarkable recovery from gunshot wound to head.

Malala yousafzai status updated october 26Enlarge
In this handout photo provided by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Malala Yousafzai sits with her father Ziauddin and her two younger brothers, Atal Khan, right, and Khushal Khan on October 26, 2012 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Handout/AFP/Getty Images)

Malala Yousafzai’s father said the girl shot by Taliban militants has become a symbol of unification in her native Pakistan.

After meeting with the girl on Thursday, and then speaking at a press conference today, Ziauddin Yousufzai said the Taliban’s attack on his 15-year-old daughter received widespread condemnation.

“When she fell, Pakistan stood,” he told reporters, according to Reuters.

“This is a turning point. (In) Pakistan for the first time ... all political parties, the government, the children, the elders, they were crying and praying to God.”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the October 9 attack in which a gunman shot Malala twice in the head as she returned home from school.

The extremist group said it was trying to silence her “western thinking.”

More from GlobalPost: Despite Taliban, Pakistani college named for Malala

She has been an advocate for girls’ education in Pakistan for four years, and has before spoken out against the fundamentalist Taliban.

The gunman – still at large – shot her above the left eyebrow, doctors said, but she is making a remarkable recovery.

“We don’t think she has significant brain damage,” Dr. Dave Rosser at University Hospitals Birmingham said, CNN reported.

The girl’s family, including her two brothers, flew to England on Thursday to be with her.

Her father said at one point, he expected to make funeral arrangements for the girl.

Instead, people everywhere have rallied to help save her. She was flown to the UK for specialized care.

“She is not just my daughter, she is the daughter of everyone, she is the sister of everyone,” Ziauddin said, according to CNN.

Malala now faces more surgeries and recovery, but doctors said they no longer worry about infection, CBS News said.

More from GlobalPost: 9 arrested in connection with Malala’s shooting 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/pakistan/121026/malala-yousufzai-s-father-says-taliban-now-fighti