Malala returns to Pakistan for first time since assassination attempt

Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person and the first Pakistani to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person and the first Pakistani to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Author

30 March, 2018

She took a deep breath, wiped the tears and resumed speaking. "And it was never true", she said in between sobs of happiness.

Last week on Twitter, Yousafzai expressed a longing for her homeland. She said she "did not realise how lovely Swat was" until she moved to the UK.

"I don't normally cry", she continued.

Marvi Memon, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, also welcomed Malala, saying it was a pleasant surprise for her to see Malala back home.

This led her to a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, the youngest-ever recipient of the award.

Malala spoke of the importance of education and about the efforts of her charitable foundation to help girls.

"Welcome home", Prime Minister Abbasi told Yousafzai.

"I'm not very old but I've seen a lot", Yousafzai said. After being treated, she moved to the United Kingdom and continued to promote education for girls.

"From growing up in the handsome Swat valley, to then seeing extremism and terrorism in 2007 till 2009, and then seeing how many difficulties women and girls face in our society and how we can fight those challenges", she explained, "and then the attack on me taking place, leaving my own country". He said he was happy to welcome her home, where he said terrorism has been eliminated.

"We won't ask men to change the world, we're going to do it ourselves", she said.

Malala Yousafzai, 20, arrived at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport under tight security early morning accompanied by her parents and the CEO of the Malala Fund.

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In October 2012, masked gunmen stopped a bus taking Malala and some friends home from school and shot her. Two of her classmates also were wounded.

She added that for further treatment, she had to move overseas and now she has to continue her studies there.

On March 23 when Pakistan celebrated Pakistan Day, Yousafzai tweeted, "I cherish fond memories of home, of playing cricket on rooftops and singing the national anthem in school".

After surviving the attack, Yousafzai was airlifted overseas and underwent surgery.

She also called on Pakistanis to come together, stressing unity for the betterment of the nation.

Often when she has spoken in public she has championed her home country and spoken in her native Pashto language, always promising to return. Many in Pakistan think she has gained worldwide acclaim by casting a shadow on her homeland.

Some in Pakistan, especially religious conservatives, have been critical, calling her a polarizing figure who portrays her country in a negative way to seek fame overseas.

Yousafzai's return Thursday made instant news in Pakistan.

A private school headmaster in Swat, Ahmad Shah, said the region's people were eager to greet her.

The Pakistan army has tightened security following Malala's visit to Islamabad as the Taliban has promised to attack Malala again as she survived, CNN reports.

It wasn't immediately clear how long Yousafzai would be Pakistan or whether she planned to travel to her hometown of Swat where the shooting occurred.


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