Nobel laureate and prominent Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai said on Thursday that she had always dreamt of returning to her native Pakistan, almost six years after being shot by Taliban militants for advocating girl's education in the country.
Malala met with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi earlier Thursday and later took questions from an audience. She was immediately air-lifted to Great Britain for treatment after the attack. "Happy Pakistan Day!" as quoted by Los Angeles Times.
Yousafzai is now pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University's Lady Margaret Hall, while continuing to further her movement for women's rights.
The Pakistan Muslim League said that ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan plus politician Marvi Memon were at the meeting.
"I don't normally cry ..." She also delivered a moving speech about her attack and women's education in Pakistan, CNN reported.
In 2014, Malala became the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17, in recognition of her efforts for children's rights.
"I wish I could see her in Swat".
She set up the Malala Fund with her father Ziauddin, with the goal of "working for a world where every girl can learn and lead without fear".
As the reality hit home for Yousafzai, her usually self-assured composure vanished.
"We are very happy that our daughter has come back".
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.
Instead her family will travel to Islamabad where she is expected hold a reunion at a well-secured luxury hotel. "We will provide you all the security you need", he said.
The Pakistani military airlifted Miss Yousafzai by helicopter hours after a Taliban gunman boarded a bus in the Swat town of Shangla, shooting her in the head.
She added that for further treatment, she had to move overseas and now she has to continue her studies there.
"On this day, I cherish fond memories of home, of playing cricket on rooftops and singing the national anthem in school". Malala also underlined that if she had a choice, then she would not have left Pakistan and stay there happily.
After surviving the attack, Yousafzai was airlifted overseas and underwent surgery.
Her career as an activist began in early 2009, when she started writing a blog for the BBC about her life under Taliban occupation and promoting education for girls in Pakistan's Swat Valley.
They also blew up many girls' schools and imposed their strict version of Islamic law until they were finally driven out.
"Some Pakistanis have always been critics of Malala, favouring conspiracy theories claiming she is "a Western agent" or was actually shot by the CIA", Kermani says.
She opened a new Twitter account on her last day of school in July 2017 and now has more than a million followers.
While she is arguably the most recognizable Pakistani in the world, Yousafzai - known nearly universally as Malala - is a polarizing figure at home.
Some in Pakistan, especially religious conservatives, have been critical, calling her a polarizing figure who portrays her country in a negative way to seek fame overseas.
For much of Pakistan, waking up to Malala's return Thursday felt like the homecoming of a champion.
The Pakistan army has tightened security following Malala's visit to Islamabad as the Taliban has promised to attack Malala again as she survived, CNN reports.