ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday lauded the bravery of Malik Adnan, the man who tried to save the life of his Sri Lankan colleague while he was being lynched in Sialkot last week.
The prime minister was addressing a condolence reference at Prime Minister's Office for Diyawadanage Don Nandasiri Priyantha Kumara who was beaten to death on Friday by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.
"I am happy today, after such a tragic incident, [to have among us] a man who made us all proud, the way he tried his best to save [Priyantha's] life," the premier said.
PM Khan said that it is very important for a country to have role models to follow. He said whoever heard of Adnan, "came away thinking that that here is a man who stands on the right path".
"There is an English phrase 'one moral man is an army'," the premier said, adding: "The moral might of a person carries much more weight than their physical might."
"Hopefully, the youth of Pakistan will remember Malik Adnan as a human being who stood up in front of hundreds of animals," PM Khan said.
He said that Adnan will be granted an award for his bravery on March 23, 2022.
The prime minister went on to unequivocally state that from now on, the government "will not spare anyone" who commits cruel acts in the name of religion.
"From now on, if anyone is found using religion, especially resorting to violence in the name of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the government will not spare them," the premier declared.
He said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a blessing for the entire human race, not just Muslims.
"His message was based on two principles: humanity and justice; these two traits distinguish humans from animals," he said, adding that what happened in Sialkot was an example of "might is right" — a rule that prevails in the jungle, but has no place in human societies.
He said that the kind of events we have been witnessing in the country lately, where some people use religion to torture and burn other human beings, are unacceptable.
The premier also talked about people who are falsely accused of blasphemy and are sent to jail.
"Some people are falsely accused of blasphemy and are thrown in jail to rot in there, as neither any lawyer, nor any judge, wants to support them," he said. "This kind of [sham justice] cannot be found in any humanitarian society of the world."
Citing the example of the Army Public School massacre, the premier said that since that day, the whole country has decided not to tolerate any such incident again.
"Since then, all Pakistanis have united against terrorism — something which had been unprecedented in the country."
The premier said that the business community in Sialkot has accumulated $100,000 for the family of the deceased, and that they will continue to send his salary to his widow each month.
PM Khan then spoke about the establishment of the Rehmatul lil Alameen Authority and said that he came up with the idea to bring together Islamic scholars and devise strategies to spread the true message of the Holy Prophet in society.
"We want our children to know who the Holy Prophet (PBUH) was and what was his life like," the premier said. "To prove oneself to be a true lover of the Prophet, one has to follow his example."
At the end of his speech, the premier reiterated: "As long as I am alive, I will not allow incidents like the Sialkot lynching to happen again."
The foreigner, Diyawadanage Don Nandasri Priyantha Kumara, was working as a manager at a private factory in Sialkot. Last week, he was lynched by a mob after being accused of blasphemy.
The gruesome incident was dubbed by PM Imran Khan as "a day of shame for Pakistan".
Workers of a garment industry, located on Sialkot’s Wazirabad Road, had alleged that the foreigner had committed blasphemy. He was subsequently lynched and his body was set ablaze. The mob had also vandalised the factory and blocked traffic, according to the police.
Yesterday, the federal government announced it shall implement a "comprehensive strategy" to curb incidents like the Sialkot brutality.
The decision came during a meeting chaired by PM Khan in Islamabad, where the overall security situation in the country came under review, a statement from the PM's Office said.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, National Security Advisor Dr Moeed Yousaf, Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, senior military and civil officers were in attendance.
The participants of the meeting were of the view that individuals and mobs cannot be allowed to take the law into their hands and such incidents cannot be tolerated, the statement said.
"Therefore, a comprehensive strategy shall be implemented to curb such incidents and strict punishments to all the perpetrators shall be ensured," the statement said.
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