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APS attack survivor receives Diana Award for anti-radicalisation work

July 3, 2019
APS attack survivor receives Diana Award for anti-radicalisation work

Photo: Twitter/AhmadNawaz

Ahmad Nawaz, one of the survivors of the APS Peshawar attack, has become the first Pakistani to be given a Diana Award for his anti-radicalization work and humanitarian efforts.

The teenager survived the terror attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School on December 16, 2014. Nawaz also lost his brother Harris in the massacre.

Nawaz, who was then 14, suffered injuries to his arm and was brought to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the UK’s Birmingham for special treatment.

He tweeted on Monday to show appreciation for the award.

When asked if he plans on coming back to Pakistan, he told SAMAA Digital, “Yes.. As soon as I finish my studies I will go back and do work there [Pakistan] as well.”

He also shared his future plans. “My future plan is to continue with speaking for the Pakistani youth on global platforms with world leaders and provide them with different opportunities in Pakistan,” he added. “I want to represent a positive image of Pakistan to the world,” Nawaz remarked.

The 18-year-old shared an emotional video message through British news network ITV news.

“When I was in the hospital in the UK, this is where I realized there was a problem of radicalization in the UK,” he said.

He said children were going towards terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. Nawaz decided to do something to stop these children, which he thought “would be the best revenge [against] those terrorists.”

Related: Pakistani girl’s poem to be read at House of Lords

The teenager tours schools, colleges, universities around the UK to share his experience with students.

“My dream is that my story and the memory of my brother Haris will open people’s hearts and minds and encourage them to make the most of the opportunities they have, to turn away from hatred and work together for a better future,” he wrote in an article on The Independent.

He said people were inspired by his survival and that encouraged him to keep going. “If it could even help one person, if I could stop one person being radicalised and change their life, I would think that would be a success for me.”

The Diana Award was established in the memory of Princess Diana of Wales. It is awarded to young people aged nine to 25 years for their social or humanitarian work.

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