'Malala hopes to visit Swat too'

02 April, 2018, 03:49 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Students arrive at the Khpal Kor Model School which was built with Malala Yousafzai's Nobel prize money in Malala's home district of Shangla in Swat region

Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai was happy to return to her hometown, Mingora, Pakistan, on Saturday, her first time back since a Taliban attack in 2012.

Malala has been visiting Pakistan since Thursday, her first trip home since she was shot and airlifted overseas for treatment.

Yousafzai, 20, arrived by helicopter and went straight to her old house in Mingora in the Swat valley. He said the whole nation had warmly welcomed Malala upon her arrival in Pakistan after a span of five years, as she was the pride for Pakistan globally.

After flying from Islamabad, she met with friends and family before visiting the all-boys Swat Cadet College Guli Bagh, a military-run school some 15 kilometers (nine miles) outside Mingora. Two Taliban jumped on bus that took her from school home and shot her in head.

She had been targeted for speaking out on education in her home of Mingora in the Swat Valley.

The Taleban claimed responsibility in 2012 for the attack on Ms Yousafzai for her outspoken advocacy for girls' education, which was forbidden under the militants' rule over Swat.

Discussing her future endeavors, she remarked that Pakistan and Nigeria had topped the list for most numbers of girls outside schools. She reiterated her joy of being in Pakistan and her mission of providing education to children. "And that might result in an aggressive violent response from the Talibans, who might target schools and localities with terror attacks again", said a local resident of Shangla district.

Malala returned to Pakistan in a surprise visit in the early hours of Thursday.

She also attended a gathering at the army's Cadet College in Swat - an area once controlled by the Taliban who were responsible for shooting her. Picture: AAP.

Her near-miraculous recovery, and tireless career as an education advocate, have since turned her into a global symbol for human rights, and in 2014 she became the youngest person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize when she was just 17.

However she has also been met with pockets of intense criticism. "I left Swat with my eyes closed and now I am back with my eyes open", she said.

Yousafzai praised the Pakistan army in an interview on the independent Geo news channel Friday for providing her timely medical treatment, saying her surgery was done by an army surgeon at the "right time" and she later received post-trauma treatment in Britain. "Don't think about me".

She was flown to Britain for surgery and has remained overseas since, co-writing a best-selling book "I Am Malala" and starting a foundation advocating girls' education worldwide.

The school is now providing quality education to at least 183 students, majority of them being in the ages between 5 and 12, while at least 38 of them are orphans.



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