Despite Threats on Her Life, Malala Returns to Pakistan

'I am already doing work there but I want my feet to touch that land'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2018 1:42 AM CDT

(Newser) – Malala Yousafzai has returned to the country where she was shot and almost killed six years ago for campaigning for girls' education—and where Taliban militants have vowed to finish the job if she ever comes back. The 20-year-old activist, who was 15 when she was shot along with two classmates on a school bus in 2012, has arrived in Islamabad under tight security for what is expected to be a four-day visit, the BBC reports. Malala, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, has lived in Britain with her family since she was taken there for medical treatment after the attack, in which she was shot in the head and neck.

Malala is now an Oxford University student and this is her first visit to her homeland since the attack. It's not clear whether Malala will visit her family's hometown of Mingora in the Swat valley, 150 miles north of Islamabad, though residents say she would be very welcome. "She should have come back much earlier, we welcome her, she is the pride of the world, why wouldn't she be ours as well?" family friend Niaz Ahmed tells CNN. "Her courage is an example for education in a place called Swat. She defeated fear in Swat." Malala told David Letterman earlier this month that she longed to return. "People want to see change in their country," she said. "I am already doing work there but I want my feet to touch that land." (Read more Malala Yousafzai stories.)

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