Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has returned to her homeland, Pakistan, for the first time after the incident in 2012 when she was shot by Taliban militants who were angered by Yousafzai’s campaigning for girls’ education.
Nearly six years have passed, yet, recalling the incident that changed her life forever and being on the same land makes Malala Yousafzai’s eyes teary. On Thursday, the 20-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala returned to her home for the first time since 2012, as she landed in Islamabad from London, along with her parents. Malala was just 14 when she was shot in head by Taliban gunman who boarded her school bus in the Swat valley on October 9, 2012, asked “Who is Malala?” and shot her in the head. Luckily, the brave girl survived the fatal injuries and moved to the British city of Birmingham, where she also completed her schooling.
In 2014, Malala was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize to become the youngest person to receive this honour and she continued to advocate for girls’ education while pursuing her studies at Oxford University. On Thursday, after almost 6 years since that incident, Malala is on the same ground with the same purpose – promoting girls’ education. Today, she has become a global symbol for human rights and girls’ educational rights. With tight security and convoy of nearly 15 vehicles, many of them occupied by heavily armed police, she has become a public figure.
On the visit, Yousafzai has already held a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and she is scheduled to meet Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, as well as other important figures in Islamabad. Cricketer turned politician Imran Khan’s party said Yousafzai’s return was a sign of the defeat of extremism in the country. Marvi Memon, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League party, also welcomed Yousafzai, saying it was a pleasant surprise for her to see Yousafzai back home. However, it is not clear whether or now will Malala return to her hometown and the city where shooting incident happened – Swat.