By Muhammad Luqman
World’s youngest Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai visited her hometown in northwestern Pakistan’s Swat valley for the first time since being shot by the Taliban there more than five years ago.
Yousafzai flew from the capital Islamabad to Mingora, the main town in Swat valley, by helicopter on Saturday morning. She briefly met friends and teachers from her old secondary school before heading to an event organised in her honour at a nearby college, according to media reports.
“I left Swat with my eyes closed and now return with my eyes open,” she told foreign news agency AFP, referring to how she was airlifted out in a coma after the attack in 2012.
Elaborate security arrangements were made across the valley with local police coordinating with the military.
Malala 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.
Since then, she has spearheaded a campaign for the cause of girls’ right to an education, raising millions of dollars to launch programmes in Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Lebanon and other parts of the world.
In 2014, she jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, becoming the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize.
Last year, she was accepted for a Bachelors degree programme at Oxford University in the UK, where she has resided since receiving treatment there in 2012 for wounds sustained in the attack.
Malala on her return to Pakistan on Thursday, had meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa. She is expected to return to the United Kingdom next week.