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Pakistan mourns exchange student killed in Texas high school shooting

Family and friends are mourning the death of Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old Pakistani student who was one of the 10 people killed in Texas School Shooting.

world Updated: May 19, 2018 23:42 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Texas School Shooting,Pakistan,United States
Abdul Aziz Sheikh, left, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, comforts to an elderly woman arriving for condolence to his daughter at his home in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP)

Family and friends are mourning the death of Sabika Sheikh, a 17-year-old Pakistani student who 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.

According to her father, Sabika — the eldest among three sisters but younger than her brother — was due to return home on June 9.

Her family had been “counting the days until her return”.

Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP)

Hailing from Karachi, Sabika was described as a brilliant student by her father.

She had completed her matriculation from Karachi Public School and was part of the US-sponsored YES programme under which Pakistani students spend a semester at an American educational institution.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program is funded by the US department of state’s bureau of educational and cultural affairs.

“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.

They then contacted the YES programme coordinator, who confirmed the news of their daughter's death, “after a four to five hour delay.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Sabika’s family and friends,” Pakistani ambassador to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said in a statement.

Sayyed Zaman Haider, another exchange student, told The Washington Post that Sabika was almost done with her cultural exchange as the academic year was ending.

First Published: May 19, 2018 19:21 IST