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Teen shot by Taliban asks for college not to be renamed for her

Islamabad -- A Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for advocating education for girls asked authorities to undo a decision to rename a college after her amid fears about the safety of its students, a news report said Friday.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, sought the reversal in a phone call to a senior official in the Swat Valley, where the military regained control from Islamist rebels after a 2009 offensive, the English-language newspaper The News reported.

Malala called Monday to ask that the college retain its old name because "it was better for the security of the students and the institution," Swat district coordination officer Kamran Rehman was quoted as telling the newspaper.

Malala's request to Rehman came days after scores of students of the Government Postgraduate Malala Yousafzai Girls College in the town of Saidu Sharif staged a protest and boycotted classes over apprehensions that the renaming had made the institution vulnerable to militant attacks.

Authorities removed Malala's name from the main board at the college's entrance because of the demonstration, which took place as the college was closed for a three-month winter holiday break, the newspaper said.

Malala, who earned worldwide acclaim for championing girls' rights and opposing Taliban atrocities, is recovering in a British hospital. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Mingora, her hometown, on October 9.

Rehman told The News that the teenager sounded "quite confident" over the phone.

"Life is going to be tough, but I'm going to be tougher," Malala said via Twitter this week.

Distributed by MCT Information Services
 

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