I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim

I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Abdul Aziz Sheikh, left, father of Sabika Sheikh, comforts a woman who arrived to offer condolences at his home in Karachi. (AP)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, 17-year foreign student was killed in Texas School Shooting. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, 17-year foreign student was killed in Texas School Shooting. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, Pakistani victim of Texas School Shooting with her classmate. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, Pakistani victim of Texas School Shooting with her sister. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, Pakistani victim of Texas School Shooting. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Rabika Ahmed Shaikh, Pakistani victim of Texas School Shooting with her sister. (Photo by Family)
I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
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Friends, relatives, social and political leaders are arriving in at Rabika’s residence in Karachi to mourn and condole her death. ( AN Photo)
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Abdul Aziz Shaikh, father of Texas School Shooting victim Rabika, speaking to Arab News. Her 12-year old Brother Ali Aziz Shaikh also present. (AN Photo)
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Abdul Aziz Shaikh, father of Pakistani victim of Texas School Shooting, showing photo of his daughter Rabika Shaikh from his cell phone. (AN Photo)
Updated 20 May 2018

I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim

I’m dreaming of my daughter, says Pakistani father of Texas school shooting victim
  • “When I sent my daughter for studies to the US, I thought she had gone to the safest place on earth,” father said.
  • “Only those who have lost their kids in such devastating incidents can imagine my feelings,” Sheikh said.

KARACHI: The father of a Pakistani exchange student who died in the Texas school shooting says he will send his other three children to the US if they qualify for a scholarship program.

Sabika Aziz Sheikh, a 17-year-old foreign exchange student taking part in the Kennedy-Lugar study program in the US, was killed along with nine other students when a teenage classmate opened fire with a shotgun and revolver in the Santa Fe high school in Texas on Friday.

Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar program, has sent a letter to students in the program confirming that Sabika Sheikh was among those who died in the shooting.

The father of the student, Abdul Aziz Sheikh, told Arab News, that he first heard reports of the shooting from a local news channel.

“Such incidents take place everywhere. If I get the opportunity, I will send my other children to study in the US,” Sheikh told Arab News at his Karachi home.

“We can’t just give up education due to such incidents, but the time has come for the US government to bring in tough laws for control on guns, which are taking more and more students’ lives,” he said.

A Chicago University academic who has studied gun violence told Arab News: “The US is the only country among its near peers where children are routinely targeted in schools — and yet, maddeningly, much of the electorate wants politicians to do nothing about it.” 

Asfandyar Mir said a large proportion of the American population views the US constitution’s second amendment, which permits possession of firearms, as “an article of faith.”

“Part of it is interest group politics. The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, holds immense sway on electoral politics. Their campaign contributions and endorsements make and break elections in many parts of the country.”

However, Sheikh said people in the US should consider that “guns are taking lives of their kids.”

“When I sent my daughter for studies to the US, I thought she had gone to the safest place on earth,” he said.

“Today, hundreds of people are coming. I wished these people and media had come on her successful return.

“Only those who have lost their kids in such devastating incidents can imagine my feelings,” Sheikh said. “I still think I am dreaming and when I will wake up, I will see my daughter running toward me, hugging me and saying, Baba.

“On the second day of Ramadan she called and said Baba (Urdu for papa). I was born on the fourth of Ramadan, so it would be my Islamic birthday. Tomorrow is her Islamic birthday, but she is no more with us,” Shaikh sawid.

Sabika was the eldest of Shaikh’s children. His daughters, Sania Aziz and Sohana Aziz, and son, Ali Aziz, study in the same school where Sabika had done her O-levels.

“We miss her a lot. She would take care of us in school,” Ali, Sabika’s 12-year-old brother, told Arab News.

Sabika’s father said the family expect to receive the body of his daughter by Tuesday and will announce funeral details shortly afterward.