Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari said Tuesday that the shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban was an attack on all girls in the country and on civilisation itself.
"The Taliban attack on the 14-year-old girl, who from the age of 11 was involved in the struggle for education for girls, is an attack on all girls in Pakistan, an attack on education, and on all civilised people," Zardari said at an economic summit in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.
Malala was attacked on her school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of the Swat valley a week ago as a punishment for campaigning for the right to an education and free expression.
In some of his most poignant remarks on the incident to date, Zardari vowed not to let her shooting stop the nation's drive to educate girls.
"The work that she led was higher before God than what terrorists do in the name of religion. We will continue her shining cause," he said.
The shooting has been denounced worldwide and by Pakistan, which has said it will do everything possible to ensure Malala recovers and will meet all the costs of her treatment.
She was flown to Britain for treatment on Monday where doctors said she had "a chance of making a good recovery".
The murder attempt has sickened Pakistan, where Malala came to prominence with a blog for the BBC highlighting atrocities under the hardline Islamist Taliban, who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until an army offensive in 2009.