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Malala returns to Pakistan for first time since attack

Malala Yousafzai arrived in Pakistan on Thursday, more than five years after she survived a Taliban attack.


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Updated: March 29, 2018

Youngest Nobel Prize laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai arrived here on Thursday night more than five years after she survived a Taliban attack in Swat which necessitated her departure to the UK for medical treatment.

Ms Yousafzai — accompanied by her father Ziauddin, Farah Mohamed and Amiro­byn Thompson — flew in aboard flight No EK-614.

Sources said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi would receive the 20-year-old Malala at the PM Office where she would attend a special function to mark her achievements as an activist for girls education.

Due to security reasons, the sources said, her visit and her entire itinerary was being kept secret.

In December 2014, Ms Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi of India received the Nobel Peace Prize for risking their lives to fight for children’s rights.

Ms Yousafzai, who belongs to Swat, has been living in the UK since October 2012. She was shifted from Pakistan to a hospital in Birmingham in a precarious condition after she had sustained a bullet in her head in a targeted attack by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Swat. She was on her way home in a school van with other girls after taking an exam when the TTP men opened fire on them. Two other girls also sustained gunshot wounds.

The attack on the schoolgirls received widespread criticism at the national and international levels as Ms Yousafzai received sympathies and support from across the world.

Responding to the condemnation, the TTP denounced Malala Yousafzai, compelling her to stay back in the UK due to security concerns.

After her recovery, Ms Yousafzai announced launching a movement for the promotion of girls’ education. She visited a number of countries as official guest where she was warmly welcomed and given an official protocol and reception. During a visit to Canada last year, she was provided an opportunity to address the country’s parliament.

In April 2017, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres selected Malala Yousafzai to be a UN messenger of peace, the highest honour bestowed by the UN chief on a global citizen.

(This article was originally published in Dawn Newspaper)



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Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

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