March 28, 2023

Shahida Raza had represented Pakistan in soccer, hockey and martial arts in a number of worldwide championships.

Social media customers in Pakistan have expressed grief and paid tribute to the Pakistani former nationwide hockey participant Shahida Raza, who died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy final week.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) confirmed on Thursday that Raza was among the many 62 individuals who died when a ship sank close to the Italian coast on Sunday.

Raza, who had additionally represented Pakistan in soccer and martial arts, enlisted human smugglers to get her in another country as she sought a greater future for her disabled son, her buddy Summaya Kainat informed the Reuters information company.

The 27-year-old belonged to the minority Shia Hazara group and hailed from the southern Pakistani province of Balochistan.

Hazaras have been focused by armed teams, and a few members of the group have sought asylum exterior Pakistan in current a long time.

Based on Kainat, Raza left her residence on the outskirts of Quetta 4 months in the past. She crossed Pakistan’s south-western border into Iran, after which traveled to Turkey, with the purpose of ultimately reaching Italy or Australia and in search of asylum there.

Kainat stated her buddy had opted to hunt asylum as a result of she believed it was simpler to achieve refugee standing after than getting a daily visa.

“She was the only breadwinner of the household,” Kainat informed the Reuters information company.

“She informed me that as quickly as she acquired a job, she would take her son Hasan away together with her,” stated Kainat, who additionally performed hockey with Raza.

Hasan, aged three, had a incapacity that left him unable to talk or transfer unaided.

Raza was certainly one of two nationals that Pakistan’s international ministry stated had died within the shipwreck. One other 17 Pakistanis had been rescued, whereas two stay lacking, the ministry stated in a press release on Thursday.

The chief minister of Balochistan expressed grief over Raza’s demise saying in a press release she had introduced honor to the province and the nation.

All-round athlete

Information from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) present that Raza represented Pakistan at a number of worldwide tournaments from junior ranges till the nationwide girls’s squad.

Nicknamed “Chintu”, Raza performed as a half-back and was identified for her defence-splitting sprints and goal-scoring means.

She began enjoying hockey within the nationwide girls’s hockey championship in 2007, and represented the military and Wapda (native water and energy authority) groups.

Along with being a hockey star, Raza additionally performed soccer and was a part of the nationwide girls’s soccer championship.

Social media customers in Pakistan have detailed a few of Raza’s achievements within the discipline of sports activities and expressed their grief at her demise.

Kainat stated Raza was left jobless as soon as her sponsorship with the departmental sports activities group ended, and struggled to make ends meet amid rising inflation in Pakistan. Raza’s husband divorced her, citing his incapability to stay with a disabled youngster.

“Every time, I talked to her on WhatsApp throughout her keep in Iran or Turkey, she was crying and asking after Hasan,” Kainat stated.

Turkey is a part of one of many most-used routes for human smugglers to carry asylum seekers into Europe, who at instances journey by highway, stroll for miles and endure being locked in ship containers for days.

The UN refugee company stated that final yr individuals touring from Turkey made up about 15 p.c of arrivals to Italy by sea.

Yearly, a number of thousand Pakistanis take the damaging overland and sea routes, making an attempt to succeed in Europe within the hope of a greater life. They pay hundreds of thousands to human traffickers however danger their lives whereas making the journey.

Pakistani officers stated they had been planning a brand new crackdown on individuals smugglers within the province of Punjab after the boat tragedy.

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