- Nobel laureate says people are active for a better Pakistan
- ‘I have same right on Pakistan as any another Pakistani’
ISLAMABAD/MINGORA: Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner and education activist, said on Friday that she plans on a permanent return to Pakistan after completing her education, a private TV channel reported.
“My plan is to return to Pakistan as this is my country. I have the same right on the country as any another Pakistani,” said Malala who is pursuing a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Oxford University.
In an interview to the channel, she reiterated her joy of being in Pakistan and her mission of providing education to children. “We want to work for the education of children and make it possible that every girl in Pakistan receives a high-level education and she can fulfill her dreams and become a part of society.”
To a question, she said that there was a difference in the Pakistan of 2012 and 2018, as things were improving. “People in our country are uniting for a better Pakistan. People are active, which is a very good thing,” she said.
Malala said that she appreciated the role of the then military chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani in her treatment. “My treatment here was by the army doctors and if they had not done my surgery in time I would not be here today.”
The 20-year-old also thanked the government and the army for the role they played in her return to the country and said that without them this would not have been possible.
The Nobel laureate returned to Pakistan in a surprise visit in the early hours of Thursday. She met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and addressed a gathering at the PM House. “I am very happy and still can’t believe that this is happening… In the past five years I had always dreamt of stepping foot in my country,” Malala said as she slightly broke down speaking about her return.
HIGH SECURITY IN SWAT
Malala was hoping to visit her Swat Valley hometown but that the trip depended on security clearances from the government. In Mingora, security was visibly beefed up, but authorities wouldn’t confirm whether she would be visiting there or not.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner is expected to return to London on Monday. Adnan Tabassum, a Swat-based activist, met with Malala on Thursday in Islamabad. She said that she (Malala) told her that she wanted to travel to Swat to see her relatives and former school friends.
According to the activist, Malala asked the authorities to allow her to go to Shangla village in Swat, where a school has been built by her Malala Fund. “Malala is not afraid of going to Swat, as she is interested to again see her hometown, her school and her home, where she spent years of her life,” she said.
Schoolgirls in Malala’s town said that they were keen to see her. “I admire Malala because she strived to promote girls’ education,” said Amna Khan, 12, as she entered one of the schools in Mingora. Malala won praise from across Pakistan on her return home.
Since her attack and recovery, Malala has led the Malala Fund, which she said has invested $6 million in schools and to provide books and uniforms for schoolchildren. She became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.