Tariq Jahan is the Pride of Britain

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Birmingham father who lost youngest son in Riots given Special Recognition Award

WHEN Britain burned in August’s riots, it was one man who suffered the greatest loss who showed the greatest compassion. 

Grieving father Tariq Jahan came to personify the indomitable spirit of the vast majority of the British people when he made a remarkable plea for calm after his son was killed in the violence. 

Police said his intervention helped prevent a tinderbox situation igniting into yet more violence. 

Tariq’s son Haroon, 21, was one of three young men mown down by a hit-and-run driver while trying to protect their community from a mob of looters when the riots hit Birmingham. 

Tariq had rushed to help the victims – who had been sent flying high into the air by the car – without knowing that his son was among them.  Tariq had already tried to revive brothers Shazad Ali, 30, and 30-year-old Abdul Musavir, when he turned over the third victim.  Horrified, he saw it was his own son and he battled to save Haroon’s life as he lay dying on the pavement.  Tariq gave him CPR, but sadly it wasn’t enough to save him.

Just hours after his son’s death, van driver Tariq took a stand outside his home and made a heartfelt plea for peace as police feared revenge attacks would spark a tide of racial violence.  Tariq urged: “Blacks, Asians, whites – we all live in the same community. Why are we doing this? Step forward if you want to lose your sons. Otherwise calm down and go home… please.”  Tariq spoke again at meetings, rallies and to individuals, maintaining inspirational dignity and calm.

And it was this that led to organisers of the Pride of Britain Awards to honour the 45-year-old with a Special Recognition Award.

The awards – which will be broadcast on ITV this Wednesday – honour individuals who have shown compassion, heroism and courage in the face of adversity – and Tariq is no exception.

He was presented with the award by Boxing champion Amir Khan, before turning to a star-studded crowd at the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane to say a few words.

“The other family lost two sons, I don’t want people to forget,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.  

“The response from the country has been phenomenal. We seem to emphasise the bad but never the good.”

While his courage and compassion has been widely applauded, Tariq paid tribute to the emergency services who rushed to the scene as three young men lay dying.

“The real heroes are people who do a great job every day,” Tariq said. “I remember I was in panic and I remember when the police arrived. A sergeant took over looking at my son.

“Within a few moments the ambulance arrived and we don’t seem to understand that when we have a tragedy we rely on these people. These are like angels, the people who tried to save my son.

“The love I’ve seen in this country has come from every walk of life. We have a great community in this country and it’s a shame we don’t let the good people take control.

“Everyone has had a loss some time in their life. You miss them when they’re gone. I just hope the people remember that they gave their lives for this country.”

 

The Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards 2011

Wednesday 5th October 2011 on ITV 1

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