Swat girl decorated with Asian Girls Human Rights Ambassador award
Hadiqa Bashir, a 14-year-old women’s rights activist hailing from Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, was given the 2016 Asian Girls Human Rights Ambassador award for her efforts to end the practice of underage marriages in Pakistan. Hadiqa was presented with the award on the International Day of the Girl Child earlier this week at an event in Taiwan organised by the Garden of Hope Foundation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan.
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 Indian-held Kashmir. “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”. Iftikhar Hussain, Hadiqa’s father, was all praises for his daughter. “What else can a father ask from a daughter than such a big matter of pride? Really, she has made me and our country proud today,” he said.