New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday paid tribute to Pakistani national Mian Naeem Rashid, who embraced martyred while trying to stop an Australian white supremacist terrorist from entering Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque on March 15.
Expressing solidarity with the Muslims community, the premier vowed to the grieving citizens that the terrorist, who killed 50 worshippers in a brutal assault on two mosques, would face the “full force of the law”.
She began her speech in parliament with Muslim greeting, Assalam-u-alaikum (Peace be unto you).
PM Ardern said Rashid had made the ultimate sacrifice to save the lives of worshippers inside the mosque.
She also strongly condemned the horrendous act of the lone terrorist while speaking on the floor of parliament, saying: “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety, that is why you will never hear me mention his name.”
“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless,” the premier added.
Rashid, hailing from Abbottabad, received bullet wounds as he tried to overpower the shooter as he entered one of the mosques in Christchurch.
He succumbed to his wounds while under treatment following the attack and was identified as the individual who rushed at the right-wing terrorist attacking the mosque.
Islamabad lauds Kiwi PM’s speech
The government has also lauded her speech, with Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal thanking Ardern for recognising Rashid’s bravery.
Speaking out on Twitter, Faisal said: “The clear decisive manner in which New Zealand’s prime minister has dealt with Christchurch terrorist attack has won her many admirers in Pakistan.”
He said that PM Ardern had won the hearts of Pakistanis for her compassion and leadership.