Father of the Pakistani girl who was killed in the Texas school shooting last week said he believed his daughter would be safe in the US.
“We used to think that our kids aren’t safe in a place like Pakistan, that things aren’t right here, but such bad things don’t happen in America, and that my daughter would be safe over there,” Sabika Sheikh’s father, Abdul Aziz Sheikh said in an interview to NBC News.
The grieving father demanded that the Trump administration take action to prevent other families from going through a similar ordeal.
Sheikh asked Trump to take action and keep weapons out of the hands of troubled, teenaged boys like Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the murder suspect in the Santa Fe shooting.
“Nobody under 16 years can buy tobacco or alcohol, but he or she can buy guns,” Sheikh exclaimed. “What is this? I expect Trump administration to make law for this and I hope they will make this law in the name of Sabika Aziz Sheikh.”
Sabika, 17, was among eight students and two teachers killed in Texas when Santa Fe High School, southeast of Houston, on Friday joined a grim list of US schools and campuses where students and staff have been gunned down.
The murder suspect Pagourtzis, aged 17, allegedly used his father’s Remington 870 short-barreled shotgun and a .38-caliber Rossi revolver to kill 10 people and wound 13 in the Santa Fe shooting.
The murders and attacks occurred during a 25-minute rampage. He is in police custody, now, and has been charged with multiple murders. He is currently awaiting trial.
Sabika was buried in Karachi on Wednesday, her coffin draped with Pakistan’s green and white flag.
“Karachi or Santa Fe, they’re both safe and unsafe,” he stated. “But Pakistan gets highlighted as being dangerous and unsafe. There are dangers everywhere. Every place is both safe and unsafe.”
He said he was well aware of the risks, but still wanted his daughter to avail the opportunity to travel to the US. “She was really excited as well to go and study abroad,” he said.
Syed Haider Ali, Sabika’s uncle, insisted that the US needs to act “for the sake of your kids.”
“They can’t make sure kids’ bags are searched properly?” he asked. “This is my request to the American people: make sure that your representatives act in a way that schools become safe.”
Sheikh wants all school-children to be shielded from violence. “I hope that the US government and the Trump administration will understand this, that my daughter is gone. But this shouldn’t happen to any other daughter or son.”