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HomeWorldPakistan student who survived 2014 army school attack elected Oxford Union treasurer

Pakistan student who survived 2014 army school attack elected Oxford Union treasurer

Ahmad Nawaz was 14 when Taliban gunmen stormed his school — Army Public School Peshawar — and opened fire on students. His younger brother was among 141 people killed in the attack.

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New Delhi: Ahmad Nawaz, who survived the 2014 terror attack on Army Public School (APS) Peshawar, has been elected treasurer of the Oxford Union, the renowned debating society of the premier British university.

Nawaz was 14 at the time of the APS attack, which saw Taliban gunmen enter the school premises and open fire on the students. The attack led to the death of 141 people, of whom 132 were children. The fatalities included Nawaz’s younger brother Haris, 13. Nawaz, who suffered a grievous bullet injury to his arm, survived the attack by playing dead.

Nawaz, now 20, has since emerged as an activist who works for the cause of education, among others. He earned a place at Oxford University last year. On Saturday, the activist took to Twitter to announce his election as treasurer of the Oxford Union.

Nawaz is studying Philosophy and Theology at Lady Margaret Hall, alma mater of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and compatriot Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012, when she was 15, for her advocacy in favour of girls’ education.

Also read: Pakistan’s economy can come alive if it addresses the problem of ‘dead capital’

A survivor

Nawaz and his family shifted to the UK for the treatment of his bullet injury and to rebuild their lives.

In his Twitter bio, Nawaz describes himself as a “survivor” and human rights activist working for youth empowerment, sustainability and ensuring access to education for deprived children.

In 2020, he told Gulf News that he started working as a teen activist soon after his family came to the UK. He has participated in the World Leaders Conference in Portugal, the One Young World at the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit, and many other forums that advocate for the rights of young people.

The report also quoted him as saying that, as part of his campaign, he had provided scholarships to many young people in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, and built a school in Lebanon for refugee children.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: Pakistan National Assembly passes bill giving right of appeal to Kulbhushan Jadhav


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