PM vows 'complete security' to Malala in Pakistan

PM vows 'complete security' to Malala in Pakistan

PM vows 'complete security' to Malala in Pakistan

"I had not imagined that she would ever come (back)", Rida Siyal, a student who said she had been a "good friend" of Malala's before the shooting, told AFP. "She advocates for the education of children", he said.

Humeira Shawkat, another woman attorney in Swat, says she does not think Malala deserves any credit.

It was not clear whether Malala and her family would visit Swat during their visit, something that would require extraordinary security clearance measures, officials said. But some Pakistanis have always been critics of Malala, favouring conspiracy theories claiming she is "a Western agent" or was actually shot by the Central Intelligence Agency.

In an emotional speech broadcast live by television stations, Malala said she had dreamed of returning to Pakistan and setting foot on her native soil.

Earlier, Pakistan's Geo TV showed footage of Yousafzai after she arrived at Islamabad airport, walking to a auto escorted by security officials. Local television showed her with her parents in the lounge at the airport before leaving in a convoy of almost 15 vehicles, many of them occupied by heavily armed police.

Yousafzai may visit her childhood home in Swat Valley if security threats don't prevent her from traveling.

In a sign of the attention she still draws in Pakistan, security for Yousafzai's visit was extremely tight. "Happy Pakistan Day!" as quoted by Los Angeles Times.

Pakistan is religiously conservative and late a year ago Ms Yousafzai was trolled online after a picture of her in Oxford wearing western clothes - jeans and heeled boots - was shared on social media.

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She was guest of honour at a special ceremony at the prime minister's office. She also became a global symbol of the resilience of women in the face of repression.

Ahmad Shah, who said he was a friend of Malala's father, said she "should have returned home much earlier".

"Pakistan welcomes "Gul Makai" to her home". Memon said it was a proud day for Pakistan that Yousafzai was back in Pakistan. "There should be no politics when it comes to education, health and economy", said Malala.

Yousafzai was only 15 when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head as she was returning home from school.

After surviving the attack, Yousafzai was airlifted overseas and underwent surgery.

"I hope that my baby girl learns to be as articulate, as courageous as Malala", said Nisha Aftab on Twitter.

She was awarded the Nobel in 2014, along with Indian child-rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, and said on the day she collected the prize that "Education is one of the blessings of life, and one of its necessities".

Severely wounded, Malala was taken by helicopter from one military hospital in Pakistan to another, where doctors placed her in a medically induced coma so an air ambulance could fly her to Great Britain for treatment. Yousafzai has repeatedly responded to the criticism with a grace far outstripping her years, often saying that education is not just for those in the West. I have been dreaming about returning to my country since I left.

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