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Malala Yousafzai Returns To Pakistan 6 Years After Taliban Attack

Malala Yousafzai Returns To Pakistan 6 Years After Taliban Attack

Yousafzai returned to Pakistan on Thursday, almost six years after she was shot by the Taliban for advocating girls rights to education. "I wish she had come here, but we welcome her", she said, as she sat with fellow students. "Finally, I am here".

"Welcome home", Prime Minister Abbasi told Yousafzai.

But the grit that has come to define Yousafzai soon returned. "I still can't believe it's happening", she said, as tears filled her eyes. Secrecy surrounded her arrival as well as details of her visit, which is expected to last until Monday.

Yousafzai was only 15 when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head as she was returning home from school.

Instead, she'll be privately meeting her family, which will travel to Islamabad.

FILE - A wounded girl, Malala Yousufzai, is moved to a helicopter to be taken to Peshawar for treatment in Mingora, Swat Valley, Pakistan, Oct. 9, 2012.

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

Malala Yousafzai mets with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

After winning the Nobel in 2014, along with Indian child-rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, Yousafzai said: "Education is one of the blessings of life, and one of its necessities".

Some say that Yousafzai return signifies the end of extremism in Pakistan and hopefully in the world at large.

Yousafzai, who belongs to the Swat Valley, has been living in the United Kingdom since the attack in October 2012, reports Dawn news.

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.

Her schedule for the four-day trip is being closely guarded. "We will provide you all the security you need", he said.

"I always dreamt of this moment", she told an audience at the office of the prime minister on Wednesday.

One leading Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir issued a plea for opposition politicians and commentators not to use bad language when talking about the visit. "Pakistan is her home and if she has come home we welcome her, but we think that she has come as part of global agenda to malign Pakistan and we strongly condemn that", declared Kashif Mirza, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation.

Yousafzai was only 14 when she was shot, but already was well-known for advocating education. Two of her classmates were also injured. Memon said it was a proud day for Pakistan that Yousafzai was back in Pakistan.

"You represent us in the world and especially of the youth and girls and the work you've done for education of girls", he continued.

"We have incredible women", she told them in comments broadcast on state television, pushing for more education and critical thinking.

Local television channels have been showing her return to Pakistan with some replaying the horror of her shooting and the rush to get her treatment.

As an 11-year-old, Yousufzai started an anonymous diary describing a girl's thirst for education.

This month, a new girls' school built with her Nobel prize money opened in Shangla, near her home district of Swat.


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