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.


Germany to discuss lifting ban on deporting Syrians

Updated 47 min 3 sec ago
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Germany to discuss lifting ban on deporting Syrians

  • Interior minister expected to discuss issue in meeting at end of November
  • Anti-immigrant parties have been demanding changes in deportation policy

DUBAI: In a sign that Germany's conservative political parties may tighten immigration rules, the government has said it is considering whether to allow the deportation of some Syrian asylum seekers back to their home country.

The interior ministry said on Friday it is examining whether Syrian refugees who commit crimes or support terror organizations should be deported back to Syria, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Such deportations are currently banned.

Germany is currently governed by a coalition of three parties - the conservative CDU/CSU and the SPD.

Horst Seehofer, Germany's interior minister, and his counterparts in Germany's 16 states are set to discuss how to deal with refugees who commit crimes at a meeting at the end of November, the Wall Street Journal report said.

Among the issues to be addressed will be whether to end or extend the deportation ban for Syrians after it expires at the end of December.

"If the security situation permits, it should be possible to deport (to Syria) criminals or people who pose a terror-related risk," Roland Woller, interior minister of Saxony state, told a group of regional dailies on Friday.

Woller's statement came after a similar argument by Joachim Herrmann, his counterpart in Bavaria, in an interview this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Merkel, 64, announced late last month she will relinquish chairmanship of the conservative CDU next month, and will not run again for the country's top post in 2021, or any political office.

Merkel, who has led the CDU for 18 years and Germany for 13, said her decision was aimed at giving her party the opportunity "to get ready for the time after me".

Far-right politicians began demanding changes in the deportation policy since Merkel's announcement.

Most Syrians in Germany are treated as war refugees rather than victims of persecution, meaning that they get a renewable one-year visa and are not entitled to bring family members to Germany.

However, Syrians who choose to return home face daunting prospects: large expanses of the country have been reduced to rubble and the economy is a shambles.

Those considering gone home are also discouraged by reports of returnees being targeted by militias loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Since Germany allowed in 2015 hundreds of thousands of migrants to enter the country, most Syrians who have sought asylum in the country have been granted protection.

While Afghans, Iraqis and other refugees who commit serious crimes or become identified as terror suspects can be deported, Syrians who have not been granted asylum remain exempt, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

According to an explainer in the German news website DW, because non-Germans must have some kind of residency permit to be allowed to stay in Germany, refugees and asylum seekers are issued with temporary permits while their applications are being considered.

If they have had their asylum applications turned down, they no longer have the right to stay in Germany, and are obligated to leave the country by a set deadline (no longer than six months).

If that deadline has passed, they may be forcibly deported to their country of origin, the DW report says.

People whose residency permits have expired, or have not had it extended by authorities, are also subject to deportation. The same is true of non-Germans who have been convicted of a crime.

But there are different rules depending on the severity of the crime. anyone sentenced to at least three years in prison must be deported, but in the case of people who have been sentenced to less severe crimes, or are simply deemed a threat to public order and safety, the decision on whether to deport or not is up to the authority in question.