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NZ terror attack: PM Ardern pays tribute to Naeem Rashid


News Desk |

On Tuesday, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister paid tribute to the Pakistani martyr Naeem Rashid who lost his life in an attempt to save the fellow worshippers from the deadly shooting perpetrated by Australian-born terrorist in a Christchurch mosque on Friday.

The mass shooting has claimed the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers who were gathered in a mosque for Friday’s congregational prayers. In her speech, addressing the New Zealand’s parliament, Ardern has promised the bereaved families that the Australian shooter will face the ‘force of the law’.

She started her speech with the Muslim greeting, Assalam u Alaikum, saying Naeem Rashid has laid down his life to save lives of worshippers gathered inside the mosque. Condemning the barbaric act, she said, “He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety — that is why you will never hear me mention his name,” she said.

Read more: New Zealand’s Ardern vows never to speak killer’s name

“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.” Donned in a hijab, Prime Minister Ardern reached Christchurch on Sunday to lay the wreath and met the families of martyrs of Christchurch shootings. She has also offered financial assistance to the victim’s families.

The New Zealand authorities have said to pay the funeral costs of all the victims. Jacinda Ardern has also sped up the visa process for overseas relatives. Just 17 months into the premiership, Jacinda Ardern has been praised globally for her efficient handling of the crisis. She has emerged as a global leader vouching for inter-religious harmony and revering humanity above all the differences.

She has been hailed for her calm and compassion she has shown in the time of crisis. Earlier addressing the nation on Friday she said, “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” Ardern said Friday. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.”

Read more: NZ PM tackles tragedy with empathy, and resolve

She insisted that the “victim are us” and the “perpetrator is not.” Giving a stern response to the Australian white-supremacist shooter she said, “You may have chosen us — we utterly reject and condemn you.”

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