Funeral prayers offered for slain Pakistani student

1 / 12
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)
2 / 12
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)
3 / 12
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)
4 / 12
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)
5 / 12
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)
6 / 12
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)
7 / 12
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)
8 / 12
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)
9 / 12
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)
10 / 12
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)
11 / 12
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)
12 / 12
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
0

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.


US Senator Graham urges Trump to meet Pakistan PM Khan

Updated 20 January 2019
0

US Senator Graham urges Trump to meet Pakistan PM Khan

  • US and Pakistan should have “strategic engagement”, not transactional relationship
  • The American senator sees a “unique opportunity” to change diplomatic direction of US-Pakistan ties

ISLAMABAD:  US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday President Donald Trump should meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as soon as possible to reset long-difficult US relations with Pakistan and push for a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan.

The comments, which add to growing signs of improved relations between Islamabad and Washington, come amid efforts to press on with talks between the Taliban and the United States aimed at an agreement to end 17 years of war in Afghanistan.

"I've seen things change here and all in a positive direction," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who has generally been a staunch supporter of Trump, told a news conference in Islamabad.

He said a meeting with Khan, who has declared strong support for a peace agreement in Afghanistan, would leave Trump "far more enthusiastic about the region than he is today".

"With Prime Minister Khan we have a unique opportunity to change our relationship," he said. A previously transactional relationship, based on rewards for services rendered, should be replaced by "strategic engagement", including a free trade agreement, he said.

US relations with Pakistan have long been dogged by suspicions that elements in the Pakistani establishment were aiding the Taliban, a charge Islamabad strongly denies. However, relations have appeared to improve in recent months amid efforts to push the Taliban towards a peace deal.

Trump, who has in the past argued for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan, has made it clear he wants to see a peace accord reached rapidly although the Taliban have so far refused to talk directly with the Afghan government.

Graham's trip to Pakistan coincided with a visit by Zalmay Khalilzad, the US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, and top military commanders including General Joseph Votel, commander of US Central Command.

Khalilzad left Islamabad without announcing a new date for talks with Taliban representatives, who have refused further meetings until the US side agrees to discuss a timetable for withdrawing its forces.

The uncertainty has been increased by reports that Trump is prepared to order more than 5,000 US troops out of Afghanistan, a move that would represent a sharp change in course from Washington's previous policy of stepping up military action against the Taliban.

With Afghan forces suffering thousands of casualties a year and struggling to hold back the Taliban insurgency, the reports have caused alarm in Kabul, prompting many close to the government to question the US commitment to Afghanistan.

Asked whether there had been confusion over the US message, Graham, who has called for a Senate hearing on Trump's plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and Afghanistan, said "without a doubt" but added that he did not believe Washington would stand by and allow a Taliban victory.

"The world's not going to let the Taliban take Afghanistan over by force of arms. That would be unconscionable," he told Reuters. "Any president who let that happen would go down in history very poorly."