(KARACHI, Pakistan) — The body of a 17-year-old Pakistani exchange student killed in a mass shooting at a high school in Texas arrived before dawn Wednesday in the port city of Karachi, where her family lived and where she was being buried.
Sabika Sheikh was among 10 students and staff slain Friday at Santa Fe High School. The alleged shooter is 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who is being held on capital murder charges.
Sabika had planned to return home in a few weeks for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
She was her family’s oldest child and began classes at Santa Fe High School last August. She had hoped to one day join Pakistan’s foreign service.
Her tearful father was there to receive the body at Karachi airport. Abdul Aziz Sheikh has said he hopes her death leads to stricter gun control in the United States.
Later, thousands of mourners, including the provincial governor, attended her funeral at city’s mosque.
“Before her death, she was just my daughter, but now she is the daughter of Pakistan, and it is only because of the love of people, who mourned her killing,” her father said.
The shooting reignited the debate over gun control in the United States. Pakistan requires gun owners to be licensed, but the rules are poorly enforced, particularly in the tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan. Heavily armed militant groups have carried out scores of attacks in recent years.