The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government will give a reward of Rs 1 crore to anyone who helps identify the persons who attacked Malala yesterday, provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told a news conference in Peshawar this evening. The name of any person who provides such information will be kept secret, Hussain said. "The blood of Malala and the sympathy extended to her by people from around the world is a slap on the face of terrorism," he said.
Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik told reporters after visiting Malala in a military hospital in Peshawar that authorities had identified the attackers who shot the 14-year-old schoolgirl and they would be brought to justice. He did not give any details about the attackers but claimed they had come from the Afghan province of Kunar to Swat to target Malala. In a related development, police and security agencies detained over 200 people, including a security guard and a driver of Malala's school, in connection with the attack, officials told the media. Authorities also registered a case under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attempted assassination, saying Malala was targeted for espousing "pro-West" views and backing a "secular government" in Swat, which was a stronghold of the militants till early 2009. Both Hussain and Malik said Malala's condition had improved after doctors performed a three-hour surgery to remove a bullet that had lodged near her spine. They said doctors had concluded that there was no immediate need to send Malala abroad for treatment.