LAHORE: Funeral prayers for the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Arfa Karim Randhawa were offered at the Cavalry Ground here on Sunday.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, family members of Arfa and people from different walks of life attended the funeral prayers. The chief minister also shouldered the coffin of the deceased which was covered with the national flag.
While expressing his condolences with the members of the family, Shahbaz said that Arfa was a glittering star of Pakistan and she made the whole nation proud by achieving a prominent place in information technology at a very young age.
He prayed that the Almighty may rest the departed soul in peace and grant courage and strength to the members of the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss.
Talking to Arfaís father, Shahbaz said that his daughter had won laurels for the nation and the country which the nation would never forget. He said Arfa had also impressed the people older to her and she was a precious asset to Pakistan.
Shahbaz said that he was personally thankful to Bill Gates for taking interest in the treatment of Arfa. He said that now it was duty of every Pakistani youth to come forward in the information technology sector for repaying the national debt of Arfa Karim Randhawa.
The chief minister announced that the parents of Arfa Karim Randhawa would be the chief guests in the function of distribution of free laptops among male and female students by the Punjab government. The chief minister has renamed the Lahore Technology Park as Arfa Karim Technology Park as a tribute to her achievements and honour she brought for the country.
Arfa, 16, suffered a heart attack leading to concussion, which proved fatal after a marathon effort by the doctors spanning over weeks to save the prodigyís life. She brought laurels to the country as the worldís youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004 at the age of nine and was also invited to Silicon Valley by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates in 2005.
Prime Minster Yusuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari, chief ministers, governors of the provinces and others paid tribute to Arfa and offered their condolences.
In separate messages, PML-Q leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Governor Punjab Latif Khosa, Evacuee Trust Property Board Chairman Syed Asif Hashmi, Coordinator to President for Punjab Naveed Chaudhry, PPP Women Wing Lahore President Faiza Malik and others expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for the departed soul.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Honorary Goodwill Ambassador for Women Empowerment, Fiza Batool Gilani, also expressed her condolences with the parents of Arfa Karim. She said the entire nation was saddened over the untimely death of a young star who won laurels for Pakistan and made the country proud. She said Arfa was a source of inspiration for young girls and set a high benchmark of personal achievement through perseverance and dedication.