Islamabad: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, today returned to London after her first visit to Pakistan since she was shot in the head by Taliban militants more than five years ago.
Malala, 20, arrived in Islamabad on 29 March, six years after she was shot by a gunman for campaigning for female education in 2012 in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
The visit was kept secret and hardly anyone knew until she landed in Islamabad and was driven by security to a hotel.
On her visit, she met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the PM House where a ceremony was also organised in her honour.
She also made an emotional visit to her hometown in Mingora area of Swat district where she lived, went to school and was attacked in 2012.
“So much joy seeing my family home, visiting friends and putting my feet on this soil again,” she had tweeted about the visit, terming Swat as “The most beautiful place on earth to me.”
— Malala (@Malala) March 31, 2018
Malala, who is currently studying at Oxford University, also said that she plans to return to Pakistan after completing her studies in Britain.
Severely wounded, she was airlifted from one military hospital in Pakistan to another and later flown to treat Britain for treatment.
At age 17, Malala became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for her education advocacy in 2014 when she shared the coveted honour with India’s social activist Kailash Satyarthi.
Malala began her campaign aged just 11 when she started writing a blog for the BBC’s Urdu service in 2009 about life under the Taliban in Swat, where they were banning girls’ education.
In 2007, the Islamist militants had taken over the area and imposed a brutal rule. The Taliban, who are opposed to the education of girls, have destroyed hundreds of schools in Pakistan.