'Pakistan Consul General in NYC offering every possible help to family of acid attack survivor'

Nafiah Ikram, 21 and her mother were getting out of their car when a man threw a caustic liquid at her face


News Desk April 24, 2021
Foreign Office Spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri. PHOTO: APP/FILE

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said on Saturday that the Consul General of Pakistan in New York was in contact with the family of the acid attack survivor Nafiah Ikram and has offered every possible help.

On April 22, an unidentified man threw acid on a Pakistani college student in Long Island, a suburb of New York City, disfiguring her face in an anti-Muslim hate crime.

Ikram, 21, and her mother were getting out of their car outside their home on March 17 when the man rushed up to her, threw a caustic liquid at her face and ran off. She was left severely burned and nearly blind.

She is studying medicine at Hofstra University and has plans to be a doctor, was rushed to the hospital by her mother, who also works there.

Read more: Pakistani student blinded, disfigured in acid attack outside her home in US

Her father, Sheikh Ikram, 50, said that Nafiah was targeted on her way home from work.

In response to queries from some media colleagues on the incident, the MoFA spokesperson said that the local police department [ in US] has deputed a 12-member team to investigate the incident.

"We should wait for the completion of the investigations to ascertain the nature of the crime and the motive behind it," the spokesperson further said. "Meanwhile, our Embassy in Washington DC and Consulate General in New York will continue to follow up the developments and will provide every possible assistance to the family.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder asked anyone with information to come forward and call, announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

“This attack was a vicious and heinous crime and I am personally requesting anyone with knowledge to come forward,” he said.

The attack left her hospitalised for 15 days, with severe burns to her face, eyes, neck, and hands, according to the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group.

“My whole life changed in a matter of five minutes,” Ikram said in an interview with WCBS-TV. “We don’t realise what we have until it’s gone.”

She was all but blinded by the attack. “I can just see colours, but that’s it,” she told WCBS. “I want to know, like, what’s the reason? Like, what could I have possibly done to somebody?”

Ikram is just starting to talk again, but still struggles to eat or drink, because acid burned her throat, her father said.

“She is very scared. My wife sleeps with her every night,” Ikram said.

 

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