Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recognises 'martyred' Mian Naeem Rashid who was shot in Christchurch attacks

10:10 am on 18 March 2019

Pakistan has bestowed a national award on one of the victims of last week's mosque attack in Christchurch who died trying to confront the accused gunman.

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Photo: RNZ

Mian Naeem Rashid and his son Talha were among nine Pakistanis killed when a gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, the foreign ministry confirmed on Sunday.

Fifty people from countries including Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Jordan were killed in the attack. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, was charged with murder on Saturday.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a statement that Pakistan was proud of Mian Naeem Rashid, who was martyred trying to tackle the attacker, and his courage would be recognised with a national award.

Mr Rashid reportedly confronted the gunman outside the Al Noor mosque before he was killed along with his son.

The Pakistan government pledged support for families of all the Pakistani victims and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced a national day of mourning with flags flown at half mast on Monday.

"The whole nation mourns this shock," he told reporters in Islamabad.

Pakistan's newly appointed Prime Minister Imran Khan (C) addresses lawmakers after being elected by National Assembly in Islamabad

Imran Khan. Photo: AFP

For Pakistan, which has suffered thousands of deaths from extremist violence over the years while facing accusations of allowing militant Islamist groups to operate from its soil, the attack showed that terrorism knows no religion or boundaries.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that the "mindless killing spree" once again proved that terrorism knows no religion or boundaries.

"This affirms Pakistan's narrative that terrorism is an international phenomenon, having no religion and should not be associated with any religion," the statement said.

Relatives of Mr Rashid mourned his death in the northern city of Abbottabad on Sunday and Safi Rizwan, a nephew, said his uncle had left a message for everyone.

"If you see something happening that is not good for other humans, or if that is hurting other people, you give your everything to save them, even it means giving your life."

- Reuters

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