Pakistan announces bravery award for man who tried to save Sri Lankan manager from Sialkot mob


ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced to bestow a top civilian award on the man who risked his life in order to save Sri Lankan Manager Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, lynched by a mob in Sialkot last week over allegations of blasphemy.

The premier said that Malik Adnan was being awarded with the honour for displaying moral courage he showed to protect the foreign national.

“On behalf of the nation, I want to salute moral courage and bravery of Malik Adnan who tried his utmost to shelter and save Priyantha Diyawadana from the vigilante mob in Sialkot incl[uding] endangering his own life by physically trying to shield victim,” PM Khan said in a Twitter post. “We will award him Tamgha-i-Shujaat [Medal of Bravery].”

According to official documents, the ‘Order of Shujaat’ medals are awarded to people for “acts of heroism and conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger and for gallantry in saving or attempting to save life”.

Malik Adnan is also being lauded by social media users for his courage, as they are describing him as the “lone warrior” who tried his best to save Priyantha Diyawadana by trying to calm the mob. At one point, he shielded the Sri Lankan citizen from the mob.

Last week, a mob of private factory employees lynched Kukmara, who worked as export manager there, over the allegations of blasphemy.

A dispute had emerged when the foreign national removed some posters from the machines installed at the factory. The posters were reportedly inscribed with the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Punjab government spokesperson Hassan Khawar said that the provincial police chief was personally overseeing the probe.

The lynching was widely condemned by Pakistan’s political and military leadership, prominent social and religious figures and civil society members.

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