Asia

Nobel laureate Malala returns to Pakistan six years after she was shot by Taliban: TV

FILE PHOTO - Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai waves as she arrives for an event with students at Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Mexico City

FILE PHOTO – Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai waves as she arrives for an event with students at Tecnologico de Monterrey University in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido/File Photo

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai returned to her native Pakistan on Thursday, six years after she was shot by Taliban gunmen over her advocacy for education for girls, television footage showed.

Pakistani station Geo TV showed footage of Yousafzai at Islamabad’s international airport walking to a car escorted by a security convoy.

At age 17, Yousafzai became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for her education advocacy.

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Now 20, she is making her first visit to Pakistan since 2012, when masked gunmen stopped and boarded a bus taking her home from school and shot her in the head.

Last week on Twitter, Yousafzai expressed a longing for her homeland. She now lives in Great Britain.

“On this day, I cherish fond memories of home, of playing cricket on rooftops and singing the national anthem in school. Happy Pakistan Day!” she wrote on March 23.

After surviving the attack, Yousafzai was airlifted abroad and underwent surgery.

The Pakistani Taliban, who seized control of her hometown in Pakistan’s Swat Valley before being pushed out by the army in 2009, later claimed the attack. The hardline Islamist movement closed girls’ schools and imposed a strict interpretation of sharia law during their rule.

Unable to return to Pakistan after her recovery, Yousafzai moved to Britain, setting up the Malala Fund and supporting local education advocacy groups with a focus on Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, Syria and Kenya.

She won a place at Oxford University last year after completing her secondary education.

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(Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Paul Tait and Michael Perry)

 

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