The death toll of Pakistani nationals martyred in the Christchurch terrorist attack has reached nine, according to the Foreign Office.
“Mr Zeeshan Raza, his father Mr Ghulam Hussain and mother Ms. Karam bibi have now been confirmed to have embraced shahadat [martyrdom] in the terrorist attack in New Zealand,” FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal confirmed in a tweet on Sunday.
“We are in touch with their family,” the spokesperson went on to add.
The Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 50 dead and several injured.
On Saturday, the Dr Faisal stated that at least six Pakistani citizens have died in the deadly terrorist attack
Three other Pakistanis are still missing and yet to be identified, the spokesperson said in a statement on Twitter.
Authorities in New Zealand have identified the Pakistani martyred as Sohail Shahid, Syed Jahandad Ali, Syed Areeb Ahmed, Mahboob Haroon, Naeem Rashid and his son Talha Naeem.
One of the martyred is being hailed as a hero for his courageous attempt to stop the shooter during one of the two attacks at mosques.
Naeem Rashid, succumbed to his wounds while under treatment following the attack and was identified as the individual who rushed at the right-wing terrorist attacking the mosque.
Dr Faisal, in a separate tweet, said that Rashid and his son will be buried in Christchurch, adding that arrangements for the burial are in place. He said the Muslim community and a Pakistani association in the city were assisting in arrangements.
The FO spokesperson further said the Pakistani mission was working with families of other four victims for possible transport of bodies to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has directed that all possible help and assistance be extended to the families of the deceased and missing in the Christchurch carnage, Dr Faisal said in another tweet.
Crisis Management Cell
Meanwhile, a Crisis Management Cell has been established at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad to address the developing situation, update on the wellbeing of and latest information of Pakistani citizens living in New Zealand.
In addition to the cell, Pakistan’s High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner in New Zealand will also be available for information and assistance, round the clock, said a FO statement.