TAIPEI: A 14-year-old women’s rights activist became the first Pakistani girl to receive the Asian Girls Human Rights Ambassador award on Monday.
“Hadiqa Bashir, a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat district, was selected from among four girls for the award which was presented to her on the International Day of the Girl Child during an event organised by the Garden of Hope Foundation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.
She dedicated the award to the lawyers who were killed in a suicide attack outside Quetta’s Civil Hospital in August, and to Kashmiris who continue to face violence in India-held Kashmir.
While accepting the award she called for the Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination be realised and condemned atrocities committed by Indian forces in IHK, asking for them to be stopped.
“I stand in unity with the mothers, sister and brothers of Kashmir who are victims of violence committed against them by the Indian forces,” she said. “Pakistan is a peace-loving country and daughters of Pakistan do not support war as they believe war cannot bring peace. Wars only bring devastation.”
Upon receiving the award, Hadiqa vowed to “fight for the rights of women and young girls, from Syria to Palestine, Kashmir and Myanmar”, and raise her voice for her “Muslim sisters and sisters from all over Asia”.
Last year, Hadiqa Bashir earned international recognition after being awarded the third Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for dedicating her life to ending the practice of child marriages in Pakistan.