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June 24, 2016

Tens of thousands throng Amjad Sabri’s funeral

Top Story

June 24, 2016


Qawwal buried next to father; Nawaz announces Rs10m compensation for family; federal govt to also bear educational expenses of five children

KARACHI: Thousands of mourners on Thursday thronged the funeral procession of Amjad Sabri, one of South Asia’s most popular singers of qawwali, a day after he was gunned down in Karachi in an attack claimed by a faction of the Pakistani Taliban.

Devotees crowded around the ambulance carrying Sabri’s body to the funeral, blocking its progress.He was laid to rest at the Paposhnagar Graveyard, next to the grave of his father, famous qawwal Ghulam Farid Sabri.

Amjad Sabri’s death was the latest in a high-profile series of attacks in Karachi, plagued by political, ethnic and sectarian violence.Karachi’s murder rate has fallen sharply since 2013 after a crackdown by the Rangers, but new fears were stoked on Monday after the kidnapping of the son of Sindh High Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah.

Two days later, gunmen on a motorcycle shot at the windscreen of Sabri’s moving car in the Liaquatabad area and a relative travelling with him was wounded.

A spokesman for a branch of the Pakistani Taliban, Qari Saifullah Saif, claimed the killing late on Wednesday, saying it was in retaliation for a song that the hardline group considers blasphemous.

In 2014, Sabri was caught up in a blasphemy case involving a Sufi song he had sung on a morning television show that mentioned religious figures in a way some deemed offensive.Many people reacted to his targeted killing.

Imran Khan tweeted: “Shocked at the murder of famous qawwal Amjad Sabri & his companions in Karachi. A complete failure of law & order & writ of the govt.”

Dr. Tahirul Qadri said: “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on Amjad Sabri. My heart goes out to the bereaved family.”

Former president Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the targeted killing of Amjad Sabri and demanded an investigation into this heinous crime, arrest of the killers and punishment to them in accordance with the law.

In a condolence message, with the law.  In a condolence message, he said the kidnapping a day earlier of the son of Chief Justice SHC and the assassination today of Qawwal Amjad Sabri showed that terrorists and their backers were still active. 

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party, expressed grief and anguish over the assassination of Amjad Sabri and termed it an open challenge to the law and order and writ of the state and government. 

Condemning the daylight murder of the Qawwali maestro, the PPP chairman said kidnapping of Awais Shah, son of sitting Chief Justice of Sindh High Court, and now the ghastly assassination of Amjad Sabri were part of sinister conspiracy as both incidents appeared professionally organized by the terrorists and their sponsors. 

Bilawal expressed sympathies with the members of Sabri family and assured them the PPP government won’t spare the culprits involved in this brutal killing.   

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir from Islamabad adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced Rs10 million as financial support to the family of Amjad Sabri.  The federal government will also bear educational expenses of five children of the assassinated legend of Pakistan. 

Announcing the assistance, Nawaz said the loss of Amjad Sabri at the hands of coward terrorists was loss of the whole country.  “He was a genuine lover of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon Him) and rightly termed Aashiq-e-Rasool.”

Paying rich tribute to the late Sabri, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said his contributions through promotion of love and tolerance all around the world are unmatched and nonparallel in present time.