President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said that Malala Yousafzai was a symbol of peace and moderate Pakistan.
Giving a speech at Stand up for Malala’ event, jointly organized by Pakistan and UNESCO in Paris, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed the resolve to make Pakistan a fully progressive‚ democratic and educated country.
He said our education system was derailed during the dictatorial rule but the present democratic government is determined to ensure education for all.
“We are facing two forces in the country, Malala represents the forces of peace and we are fighting with the forces of darkness, hatred and violence,” the president said.
He also said that slain PPP leader and his wife Benazir Bhutto was killed while fighting against the forces of evil and darkness.
He said dark and anti education forces attacked Malala Yousafzai who is the symbol of resilience and represents the progressive vision of Pakistan.
The President said Pakistan has rendered innumerable sacrifices in the war against terrorism. The extremist elements want to impose their agenda through use of force but with collective efforts we will foil their nefarious designs.
President Zardari said the present democratic set up is about to complete its stipulated term. It is the first time in our history that we will witness a peaceful transition to the next elected government. Democracy is the only system which can ensure prosperity and welfare of the people.
He sought support of the international community to ensure that every girls in Pakistan receives quality education and contributes towards a progressive Pakistan.
He said like democracy in Pakistan‚ we need global support for education in Pakistan. He said Pakistan has a resilient and determined nation and it needs support of the international community for helping every girls to go to school.
The President said the UN system has a crucial and central role to play in overcoming educational challenges. He said Pakistan would continue to uphold high ideals of the UN for education for all.
“Islam gives us the lesson of peace,” Zardari said adding that the first word of Quran was ‘IQRA’ which means read.
President Zardari announced Pakistan’s donation of ten million dollars for Malala Fund.
The event paid tribute to Malala Yousafazi, an astonishingly brave 15 year old girl who survived an assassination attempt for her determined efforts to defend girls’ education in Pakistan, after the Taliban outlawed schools for girls in her native Swat Valley.
Prime Minister of France Jean-Marc Aryalt, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of UK Gordon Brown and many other leaders also attended the conference.
The event coincides with International Human Rights Day and it has brought together representatives of governments, UN partners, international and bilateral organizations, foundations, donors, civil society, academics, religious leaders, eminent personalities and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and Federal Minister Sheikh Waqas signed the document at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. President Asif Ali Zardari was also present on the occasion.
Pakistan will provide seed money of 10 million dollars for the fund.
Under the agreement‚ the UNESCO will strengthen cooperation with the ministries of education of all the countries.