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Thousands attend funeral prayers for Amjad Sabri

KARACHI: Thousands of fans and followers attended funeral prayers for famed Qawal Amjad Sabri who was gunned down yesterday by unknown assailants.

The funeral prayers held at Liaquatabad Road were led by Maulana Ahmed Deewan Massoud the spiritual heir of Sufi saint Baba Farid. He would be laid to rest next to his father Ghulam Farid Sabri in Paposh Nagar graveyard, in the compound of Pir Herat Shah Warsi’s shrine.

Prominent members of the civil society and political leaders from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement including Farooq Sattar and Waseem Akhtar attended the funeral.

Rangers and police guarded the route of the funeral. Shops along the route remained closed.

Earlier today his family received his body from the Chhipa Morgue and took it to their Liaquatabad residence.

His mother speaking to Media, said that Amjad Sabri was the most talented among her 11 children. “He would sometimes joke that I will move to Defence. But when I said I wanted to stay in this locality he would tell me, “then I can’t leave you”.”

Speaking to the media, his elder brother Sarwat Sabri, said that Amjad Sabri had never received threats. “His killers were worse than animals. I urge the government to arrest his killers,” he said in tears.

Sabri’s uncle however claimed that his nephew had been receiving threats for quite sometime now.

Vigils and prayers were organized across the country by his followers. The Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen organized an event outside the Islamabad Press Club in his remembrance. Folk singer Shaukat Ali and actor Rashid Mehmood took part in a demonstration outside the Lahore press club where protesters demanded that his killers be arrested.

Amjad Sabri was shot to death in Karachi’s Liaquatabad area on Wednesday. His murder drew condemnations from across the country.

Sabri was travelling with an associate when two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on the white Honda Civic car.

According to reports, Sabri was heading for the studio of a private television channel along with Saleem Sabri to take part in an Iftar transmission when he was attacked.

Following his relentless killing, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had strongly condemned the terrorist attack.

Moreover, Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad had directed D.G. Rangers and I.G. Sindh to arrest the killers of Amjad Sabri.

Amjad Sabri, 45, was one of South Asia’s most popular singers of the ‘qawwali’, Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years.

Amjad Sabri was the son of renowned qawwal of the 1960’s, Ghulam Farid Sabri, and the nephew of qawwali icon Maqbool Sabri who passed away in 2011.

Maqbool Sabri along with his brother, the late Ghulam Farid Sabri, formed a formidable qawwali group in the mid-50s and became known for their soul-stirring renditions of arifana kalam (mystic poetry). Some of their most memorable and famous qawwalis include Bhar Do Jholi Meri, Tajdar-i-Haram and Mera Koi Nahin Hai Teray Siwa.

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