An emotional Malala Yousafzai tweeted,”The most beautiful place on Earth for me”, referring to her hometown, Swat Valley in Pakistan as her much-delayed visit to Pakistan came to an end. She was visibly elated to have been to her homeland after six years of the brutal shooting incident that took place against her by the military.
— Malala (@Malala) March 31, 2018
She was seen boarding a plane to London with her family at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport. “Malala Yousafzai along with her family left Islamabad,” a government official told AFP. The details of this visit were kept highly secretive and she received mixed responses from the people regarding the visit.
Meeting the Prime Minister
During her visit, she met the Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and attended a reception in her honour. There, she delivered an emotional address reflecting on her love for her home country. She also spoke about her inherent desire to visit this place for the past six years. “I have been dreaming of returning to Pakistan for the past five years,” teary-eyed Malala had said, as reported in The TOI. She cited her visit as the most awaited moment in her life.
“I have been dreaming of returning to Pakistan for the past five years,”
The HT reported,”The trip was a highly symbolic moment for Pakistan, which regularly touts Swat as a success story in its long battle with extremism as it defends itself against accusations by the US and others that its northwest remains a safe haven for militancy.”
The visit was largely a personal affair with Malala visiting her hometown, meeting old friends and family members. “So much joy seeing my family home, visiting friends and putting my feet on this soil again,” she tweeted along with a picture showing her standing in her home with her father, mother and brothers.
Plans to return to Pakistan after completing education
Malala moved to Britain post the attack that took place against her in 2012. Since then, she had begun studying at Oxford University as well as involved herself in promoting the cause of girl education. The young Malala soon became a youth icon and was conferred with the Nobel Peace Prize. During her visit, she expressed her desire to return to Pakistan as soon as her education at Oxford is completed.
On Monday, her uncle Mahmoodul Hassan told The Associated Press, “she is leaving Pakistan with good and memorable memories, but is going back to England because she wants to complete her education there”, as reported in The HT.
Picture Credit: tribute.ca
Nimisha is an intern with SheThePeople.TV
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