Imran Khan announces national award for Pakistani ‘martyred’ trying to stop NZ mosque gunman

Pakistan PM Imran Kahn (L) and the brother of Naeem Rashid holding a picture of Naeem and his family © Reuters / Aly Song (L) ; AFP / Farooq Naeem (R) / Free

A Pakistani man who died after heroically throwing himself in front of the gunman who attacked two New Zealand mosques on Friday, will be bestowed with a posthumous national award, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday.

Father-of-three Naeem Rashid, 49, was among nine Pakistani citizens killed in the shootings, which targeted Friday prayers in two mosques in the city of Christchurch. His 21-year-old son Talha Naeem is also among the 50 people who lost their lives.

Writing on Twitter, Khan said: “We stand ready to extend all our support to the families of Pakistani victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch. Pakistan is proud of Mian Naeem Rashid who was martyred trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist & his courage will be recognized with a national award.”

Stories of Rashid’s bravery came to light on Saturday, after he was identified in the video of the attacks recorded by the gunman and posted online. He was left badly wounded after he tried to tackle the shooter at the Al Noor Mosque, later dying of his injuries in the hospital.

“I still can’t understand or believe why and how this happened,” Rashid’s wife Ambreen told the Khaleej Times. “But, I do know that my husband is a hero. He always helped people and even in his last moments, he did what he could to help others.”

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