Mosque attack victims: Eight Pakistanis buried in Christchurch

Thousands of New Zealanders gathered in Christchurch on March 22 to honor the 50 Muslim worshippers killed one week ago by a white supremacist, with a call to prayer broadcast around the country and a two-minute silence. (AFP)
Updated 22 March 2019
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Mosque attack victims: Eight Pakistanis buried in Christchurch

  • Funeral was attended by more than 5,000 people
  • New Zealand broadcasts the Islamic call to prayer across the country

ISLAMABAD: Out of the nine Pakistani nationals who were shot dead in two New Zealand mosques last week, eight were laid to rest on Friday after a mass funeral in Christchurch, the largest city of the country’s South Island.
At least 50 people were killed in twin attacks on two mosques on March 15 when a white supremacist opened fire on the worshippers.
“Today, eight Pakistani Shaheed (martyrs) have been buried in a local graveyard in Christchurch according to Islamic rituals. More than 20 family members, who flew from Pakistan, were able to join (the procession),” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal tweeted on Friday.
Travel arrangements for the family members of the victims were facilitated by Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) and the government of New Zealand.
On Friday, thousands of people gathered for a mass funeral which was “attended by more than 5,000 people, of which there were about 1,500 Muslims, who came from all over New Zealand...Shaheed (martyred) Syed Areeb Ahmed will be repatriated to Pakistan in the next few days. His family is being kept informed”, excerpts from a statement released by the FO read.
“Emotions were high, during the funeral prayers,” Kaleem Khan, a Pakistani community leader, told Arab News from Christchurch.
Meanwhile, as a mark of respect, New Zealand broadcasted the Islamic call to prayer on Friday, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joining the congregation of mourners near Al-Noor mosque, one of the two locations which had been targeted last week.
Ardern and thousands of others observed two minutes of silence in memory of the victims, following which the premier said that New Zealand was mourning with the families of the victims. 
A day earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had called Ardern to condemn last week’s attacks before expressing his admiration over her handling of the situation, particularly her attempts to help the nation’s grieving Muslim community heal.


Mohsin Khan quits as head of Pakistan’s cricket committee

Updated 20 June 2019
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Mohsin Khan quits as head of Pakistan’s cricket committee

  • Khan has recently criticized Pakistan Team’s dismal performance in the World Cup
  • Cricket board managing director Wasim Khan will be the new head of the committee

ISLAMABAD: Former test opening batsman Mohsin Khan has quit as head of Pakistan Cricket Board’s cricket committee just four days after the national team lost to archrival India at the World Cup.
Khan, appearing as an analyst on national television, had been criticizing Pakistan dismal performance at the tournament.
The PCB issued a statement saying that during a recent meeting with the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani, Khan had “expressed his willingness to be released from his current position, which was accepted by the PCB chairman.”
Pakistan has won just one of its first five group matches at the World Cup, against top-ranked England.
A heavy loss to India last weekend likely means Pakistan needs victories in each of its remaining games, starting against South Africa on Sunday at Lord’s, to stand a chance of qualifying for the semifinals.
Former test captains Wasim Akram and Misbah-ul-Haq along with Urooj Mumtaz, ex-captain of Pakistan’s women’s team, are the other members of the cricket committee.
Mohsin Khan thanked the board for giving him an opportunity to head the cricket committee and said his “services are always available for Pakistan cricket at a suitable position in view of my past record.”
He was previously head of the selection committee and also coached the national team.
PCB managing director Wasim Khan will be the new head of the cricket committee as the cricket board plans to carry out robust review of national team’s performance over the past three years.