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Send Books Not Guns, – Malala Yousafzai Pleads at UN

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New York: With a maturity and poise that belied her tender years, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot by the Taliban for championing girls’ education stood by world leaders and called for books not guns. “Instead of sending weapons, instead of sending tanks to Afghanistan and all these countries which are suffering from terrorism, send books,” she pleaded. “Instead of sending tanks send pens,” she urged, as she took part in the first anniversary of the Global Education First initiative at the United Nations in New York. In October last year, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman as she was on her way to school in her usual bus in an attack that drew worldwide condemnation.
Gravely wounded and close to death, the Pakistani schoolgirl was flown to Britain for surgery. She returned to school in England last March, after recovering from her injuries. Now she has become a global advocate for the right of all children, and in particular girls, to have proper education. “Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers,” Malala argued at an event attended by Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Croatian premier Ivo Josipovic. According to the United Nations, some 57 million children around the world, of elementary school age are denied education, and 52 percent of them are girls. “This is my dream to see every child to be educated,” Malala told the gathering, building on the themes of one of her heroes, Martin Luther King.