My heart just dropped a bit, reading that Malala Yousafzai is in Pakistan. In her Netflix David Letterman interview, the world's youngest Nobel Laureate talks about how she misses "the rivers and mountains" of her home in Swat Valley and all she wanted was for her "feet to touch the ground of home."
Malala is now home for the first time since she was attacked on her school bus, shot at close range with a bullet to her head. Now 20 and studying at Oxford, Malala is expected to stay primarily in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, during her four-day visit.
“I still can’t believe that it is actually happening,” the global activist for girls education said in a visibly emotional speech at the office of Pakistan's Prime Minister Shadid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday. “In the last five years, I have always dreamed of coming back to my country.”
As the audience erupted into moved and emotional applause, Malala broke into tears and for a moment cupped her hands to cover her face.
“I am just 20 years old, but I have seen a lot in life,” she continued with a choked voice, recalling how she grew up in the picturesque Swat region only to watch it slide into extremism and terrorism. “I never wanted to leave my country.”
Malala wil be traveling to the Swat Valley in her four-day visit, Earlier this month, a new girls’ school built with her Nobel prize money opened in Shangla, near her home district of Swat. Malala will inaugurate the official opening of the school.
Personally, I can't imagine how wonderful it must be for her to return -- but the sooner she is out of there, the better. Now that it's known that she is in the country, Taliban forces will be on the move. They have vowed to kill her if she ever sets foot again in Pakistan. No one can be trusted, given how much they hate her.
Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistan’s state minister for information called Yousafzai's visit a “big, big moment for Pakistan.”
“She is a person who had the guts to stand up against militants,” she added, “and her coming back to Pakistan is also symbolic that we are winning in our fight against extremism and militancy.”
Besides Malala, two other schoolgirls in Swat were shot by Taliban militants in October 2012.