New Zealand mosque attack victim's body returns to Karachi, buried after funeral

Published March 25, 2019
A relative shows the picture of Syed Areeb Ahmed on his cell phone outside his home in Karachi on Saturday, March 16, 2019. — AP
A relative shows the picture of Syed Areeb Ahmed on his cell phone outside his home in Karachi on Saturday, March 16, 2019. — AP

The body of Syed Areeb Ahmed, a 26-year-old Pakistani victim of the March 15 New Zealand terrorist attacks on two mosques, returned to Karachi on Monday.

According to his uncle, Muhammad Muzaffar Khan, the victim's funeral prayers were offered at 3pm the same day. Various political leaders, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) Rabita Committee, offered the funeral prayers.

Areeb was among nine Pakistanis who 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 on March 15 and live-streamed the terror attack on social media.

Areeb was an only son who had immigrated to New Zealand for work, according to his uncle.

His father, Syed Ayaz Ahmed, family members and government officials received his body at the airport.

Speaking to the media prior to the funeral, Ayaz appealed to the government to found a university in his deceased son's name.

Last week, the country had observed a day of mourning for the victims and honoured Naeem Rashid, another Pakistani victim who died along with his son after trying to tackle the gunman.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday also ordered an independent judicial inquiry into whether police and intelligence services could have prevented the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Ardern said a royal commission — the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law — was needed to find out how a single gunman was able to kill 50 people in an attack that shocked the world.

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