I am proud of my religion and my country: Nobel winner Malala

Vastavam web: Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai says she has pined for her home in Pakistan’s picturesque Swat Valley, even as she recalled two years living in fear under the Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islamic law.Visiting her homeland for the first time since a Taliban gunman shot her in the head over her blog advocating girls’ education, 20-year-old Yousafzai also contradicted Pakistani critics who accuse her of promoting an ideology at odds with the country’s Islamic values.

“I am proud of my religion, and I am proud of my country,” she told Reuters in an interview at her hotel on Friday.“I had never been so excited for anything. I’ve never been so happy before,” she said, though she would not discuss whether she had received security clearance to visit Swat.“I miss everything about Pakistan … right from the rivers, the mountains, to even the dirty streets and the garbage around our house, and my friends and how we used to have gossip and talk about our school life, to how we used to fight with our neighbors.”She said she has wanted to return before but, aside from security concerns, there was the hectic pace of school and her entry exams to Oxford, where she began studying last year for a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.