June 24, 2018

Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan six years after Taliban attack

30 March 2018, 12:26 | Simon Arnold

Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan six years after Taliban attack

Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan six years after Taliban attack

As Malala Yousafzai spoke of coming home to Pakistan for the first time since being shot by the Taliban five years ago, the emotions flooded back - and so did the tears.

Mohammad Hassan, one of Ms Yousafzai's cousins in the north-western town of Mingora, said it was one of the happiest days of his life, though he was not sure whether she would visit her home town of Swat, where the shooting took place.

Abbasi said he was "so happy that our child who has earned so much fame internationally has come home".

Reports said Malala is scheduled to stay in Pakistan until April 2 and will meet with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on March 29.

After receiving emergency treatment at a military hospital in Pakistan, she was transported to the United Kingdom for further treatment and to recover in Birmingham, where her family continue to live.

Malala also thanked the people who made her return to Pakistan possible.

Her voice broke and she wiped her eyes during a brief tearful speech on national television, in which she switched between English and the Pashto and Urdu languages.

At the age of 11, Malala began an anonymous blog for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban domination in her home, Swat Valley.

The activist has since become the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, at 17 years old, for her work advocating for girls' education. From growing up in Swat - it was such a attractive place - to then seeing terrorism and extremism from 2007 till 2009.

"I hope that my baby girl learns to be as articulate, as courageous as Malala", said Nisha Aftab on Twitter.

"And then being attacked, leaving my country.Everything was happening itself, I could not control anything".

"The attack happened and I had to leave home, everything was happening itself".

While skeptics in her own country have suspected that Malala's shooting was staged, the latter has always shown great love for her country.

She's using her trip to urge people in the country to join her campaign for girls' education and women's rights.

She was treated for her injuries in Birmingham, England, where she also completed her schooling.

Addressing at the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office, Malala broke down in tears, while recalling that how much she had missed Pakistan ever since shifting overseas for treatment and education, The Express Tribune reported. "It is your home".

"Malala is Pakistan's representative to the world".

Prime Minister Abbasi, who was also present during the address, termed Malala as "the nation's daughter" and praised her for her cause of girl's education not only in Pakistan but in the world.

"We have fought a hard war in which 6,500 soldiers, 25,000 policemen, paramilitary forces and civilians embraced martyrdom", Abbasi noted.

Malala was dressed in Pakistani shalwar kameez and dupatta and accompanied by her mother and father.

"What an incredible surprise I woke up to this morning" to know that Yousafzai is back along with her parents, she said. We are proud of you. The Malala Fund is already working on this.

After the attack, the Taliban, which has condemned female education, vowed to kill Yousafzai if she ever returned to Pakistan.

Naija News understands it was Yousafzai's first visit to her homeland since she was airlifted for medical treatment in Britain in 2012.

"Her visit had in fact removed all the rumours, as some people were saying she would never return to Pakistan again", the headmaster said.

In 2014, she became the youngest Nobel Prize victor and the youngest United Nations Messenger of Peace.

She shared the coveted prize with Indias social activist Kailash Satyarthi.

However, among the messages of welcome were pockets of intense criticism from some Pakistanis, including hardline Muslims as well as members of the conservative middle class who support education for girls, but object to airing the nation's problems overseas.

Last August, Malala enrolled at the prestigious Oxford University in England.

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