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Malala to visit Ottawa, get honorary citizenship

The young Pakistani education activist who shared this year’s Nobel Peace prize will formally receive honorary Canadian citizenship this month.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged to make Malala Yousafzai, 17, an honorary citizen during last year’s speech from the throne, but it wasn’t until Friday that the government made another reference to her citizenship.

In a statement, Harper said Yousafzai will visit Ottawa on Oct. 22.

“We look forward to pursuing our collaborative efforts on children’s education,” he said.

Yousafzai, an outspoken advocate for girls education, was shot in the head by Taliban gunman two years ago as she was on her way home from school.

She survived to become an international advocate for the right of girls to go to school. She becomes the sixth person to receive honorary Canadian citizenship

Earlier Friday, Immigration Minister Chris Alexander didn’t respond to questions about why it was taking the government so long to fulfil its pledge. He said only that the commitment remained in place.

Within hours, Harper’s statement was released.

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