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Malala Returns to Pakistan for First Time Since Attack

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Malala Yousafzai in Birmingham, England, in 2014. She has returned to Pakistan for the first time since the Taliban critically wounded her — and ensured a global audience for her education advocacy — in 2012.

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Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for girls’ education and the world’s youngest Nobel laureate, returned to Pakistan early Thursday in her first visit since an attack by Taliban militants gravely injured her in 2012.

Her homecoming was wrapped in relative secrecy, and details of her visit have not been publicly confirmed.

But Ms. Yousafzai, now 20 and studying at Oxford, is expected to stay mostly in Islamabad, the capital, during her four-day visit. She is said to be planning to meet with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other high-ranking civil and military officials.

She is also expected to visit the picturesque Swat Valley, her childhood home and the site of the Taliban attack against her. And in a nearby district, Shangla, she will also inaugurate a large school for girls being built with aid from the Malala Fund, an advocacy organization for girls’ education worldwide that she founded in 2013.

Video

The Making of Malala

The story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl, told by The Times’s Adam B. Ellick, who made a 2009 documentary about her before she was an international star.


By Gabe Johnson and Adam B. Ellick on Publish Date October 7, 2013.


Photo by Adam B. Ellick/The New York Times.

Watch in Times Video »

Ms. Yousafzai and two other schoolgirls in Swat were pulled off their school bus and shot by Taliban militants in October 2012.

The attackers were specifically targeting her: Though only 15, she was already widely known for her advocacy for girls’ education, placing her in defiance of militant leaders who had banned such schooling in areas they controlled. One of the gunmen shouted “Who is Malala?” as he boarded the bus.

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