KARACHI: Thousands of fans, supporters and friends attended the funeral prayers of Amjad Sabri, the famed qawwal who was shot dead in broad daylight in Liaquatabad here a day earlier.
Sabri was laid to rest in the Paposhnagar Graveyard, next to his father, qawwali maestro Ghulam Farid Sabri.
His namaz-i-janaza was held after Zuhr prayers at Furqania Masjid in Liaquatabad, which is also where the renowned singer lived. Tearful mourners showered rose petals over an ambulance carrying the coffin of Sabri to his residence.
A wave of grief and shock gripped the country on Wednesday when armed motorcyclists sprayed Sabri with bullets in broad daylight in Liaquatabad area when the 45-year-old was heading to a private TV channel to perform in its Ramazan transmission.
The killing was carried out on a day when the law enforcement agencies had claimed to have beefed up security in the wake of the kidnapping of the Sindh High Court chief justice’s son, Advocate Awais Ali Shah.
The assassination was widely condemned, with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah describing the incident as part of an “organised conspiracy to destabilise the city situation”.
According to an officer of the Sharifabad police station, Amjad Sabri left his home in Liaquatabad No 3 along with the friend at around 3pm. The qawwal was driving the car, Dawn newspaper reported.
The police believed that the motorcyclists chased the car on the main road in Liaquatabad No 10. But they didn’t overtake it until the car moved to the service road near the Gharibabad underpass, leading to Hassan Square. Finally, the motorcyclists intercepted the car on the service road and the masked pillion rider fired multiple shots at Sabri before fleeing. The sole target appeared to be Sabri as his colleague remained unhurt, said the police officer.
The Sabri legacy
Amjad Sabri was the nephew of qawwali icon Maqbool Sabri who passed away in 2011.
Maqbool Sabri along with his brother, the late Ghulam Farid Sabri, formed a formidable qawwali group in the mid-50s and became known for their soul-stirring renditions of arifana kalam (mystic poetry).
Maqbool’s nephew Amjad Sabri — who was tragically shot dead today in Karachi — was keeping the family tradition alive and was one of the most sought-after qawwals of the country.
Almost whatever the Sabri brothers sang became an instant hit. But some of their most memorable and famous qawwalis were Bhar Do Jholi Meri, Tajdar-i-Haram and Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa.
They were equally well-versed in compositions made in the Persian language and sang Nami Danam Che Manzil Bood with equal ease and facility. The brothers’ rendition of Hazrat Amir Khusrau’s kalam was one of their marked areas of excellence.