KARACHI: Funeral prayers have been offered for Sabika Shaikh, the 17-year-old Pakistani student who was killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high school last week.
Shaikh’s body arrived in Karachi early on Wednesday, Radio Pakistan reported.
Acting US counsel Gen. John Warner, Sindh ministers and political leaders joined the student’s family at Karachi airport to receive the flag-draped coffin.
An airport security force contingent offered a salute before Shaikh’s body was handed over to her father, Abdul Aziz Sheikh.
Shaikh was laid to rest later on Wednesday at Azeempura Graveyard in Karachi’s Shah Faisal Colony.
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah and Gov. Sindh Mohammad Zubair joined family and friends at the funeral prayers.
Speaking after the funeral, Zubair said the shooting incident in the US was a result of security lapse.
“(Shaikh) was martyred in a terrorist incident (in Texas). If Pakistan can (reduce terror) incidents, then so can the United States,” he said.
The Pakistani exchange student was among 10 students and staff killed in shooting at Santa Fe High School.
The alleged gunman, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held on murder charges.
Shaikh had planned to return home in a few weeks for Eid Al-Fitr. She was her family’s oldest child and began classes at Santa Fe High School last August.
Speaking to the media, Shaikh’s family called for collective efforts against terrorism.
“Terrorism is problem number one in the world,” Abdul Jaleel Shaikh, the student’s paternal uncle, said.
“If we fail to stand against terrorism, it will destroy our next generations,” he said.
Jaleel Shaikh, whose two children are also studying at universities in Florida and Washington, urged the US government to bring in tougher gun control laws.
Abdul Aziz Shaikh, the slain student’s father, said: “The attack on my daughter will not keep us away from education.”
“If we don’t send our children to educational institutions due to fears of terrorism, it means we are indirectly supporting terrorism,” he said.