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Return of Malala : Swat welcomes its native daughter

02 April 2018

Yousafzai returned to Pakistan on Thursday, the first time she had been able to return since Pakistan Taliban gunmen shot her in the head on her way to school in October 2012.

After the Pakistani army drove out the Taliban in mid-2009 she became a symbol for girls' education through a blog she wrote for the BBC's Urdu service, which started while the Taliban were still in power, and a documentary "Class Dismissed", that profiled her.

Yousafzai will return Monday to Britain, where she is a student at Oxford University.

The Taliban 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.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai visited her birthplace in Pakistan's Swat Valley on Saturday, bursting into tears as she entered her childhood home for the first time since a Taliban gunman shot her in 2012.

It had been uncertain whether Ms. Yousafzai would be able to visit Swat, parts of which spent nearly two years under Pakistani Taliban militants' harsh interpretation of Islamic law, due to continued concerns for her safety. Security was also visibly beefed up in Mingora the previous day.

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"They are lucky to have many role models like you [Hamid Mir] to follow", she told the interviewer.

EurAsian Times Editor in Karachi, Syed Shafiq Ul Haq explains, "Many people in Pakistan think high of Malala Yousufzai, but some patriarchal elements in the society have serious reservations with Malala because she talks about women empowerment".

"I have the same right on the country as any another Pakistani", Malala said during the interview.

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.

This month, a new girls' school built with her Nobel prize money opened in the village of Shangla in Swat Valley.

She made a surprise visit to Pakistan with her parents under tight security overnight.

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The Associated Press A Pakistani student teaches her class fellows at the school of Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai in her hometown of Swat Valley in Pakistan on Friday.

Malala was transported to Swat in a helicopter which landed in Circuit House from where she went straight to the Khapal Kor Foundation. She has also written a book, spoken at the United Nations and met with refugees.

"I am unable to believe I am back in Swat and meeting my own people", her father Ziauddin Yousafzai said, in comments echoed by her mother Toor Pekai.

'I thank the government and the army for the role they have played in my return without them this would not have been possible, the 20-year old said in an interview to Geo TV channelled aired yesterday, her first to a TV channel on her surprise current visit.

"What I want is people support my goal of education and think about the daughters of Pakistan who need an education".

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Return of Malala : Swat welcomes its native daughter