Malala's father tells of hopes of return to Pakistan


The father of Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has spoken of his desire to one day return to their home in Pakistan.

Miss Yousafzai narrowly avoided death aged 15 in 2012 after being shot in the head by the Pakistani Taliban for her outspoken campaigning for girls' rights to education.

She was treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital and made the city her home after the gun attack in the remote Swat Valley. This year she achieved 6A*s and 4As in her GCSEs and the 18-year-old is now studying for A-Levels.

Her father Ziauddin Yousafzai told the Sunday Times he is grateful for the help they received here but he wishes they could safely return to Pakistan, where he was a rights activist and set up a school for local boys and girls in the poverty and illiteracy-stricken Swat.

He told the paper "realities have turned into dreams and I am struggling to turn those dreams back to realities", adding: "I love the UK, it's a great country and I am very grateful. I've even got used to the rain. But I didn't choose it for myself. I am struggling."

He added: "I am proud to be known by my daughter, as all fathers should be, but this global recognition has come with the loss of living in the land where I was living. It would be better if I was in Pakistan and people there knew me as Malala's dad."

The relationship between Mr Yousafzai and his daughter is the focus of the documentary He Named Me Malala, which is released in November.

Last week he told the Women in the World conference in London that men who do not believe in equality and freedom for women are guilty of "real cowardice".

He said: "Why should we paralyse half of our population? Why this kind of manhood - that I believe in controlling my wife and my sisters and my daughters?

"They are individuals, they have their own personality and their own life, and the true manhood is to believe in their freedom."