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French honour Malala, father says Taliban have lost fight

Published on Jan 9, 2013 9:42 PM
Mr Ziauddin Yousafzai (C), the father of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl activist who was the victim of an assasination attempt by the Taliban in 2012, receives the 2013 Simone de Beauvoir award from the hands of Ms Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir (R) during the awards ceremony in Paris on Jan 9, 2012. The 2013 Simone de Beauvoir prize for the freedom of women was handed to Ms Malala Yousafzai, who has become a symbol of the struggle for girls' education and women's rights in Pakistan. Ms Malala was flown to the United Kingdom with a life-threatening head wound shortly after her attack but recovered from her injuries and was temporarily discharged on Jan 4 as she awaits more surgery. -- PHOTO:AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The Taliban must accept peace talks as their mission has failed, the father of Ms Malala Yousafzai said on Wednesday, accepting a key French award for the Pakistani schoolgirl shot for campaigning for girls' education.

In an impassioned speech after accepting the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Womens' Freedom on behalf of the 15-year-old, Mr Ziauddin Yousafzai said his daughter was supported by the world and by God.

"She fell but Pakistan stood up. And the whole world - north, south, east and west - supported her," he said. "God protected her and protected the cause of humanity and education."

In an attack that shocked the world, Ms Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban hitman as her school bus made its way through the town of Mingora in Pakistan's northwestern Swat Valley in October.

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