Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai returned to Pakistan today, officials said, in her first visit to her native country since she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for advocating education for girls in 2012.

Precise details of her itinerary have been "kept secret in view of the sensitivity surrounding the visit," a government official said of the trip, which is expected to last four days and include a meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Accompanied by her parents, the 20-year-old was escorted through Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport under tight security, according to still photographs broadcast on local television.

Yousafzai has become a global symbol for human rights and a vocal campaigner for girls' education since a gunman boarded her school bus in the Swat Valley on October 9, 2012, asked "Who is Malala?" and shot her.

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She was treated for her injuries in the British city of Birmingham, where she completed her schooling.

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, she has continued her campaigning during her education.

Last year, she said she was "so excited" after finding out that she had secured three As in her A-levels that she needed to take up a place to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.

As the first term began at university in October, she tweeted a picture of her laptop and textbooks, writing: "5 years ago, I was shot in an attempt to stop me from speaking out for girls' education. Today, I attend my first lectures at Oxford."

One of her heroes, the former Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, is an alumni of the college, which was the first in Oxford to admit women.

During her childhood in the Swat Valley, Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym about life under the Taliban occupation, which included a ban on girls going to school.