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Family of Pakistani victim in Christchurch attack requests govt to bring body back to Pakistan

Updated March 19, 2019

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Dr Haroon's elder brother, Khurram Mahmood, wrote a letter to Janjua, a copy of which was obtained by DawnNewsTV on Tuesday. — Photo provided by author
Dr Haroon's elder brother, Khurram Mahmood, wrote a letter to Janjua, a copy of which was obtained by DawnNewsTV on Tuesday. — Photo provided by author

The family of Dr Haroon Mahmood, who died in the terror attack on two mosques in the quiet New Zealand city of Christchurch on March 15, has asked Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua to bring back the body of the deceased to Pakistan and to honour him with a proper burial in Islamabad.

Dr Haroon Mahmood. — LinkedIn
Dr Haroon Mahmood. — LinkedIn

Dr Haroon's elder brother, Khurram Mahmood, wrote a letter to Janjua, a copy of which was obtained by DawnNewsTV on Tuesday.

At least 50 people, including nine of Pakistani origin, were killed by a right-wing white supremacist who, armed with semi-automatic weapons, opened fire on worshippers in two mosques during Friday congregational prayers and live-streamed the terror attack on social media.

In the letter, Khurram requested Janjua to bring back his brother's body as it was and to avoid any procedure that may prevent a body from decomposition.

Additionally, he requested that the victim's family be allowed to attend the funeral prayers for Dr Haroon at Faisal Mosque in Islamabad once the body reaches Pakistan.

A day of mourning is being observed across Pakistan on Monday to express solidarity with the families of the victims of the Christchurch terror attack last week, Radio Pakistan reported. The national flag is also being flown at half mast as a sign of respect for the deceased.

Dr Haroon Mahmood

Dr Haroon Mahmood, 40-years-old, was a resident of Rawalpindi.

According to The New Zealand Herald, he leaves behind a wife and two children, aged 13 and 11.

The NZ Herald reported that Dr Mahmood had a doctorate and had been working as an assistant academic director at Canterbury College — a private higher education institute, which offers English Language and Business programmes for study.

Dr Mahmood's LinkedIn profile shows that he earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as a Master of Science degree in finance from Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology from 2002-2004 and 2005-2007, respectively.

From 2004 to 2012, he worked for several local banks. From 2014-16, he was a teaching assistant for economics and statistics at Lincoln University. A post on Facebook by the university recognised the submission of his doctoral thesis on "Maturity transformation risk, profitability and stability in Islamic banking" when he handed it in in July 2018.

He was also a lecturer at Linguis International in Christchurch, where he taught business from 2014 till April, 2017. A month later, he joined Canterbury College where he had been working as an academic supervisor.