PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan Thursday for the first time since the Taliban tried to end her campaign for female education by shooting the then-schoolgirl in the head.
Instead of being silenced by the 2012 attack that gravely wounded her, Yousufzai went on to become a globally recognized advocate for moderation and children’s education.
“The visit was kept a secret due to security issues,” a relative said on condition of anonymity after the 20-year-old Yousafzai was greeted at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad by government and security officials. She was taken to a hotel under tight security, the family member added.
However, she will not travel to the Swat Valley in the north of the country, where the shooting occurred.
“It was a month ago when she decided to visit Pakistan at any cost,” said a second relative who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of Taliban reprisals.
As an 11-year-old, Yousufzai started an anonymous diary describing a girl’s thirst for education. She is now a student at Oxford University in England.