LAHORE: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai on Monday ended her first visit to Pakistan since being shot in 2012 by Taliban militants who tried to kill her for promoting girls’ education in the country’s northwestern area.
A smiling Yousafzai was seen with her parents at Benazir Bhutto International Airport before they boarded a plane to return to London after the four-day visit.
Amid tight security, Yousafzai in a convoy of vehicles left her hotel in Islamabad, where she stayed for four days. Touching scenes were witnessed when the now-20-year-old university student left her hotel, thanking Pakistani officials for giving her an army helicopter to see her home in the northwest town of Mingora in the Swat Valley.
After visiting Mingora on Saturday, Yousafzai in a tweet said it was “the most beautiful place on earth” for her.
“So much joy seeing my family home, visiting friends and putting my feet on this soil again,” Malala said, as she posted a picture of her showing her standing at her home’s lawn with her father, mother and brothers.
Youzafzai also said in her hometown that she had waited for the moment for more than five years and said she often looked at Pakistan on the map, hoping to return.
She said she plans to permanently return to Pakistan after completing her studies in Britain.
On Monday, Yousafzai’s uncle Mahmoodul Hassan told The Associated Press that “she is leaving Pakistan with good and memorable memories, but is going back to England because she wants to complete her education there”.
Earlier, Yousafzai met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in her surprise visit to Pakistan.
She attended a gathering at Abbasi’s office and made an emotional speech in which she said it was one of the happiest days of her life to be back in her country.