Pakistan-origin man receives highest honour in US

Biden awarded the award to 17 people, including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and late Senator John McCain


Our Correspondent July 09, 2022
Khizr Khan, a prominent advocate for the rule of law and religious freedom, has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civil award.

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistani-origin Khizr Khan, a prominent advocate for the rule of law and religious freedom, has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest US civil award.

Khizr, an immigrant from Pakistan, is a Gold Star father and founder of the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Centre. Father of US Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in Iraq in 2004, he gained national prominence after speaking at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, earning wrath of former US President Donald Trump for his views.

Biden awarded the award to 17 people on Thursday, including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and the late Senator John McCain for making exemplary contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant societal, public, or private endeavours.

Biden also awarded the medals, the country's highest civilian honour, to Sandra Lindsay, a New York nurse who was among the first in the country to receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

Speaking at an event at the White House, Biden called the recipients an “extraordinary, extraordinary group of Americans.”

“The Fourth of July week reminds us what brought us together long ago and still binds us — binds us at our best, what we strive for,” Biden said. “We the people, doing what we can to ensure that the idea of America, the cause of freedom, shines like the sun to light up the future of the world.

“This is America,” he said, gesturing to the stage full of award winners.

“These seventeen Americans demonstrate the power of possibilities and embody the soul of the nation – hard work, perseverance, and faith,” the White House said in a statement.

It said that these individuals have overcome significant obstacles to achieve impressive accomplishments in the arts and sciences, dedicated their lives to advocating for the most vulnerable among us, and acted with bravery to drive change in their communities – and across the world – while blazing trails for generations to come.

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