Malala Yousafzai has finally set foot in her homeland after a long wait of five and a half years. This is a very significant moment not just in her life but also for the people of Pakistan. Her journey is no ordinary journey. Having to witness extremism in such proximity and young age and refusing to be intimidated is heroic as it is, but her following campaign for the cause of education and peace is what has really propelled her to the world’s attention. Her return to Pakistan – brief as it is – bring that journey to a close, and attests to the fact that Pakistan has battled hard against extremism, and is winning.

The Pakistan Malala is returning to is a different Pakistan than she left it. It is clear to see how much the security situation in the country has improved. Instead of being the terror stricken country that it was, Pakistan is well on the way to peace, has development and economic growth to look forward to, and, a few political controversies aside, is relatively stable. Her return enforces that notion, and it commendable to see that the government is reinforcing the same narrative.

It is heartening to see the dignitaries and the authorities of Pakistan completely ignoring the wild conspiracy narrative against her and welcoming her back as a “daughter of the nation”. The meeting with Prime Minister (PM) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi shows how much the country owns her and is proud of all her achievements. She has managed to put forth a soft image of Pakistan and is the youngest Nobel laureate in the history. Such achievements need to be celebrated by the nation as a whole.

Even on this four day visit to Pakistan, we see that her mission for education, particularly women’s education is something that she is passionate about, and her discussion with the Prime Minister on her future plans and possible cooperation is commendable one. The Malala Fund has contributed over $6 Million to the education sector of Pakistan and the campaign still goes on. The government should continue to support such assets of Pakistan, who are so dedicated to the country and continue to help in developing its neglected sectors. One can certainly hope that one day such a path can be paved for her to be able to work in Pakistan.