KARACHI: The body of Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student shot dead in Santa Fe, Texas, on Friday, arrived in Karachi during the early hours of Wednesday, Geo News reported.
The foreign airline — TK-708 — carrying the body of Sheikh, 17, from Texas was earlier delayed by at least a day due to bad weather. Her family were at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport to receive the body.
John E. Warner, the acting US consul-general in Pakistan, as well as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Faisal Vawda, were also present at the airport.
The body was subsequently transported to her residence in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, where her bereaved family and mourning friends and relatives were present. Her father, Abdul Aziz Sheikh, and her uncle Abdul Jaleel Sheikh accompanied the body from the airport to the residence in an ambulance.
The ambulance was provided special protocol by security personnel, including officers of the Airport Security Force (ASF).
Sabika Sheikh’s funeral prayers are scheduled for 9 AM today (Wednesday) at Hakeem Saeed Ground, and she will be buried in Azeempura Graveyard in the metropolis’ Shah Faisal Colony.
Speaking to Geo News on Monday, the teen’s paternal uncle, Abdul Jaleel Sheikh, had confirmed the location for her funeral prayers.
‘Sabika was going to return home next month’
Sabika — the eldest of three sisters — was on YES exchange program in the US and was due to return home next month.
“Sabika was going to come home on June 9,” her grieving father told Geo News, adding that the family received the shocking news about her death after iftar on Friday night.
“It is still so very hard to believe that [Sabika is dead],” he said, adding that his daughter was “a very obedient child”.
When asked what he would say about governmental action and terrorist acts, he said: “[Such] terrorist attacks can happen anywhere and they need to be condemned.”
“She [was loved]and she loved everyone. She was all ready to return home,” said Sabika’s brother.
On Friday, ten people, mostly students including Sabika Sheikh, were killed when a teenage classmate armed with a shotgun and a revolver opened fire in Texas’ Santa Fe high school, the latest deadly school shooting to hit the United States after the Florida massacre earlier this year.
The gunman — arrested on murder charges — was identified as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old junior at Santa Fe High School. He was being held on capital murder charges, meaning that he could face the death penalty.