pak hero
Pakistan’s Prime Minister announced the top medal of bravery for Malik Adnan, a colleague of the slain Sri Lankan citizen. Image Credit: Twitter

Islamabad: Pakistan has announced a top civilian award for the man who risked his life and tried to save Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, a Sri Lankan factory manager, lynched by an angry mob over alleged blasphemy allegations in Sialkot.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the top medal of bravery for the Malik Adnan, a colleague of the slain Sri Lankan citizen, “for the moral courage he showed to protect Priyantha Diyawadana” from the crowd.

“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].”

The ‘Order of Shujaat’ medals are awarded for “acts of heroism and conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger and for gallantry in saving or attempting to save life”, according to official documents. The award comes with a prize money of Rs.900,000.

Pakistan PM assures justice will be done

Malik was hailed as a real hero on Twitter as Pakistanis praised his courage, describing him as the “lone warrior” who did his best to save his colleague. Videos shared on social media showed Malik trying to calm the crowd down and eventually shielding the Sri Lankan in an attempt to save him from the charged mob.

On the weekend, prayers and memorials were held in Pakistan to remember Priyantha Kumara who was brutally attacked and killed by the mob in Sialkot. The Sri Lankan factory manager was falsely accused of blasphemy to settle personal vendettas, according to the local business community. Kumara’s remains would be flown to his home country on Monday.

Pakistan’s prime minister has assured the Sri Lankan president that all those involved in the killing will be “prosecuted with full severity of the law.” Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed grief over the lynching and said his country and people were “confident” that Pakistan’s prime minister would bring the perpetrators to justice.