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May 24, 2018
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Sabika laid to rest in Karachi

National

May 24, 2018

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KARACHI: The morning of Wednesday proved to be another test for Abdul Aziz, who laid his 17-year-old daughter, Sabika Shiekh to rest at Azeempura Graveyard in Shah Faisal Colony.

Aziz, alongside his family members, relatives, mourners and political dignitaries offered the funeral prayers at the Hakeem Saeed Ground of Sabika, an exchange program student who was killed in a shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday. Sabika’s body had to arrive in Karachi on Tuesday but owing to bad weather, the flight was delayed. Her family members, who had elaborate plans of picking her up from the airport on June 9, received her body in the early hours of Wednesday. The US Consul General and other political figures were also present at the airport.

Sabika was the eldest among the four siblings and had gone to the United States on Youth Exchange Program last year. Set to return in June, she fell prey to the shooting at her school by 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, making it the 22nd mass shooting in the US this year. Earlier before the funeral prayers, neighbours and relatives of the slain girl arrived at the residence which had the main route blocked due to security. More than five ambulances surrounded the house and shortly before 9am, the ambulance carried the body accompanied by the father and brother towards the ground. All others present were requested to follow in the shuttles.

“Sabika was the apple of my mother’s eye, and it would be my wish to bury her in the same graveyard as hers,” Aziz had told The News earlier. Azeempura Graveyard is the resting place of both of her grandparents. He had mentioned time and again that his daughter was incredibly brilliant and was destined for greatness, and the family was still coming to terms with the loss of their jovial daughter. Chief Minister Sindh, Murad Ali Shah and Governor Sindh, Mohammad Zubair were also amongst the participants of the funeral alongside other figures. Giving his statement to the media previously, Aziz had condemned terrorism and stressed on combating it through unity. He had also shown concern towards gun violence but encouraged students to keep struggling nevertheless and aim for achieving greatness in all pursuits.

Sabika’s funeral prayers were also offered in Houston on Sunday and were attended by the community as well as the city’s mayor and members of the Congress. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also paid a visit to the bereaved family on Sunday and offered condolences while calling terrorism as a global issue. As everyone braced themselves to finally bid her a goodbye, young children from her neighbourhood huddled together were discussing plans for summer vacation but alas, Sabika’s anticipation for long offs was nowhere to be found. After the ambulance departed for the funeral, 60-year-old Aziz, who works at apartments in Sabika’s locality sat at the backside of the house. Despite having never met her, Aziz told that she was able to sit with the grieving family. “She appears to be such a beautiful soul, and it’s so unfortunate that she passed away. All of her family members are weeping, and her mother, she is just praying over the body, tears strewn over her face,” she lamented.

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