Funeral prayers offered for slain Pakistani student

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Funeral prayer of seventeen-year old Texas school shooting victim was offered at Hakeem Saeed Ground of Karachi here in morning on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Coffin of Sabika Shaikh is being taken to Hakeem Saeed Ground of Gulshan-e-Iqbal for funeral here on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, arriving in at Hakeem Saeed Ground to offer funeral prayer of Sabika Shaikh here on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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An Airport Security Force’s Ambulance taking Sabika Shaikh’s body arrives in at her residence at Gulshan-e-Iqbal vicinity of the city here on Wednesday morning (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Coffin of the Texas School shooting is being taken to her residence at Gulshan-e-Iqbal neighborhood of Karachi here on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Coffin of Sabika Shaikh is being taken to Hakeem Saeed Ground of Gulshan-e-Iqbal for funeral here on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Personnel of the Airport Security Force are taking coffin of Sabika Shaikh – a seventeen-old victim of Santa Fe High School shooting – out of Cargo terminal of Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport after arrival of her body from the U.S. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Relatives and neighbors arriving to Fateha for Sabika Shaikh, a seventeen-old foreign exchange student killed at Santa Fe High School, in Texas, U.S.A. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Abdul Aziz Shaikh, father of Sabika Shaikh, a seventeen-old foreign exchange student killed at Santa Fe High School, in Texas, U.S.A, consoling one of his daughter’s classmates, who arrived at Sabika’s residence at see her for last one time. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Personnel of security forces were deployed outside Sabika’s residence in Karachi due to arrival of the VIPs to condole the death (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Personnel of the Airport Security Force are taking coffin of Sabika Shaikh – a seventeen-old victim of Santa Fe High School shooting – out of Cargo terminal of Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport after arrival of her body from the U.S. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
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Relatives and neighbors arriving to condole with Abdul Aziz Shaikh, death of his daughter Sabika Shaikh, a seventeen-old foreign exchange student killed at Santa Fe High School, in Texas, U.S.A. (AN Photo by M.F.Sabir)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Funeral prayers offered for slain Pakistani student

  • Abdul Aziz Shaikh: “The attack on my daughter will not keep us away from education.”
  • The alleged gunman, 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, is being held on murder charges.

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.


British cabinet backs PM Theresa May’s Brexit plan

Updated 14 November 2018
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British cabinet backs PM Theresa May’s Brexit plan

  • Theresa May: The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration
  • At the heart of May’s difficulties has been the so-called Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to avoid a return to controls between the British province and EU-member Ireland

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that cabinet had backed her Brexit plan, adding it was in the national interest but that there would be difficult days ahead.
“The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration,” May said outside her Downing Street residence after a five-hour cabinet meeting.
“I firmly believe with my head and my heart that this is a decision in the best interests of the entire United Kingdom.” 

Her minority government means May is the weakest British leader in a generation, yet she must try to get her Brexit deal, struck after more than a year of talks with the EU, approved by parliament before leaving the bloc on March 29, 2019.
“I’m confident that this takes us significantly closer to delivering on what the British people voted for in the referendum,” May told parliament. Britons voted 52-48 percent in favor of leaving the EU in 2016.
May’s plan is an attempt to forge a balance between those who want Britain to maintain close links to the world’s biggest trading bloc while having full control over issues such as immigration and judicial oversight.
“We will take back control of our borders, our laws and our money, leave the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy, while protecting jobs, security and the integrity of the United Kingdom,” May said of the deal.
But Brexit campaigners in May’s Conservative Party, which for three decades has been divided over Europe, said it was a surrender to the EU and they would vote it down.
The Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which props up May’s government, said May had repeatedly pledged to ensure Northern Ireland was treated in the same way as the rest of the United Kingdom.
“If she decides to go against all of that, then there will be consequences,” DUP leader Arlene Foster said.
Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called it a “botched deal.”
At the heart of May’s difficulties has been the so-called Northern Irish backstop, an insurance policy to avoid a return to controls between the British province and EU-member Ireland which could threaten the 1998 peace accord which ended 30 years of violence.
EU sources said if the bloc and Britain failed to agree a new trade deal by July 2020, they would have to take a decision on how to prevent border checks returning.
Either Britain would have to extend the transition period, possibly until the end of 2021, or enter a UK-wide customs arrangement but with Northern Ireland more closely aligned with the EU’s rules.
Treating Northern Ireland differently risks alienating the DUP who warn it could risk the integrity of the United Kingdom, while Brexit-supporting members of parliament argue it could leave Britain subject to EU rules indefinitely.
“If the media reports about the EU agreement are in any way accurate, you are not delivering the Brexit people voted for, and today you will lose the support of many Conservative MPs and millions of voters across the country,” Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone said.
Nicola Sturgeon, the head of Scotland’s pro-independence devolved government, said it would be unfair that any special trading deal which applies to Northern Ireland should not apply to Scotland after Britain leaves the European Union.
“(May’s) approach would take Scotland out of the single market — despite our 62 percent “remain” vote — but leave us competing for investment with Northern Ireland that is effectively still in it,” Sturgeon said.
Sterling, which has seesawed since reaching $1.50 just before the 2016 referendum, fell to 1.3010 on news of possible ministerial resignations after briefly jumping more than 1 percent after the deal was announced.
For the EU, reeling from successive crises over debt and immigration, the loss of Britain is the biggest blow yet to 60 years of efforts to forge European unity in the wake of two world wars.
EU leaders could meet on Nov. 25 for a summit to seal the Brexit deal if May’s cabinet approves the text, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.
The ultimate outcome for the United Kingdom remains uncertain: scenarios range from a calm divorce to rejection of May’s deal, potentially sinking her premiership and leaving the bloc with no agreement, or another referendum.
May, an initial opponent of Brexit who won the top job in the turmoil following the referendum, has staked her future on a deal which she hopes will solve the Brexit riddle: leaving the EU while preserving the closest possible ties.
EU supporters say the deal leaves Britain worse off and subject to the bloc’s rules without any say in them.
Conservative lawmakers have to factor in the implications of defeating the deal which could topple May, delay Brexit, pave the way for a national election or lead to a new referendum.
The government has yet to give details of the Brexit deal, which runs to hundreds of pages, although a statement to parliament was likely on Thursday.
Brexit will pitch the world’s fifth largest economy into the unknown and many fear it will divide the West as it grapples with the unconventional US presidency of Donald Trump and growing assertiveness from Russia and China.
Supporters argue that in the longer term Brexit will allow the United Kingdom to thrive and strike global trade deals.
Some business chiefs were positive about May’s deal.
“My gut feeling is we need to get behind it and we need to make this deal work. What we need is certainty,” said Juergen Maier, the UK CEO of German engineering giant Siemens.
But James Stewart, head of Brexit at accounting firm KPMG said: “Until there is broader political alignment and fewer risks, business leaders have little option but to continue to assume that the quest for a deal could yet be derailed.”