SWAT - The government announced to confer civil award Tamgha-e-Shuja’at upon three Swat residents for their remarkable services in various fields on the Independence Day and a ceremony will be held in this connection on March 23, 2013.

The three personalities include Malala Yousafzai, nominee of the International Peace Award and the winner of the first National Peace Award, Dr Lal Noor Afridi, Principal Saidu Medical College and also the Chief Executive of the Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals, and Prof Dr Taj Muhammad Khan, MS Saidu Group of Hospitals, for their splendid jobs in their respective fields during lawlessness in Swat.

Talking exclusively to TheNation, Malala Yousafzai said that, “I feel very happy and proud. This award is not for only me but it is for the whole Swat, especially for young female students.” She said, “This is indeed a confidence booster for me and Insha Allah I will be working for the betterment of women education and will raise voice for their rights at every forum.” She said only education can steer the country out of the economic crisis. “Education is the only key to eliminate extremism and lawlessness and it could bring betterment to Pakistan.” She thanked President Asif Ali Zardari for conferring the award upon her.

In his talk, Principal Saidu Medical College and the Chief Executive of the Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals Prof Dr Taj Muhammad Khan said awarding him was not only an element of pride for him but it was an honour for Swat dwellers, especially doctors. “I will do more efforts to make Saidu Medical College one of the best medical colleges in Pakistan and will not leave any stone unturned for the betterment of Saidu Group of Teaching Hospitals,” he added. He further said this was his aim to provide best and quality education to students of Saidu medical college.

He said, “I would like to congratulate the people of Swat on this historic achievement.” Sharing his future vision he said that I am working on dental college for Swat.

Dr Lal Noor Afridi, while talking to this correspondent, said that it’s a great honour for him and Swat resident. “We are dedicated to hard working in our duties and Allah will bless us with more rewards.” The people of Swat have expressed immense happiness over the three nominations for Tamgha-e-Shuja’at from the valley of Swat.