London Bridge attacker laid to rest in AJK

Updated 07 Dec 2019

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British national Usman Khan was laid to rest in his family’s ancestral village in a southern district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Friday. — AFP/File
British national Usman Khan was laid to rest in his family’s ancestral village in a southern district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Friday. — AFP/File

MUZAFFARABAD / RAW­ALPINDI: British national Usman Khan was laid to rest in his family’s ancestral village in a southern district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Friday.

The body of the 28-year-old London Bridge attacker was brought by his family from Islamabad airport to Kijlani village in district Kotli where the funeral took place at 4pm, following which he was buried in a local graveyard.

His family members refused to speak to the media, saying they had already given their statement through the London police on Tuesday.

Talking to Dawn, PIA’s General Manager Public Relations Abdul Hafeez said that Usman Khan’s body was shifted to Islamabad from London aboard a PIA flight PK-792. Later, it was handed over to his family.

The official said it was the PIA’s policy that it carried bodies on the basis of genuine documentation, including foreign-origin card of the deceased and Pakistan High Com­mission’s letter.

The body was handed over to his relatives after passing through immigration and customs process.

The relatives drove the body to the town of Kotli for burial as Khan’s family didn’t want to bury him in the UK. His funeral prayers were earlier offered in a Birmingham mosque.

Khan stabbed two people to death and left three others injured in an attack in London on Friday. He had been residing in the Staffordshire area of UK.

According to media reports, he was part of a gang of nine extremists, mostly of Bangladeshi origin, who were sentenced in February 2012 after being convicted. However, he was released in December 2018, but was required to wear a GPS (electronic tag).

After the London Bridge attack, Khan was shot dead by security personnel.

The Foreign Office spokesman was asked whether any special permission was required from the government for bringing the bodies of foreign nationals to Pakistan for burial or it was allowed for the people of Pakistan origin, and if any permission was granted in the case of the London Bridge attacker.

He replied through WhatsApp: “Is his body in Pakistan? I have no confirmation of this.”

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2019