PM visits family of Texas shooting victim Sabika Sheikh

KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condoling with bereaved family of late Sabika Sheikh at her residence. INP PHOTO

–Sabika’s funeral held in Houston, body to reach Pakistan on Monday


Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday visited the family of Sabika Sheikh, a school student from Karachi who was killed in a shooting incident at a school in Texas, United States (US) on Friday, to condole with the grieved family.

Expressing deep grief and sympathies with the family, the prime minister said late Sabika was a talented Pakistani student and the whole nation was mourning over her death.

He also prayed to Allah Almighty to grant courage to late Sabika’s family to bear the loss with fortitude.

The prime minister viewed that extremist tendencies were not a problem of mere one country or a region, but it was an international issue. He was accompanied by Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair.

He said in order to cope with such attitudes, it was not only necessary to eliminate their root causes but also benefit from one other’s expertise at international level.


The funeral prayers for Sabika Sheikh was scheduled to be held on Sunday after Namaz-e-Zuhr in a local mosque of Houston.

Scheduled by the Pakistani Consulate in Houston at Sugar Land’s Masjid Sabireen, the funeral was separated from the one to be held in the teen’s hometown of Karachi, which her family, friends, and relatives will attend.

Pakistani Consulate officials, local members of the United States Congress, as well as other US officials were expected to attend the funeral.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the funeral Sunday in Texas of Sabika Sheikh, organisers said.

The somber ceremony is to take place at an Islamic center in the Texas town of Stafford, not far from Santa Fe High School, where the shooting took place, the Islamic Society of Greater Houston said in a statement.

The funeral is scheduled for 2 pm (1900 GMT).


The dead body of Pakistani student Sabika Sheikh is expected to reach Pakistan on Monday.

Sabika Sheikh, who was completing her education in the United States, was one of the 10 students killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting.

Pakistan’s Consul General in Houston Aisha Farooqui collected the body.

In Pakistan, the Santa Fe shooting has unleashed an outpouring of sympathy and horror over the tragic murder of Sheikh, who had been in the US for 10 months and was just weeks away from coming home.

People from all walks of life expressed sadness and grief over the incident.

Sabika, whose father said she had always excelled in school, had nurtured dreams of serving in Pakistan’s foreign office.

She had been due to return to Karachi in time for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in which families come together and celebrate with days of feasting.

Sabika Sheikh was among the victims of Friday’s mass shooting at a Texas high school.

Seventeen-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis was being held on a capital murder charge after authorities said he fatally shot 10 people and wounded at least 10 others at his high school in Santa Fe, about 30 miles (50 kilometres) southeast of Houston.

Sabika Sheikh succumbed to her wounds, according to a leader at a program for foreign exchange students and the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. Megan Lysaght, manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study Abroad program (YES), sent a letter to students in the program confirming that Sabika was killed in the shooting.

“Please know that the YES program is devastated by this loss and we will remember Sabika and her families in our thoughts and prayers,” Lysaght wrote.

She said the program would be holding a moment of silence for the girl, who is pictured beaming in a shirt that says “Texas” in a photo being shared on social media.

The Pakistan Embassy in Washington, D.C., identified Sabika as a victim of the shooting on Twitter and wrote that “our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends.”

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has expressed heartfelt condolences for the victims of the tragic incident at the Santa Fe High School in Texas this morning. Among the victims was Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student. Our Consul General in Houston is in touch with the authorities concerned to ascertain facts.”