Malala Yousafzai makes triumphant return to Pakistan


ISLAMABAD -- Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan on Thursday (March 29) in her first visit to her native country since a Taliban gunman shot her in the head for advocating education for girls in 2012.

Precise details of her itinerary have been "kept secret in view of the sensitivity surrounding the visit", a government official said of the trip, which is expected to last four days.

Accompanied by her parents, the 20-year-old student went through Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport under tight security. She met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi later in the day.

"Always it has been my dream that I should go to Pakistan and that there, in peace and without any fear, I can move on streets, I can meet people, I can talk to people," she said during a televised speech at the prime minister's house in Islamabad.

Malala has become a global symbol for human rights and a vocal campaigner for girls' education since a gunman boarded her school bus in the Swat Valley October 9, 2012, asked "Who is Malala?" and shot her.

She underwent medical treatment in the British city of Birmingham, where she completed her schooling.

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, she has continued her campaigning while pursuing her studies at Oxford University.

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