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Pakistani Honor Roll Student Sabika Sheikh Among 10 Killed in Texas School Shooting

Adil Najam, the Dean of Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and former Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences said, “10 more children dead. A child did the killing. A society hangs its head in shame. All will mourn. But there will be no Gun Control”.

May 19, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — A Pakistani Honor Roll exchange student participating in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program in the US, was one of the 10 people killed when a teenage classmate armed with a shotgun and a revolver opened fire in the Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday.

“We found out about the shooting from a local TV channel and tried, but failed to contact Sabika and her friends,” said Sabika’s father Abdul Aziz, while adding that they then contacted the YES program coordinator, who confirmed the news of their daughter’s death, “after a four to five hour delay.”

The massacre took place Friday morning when 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis allegedly opened fire on the campus. He allegedly used a shotgun and a revolver taken from his father, who legally owned the weapons.

Most of the dead are students, Texas police said.

According to her father, Sabika — the eldest among three sisters but younger than her brother — was due to return home on June 9 after being separated for 10 months. Her family had been, “counting the days until her return”.

Hailing from Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal locality, 17-year-old Sabika was described as a brilliant student by her father. She had completed her Matriculation from Karachi Public School.

According to the Wall Street Journal, she was a “honor roll student” at the Santa Fe High School in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Mohammad Faisal, the spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The tragic death of only 17-year old, Sabika, the young daughter of Pakistan, at Santa Fe is heartbreaking. Our CG is in touch with the family and the local authorities and is making efforts to arrange the earliest repatriation of the human remains. May she Rest In Peace.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends,” a tweet from the Pakistan Embassy in Washington DC quoted Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry as saying.

The US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale while condoling Sabika’s death said on social media, “This morning, I called the family of Sabika Sheikh and offered my deepest condolences. All of us at the U.S. Mission in Pakistan are devastated by and mourn her loss. We will honor her memory.”

Ambassador Hale also expressed regret at Sabika’s death with the following message posted on the US Embassy Pakistan’s Facebook page:

“This morning, I called the family of Sabika Sheikh and offered my deepest condolences. As an exchange student, Sabika was a youth ambassador, a bridge between our peoples and cultures. All of us at the US Mission in Pakistan are devastated by and mourn her loss. We will honor her memory.”

The Pakistan Association of Greater Houston said on Facebook that Sabika was due to go back home to Pakistan for Eidul-Fitr, “May Allah bless her soul and may she RIP,” the statement said.

A woman, who says her family “hosts scholarship students” said she was very saddened at the news of Sabika’s death.

“This girl came to our country to learn more about our culture and our educational system to be able to further the opportunities in her nation, only to lose her life here in a senseless act of violence. Her family who hasn’t seen her for probably 10 months now, had to receive this horrific news from halfway across the world, barely knowing what was going on.”

“This is just sickening. I am proud to be American, but I am broken at how often this type of violence happens.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said “various kinds of explosive devices” had been found at the school, 40 miles (65km) south of Houston, and off-campus. They included “a CO2 device” and “a Molotov cocktail”, he said.

Mr Abbott said police found information on the suspect’s diary, computer, and mobile phone suggesting that he planned the attack and intended to kill himself afterwards.

The governor said the teenager “gave himself up” because “he didn’t have the courage to commit the suicide”.

Also on Friday, one woman died and another was injured in a shooting outside a high school graduation ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia.

So far this year, more than 5,000 people have died in shooting incidents in the United States, according to monitoring group the Gun Violence Archive.

There have been more deaths in US school shootings so far in 2018 than there have been deaths in the US military, according to an analysis by the Washington Post.

Adil Najam, the Dean of Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and former Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences said, “10 more children dead. A child did the killing. A society hangs its head in shame. All will mourn. But there will be no Gun Control”.

Commenting on Sabika’s death, prominent social activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir while offering condolence tweeted: “US Guns Laws have made it insecure for all as NRA holds US hostage and denies this act as terrorism.”






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