Malala Makes First Trip To Pakistan Since Taliban Attack, Meets PM

Ms Yousafzai, now aged 20 and a vocal human rights activist, was shot in the head by a gunman for campaigning for female education in 2012.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said Ms. Yousufzai is one of the most prominent Pakistanis in the world. Details of her visit, like her location, have not been publicly confirmed for security reasons.

In her native place of Swat, once a Taliban-stronghold, girls had been prohibited from attending school.

"I think to many, many people and in other countries, in Muslim countries, she is a hero, you know, and all that she is doing to bring up, to bring children's, girls' education, that is wonderful", Saeed Khalid, a customer in an Islamabad market, told AFP Thursday. "Malala Fund has already spent more than six million dollars in Pakistan for the education of girls", she said.

Many on Twitter called for a warm welcome for the activist after news of her overnight homecoming broke.

Malala's shooting had caused outrage across the globe.

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"Welcome home", Prime Minister Abbasi told Yousafzai.

Security in the country has greatly improved in recent years, with the number of attacks carried out by militants drastically reduced.

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

According to the statement, Youisafzai was received by Abbasi on her arrival at his office in the capital, Islamabad. "It is a positive development", he said, calling her "one of our young and brilliant daughters" and adding that Pakistanis should respect her. "I wish she had come here, but we welcome her", she said, as she sat with fellow students.

Malala first came into the spotlight as a schoolgirl, when she started writing under the pseudonym "Gul Mukai" a diary of her life under Taliban rule in her hometown of Swat. Malala's story brought global attention.

Pakistan's Taliban said she was targeted because she was "pro-West" and promoted "Western culture in Pashtun areas".

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She was treated for her injuries in the British city of Birmingham, where she completed her schooling.

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

What has she done since? Malala, with her family's support, continued to go to school.

Yousafzai, 20, made a return to her homeland for the first time since she was shot in 2012 by Taliban militants who were opposed to her advocating for girls' education, the Associated Press reported.

In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, in recognition of her efforts for children's rights.

The Nobel peace prize victor also called on the people to join hands for the betterment of the country, adding that women empowerment should be at the top of the agenda.

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She added that for further treatment, she had to move overseas and now she has to continue her studies there.

  • Ryan Wade