Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai – here at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018– is back in Pakistan, her homeland, for the first time since 2012, when she was shot in the chest. head by a Taliban
Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and women’s rights activist, arrived in her native Pakistan on Thursday, leaving in dramatic circumstances in 2012 after being shot in the head of the Pakistani Taliban.
„We welcome Malala Yousafzai back home,“ Foreign Ministry spokesman Muhammad Faisal told AFP.
„She will meet several people here but her itinerary is not made public for security reasons,“ he added.
Malala Yousafzai, accompanied by her parents, is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during the four-day visit.
On the other hand, it is unclear at this stage whether the 20-year-old woman intends to travel to her home district of Shangla in the Swat Valley (northwest).
His early morning arrival at Islamabad International Airport was under heavy police escort, according to footage shown on television.
If Malala is celebrated in the West, her image is more controversial in her country where some consider her as a „foreign agent“ paid to denigrate Pakistan.
Denounced from the outset by radical Islamist circles opposed to the emancipation of women, Malala has seen the distrust of it spread to a part of the middle class Pakistani, favorable to the right to education but who does not support to see the image of the country tarnished.
Many of his compatriots, however, welcomed the announcement of his arrival, especially in his Swat Valley.
Rida Siyal, a high school student, rejoiced: Malala „was a good friend of mine, I would not have imagined that she would ever return to Pakistan and Swat“.
Malala „has overcome the dark forces of fear, she is a role model for us, and we are delighted that she is coming back,“ she told AFP.
„She should come to Pakistan regularly so that people in this region can see the importance of education, especially for women,“ said another Swat resident, Jawad Khan.
„Welcome to #MalalaYousafzai, the brave and resistant girl from Pakistan, back in her country,“ wrote politician Syed Ali Raza Abidi on Twitter.
„Dear Pakistani, Malala is not your enemy, your enemies are the monsters who shoot at close range,“ said another netizen, Shahira Lashari.
Some people praised his bravery: „Very brave, I will not come back, look what happened to Benazir Bhutto“ (former Pakistani Prime Minister murdered in 2007), commented another user.
– Birmingham then Oxford –
It was under dramatic circumstances, in ambulance and between life and death that Malala had to leave her country in 2012, badly wounded in an assassination attempt by Pakistani Taliban as she was returning from school.
She had not walked on Pakistani soil since then, while expressing the wish to return. „I hope I can one day return to Pakistan, it’s hard not to see her house, family and friends for more than five years,“ she said in January in Davos.
Neat in England, where she has lived since, she became a champion of women’s right to education. It is in this capacity that she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, together with the Indian Kailash Satyarthi.
After living with her family in Birmingham, Central England, where she studied at a girls‘ school, she is now studying economics, philosophy and political science at the University of Birmingham. Oxford.
– Fear in the valley –
Malala began fighting in 2007 when the Taliban imposed their bloody law in its Swat Valley (northwest), once a peaceful tourist region in the foothills of the Himalayas.
At the age of 11, this girl, very influenced by her father, a school principal, but whose mother is illiterate, was feeding a blog on the BBC’s website in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. Under the pseudonym Gul Makai, she described the climate of fear in her valley.
The name of this cold-blooded girlfriend, in love with books and knowledge, then began to circulate in Swat, then to the rest of the country when she won a national peace prize.
On October 9, 2012, TTP jihadists (Pakistani Taliban) broke into the Malala school bus on leaving school. One of them had asked who she was before shooting him in the head.