Hockey player Shahida Raza among victims of migrant boat tragedy [Express Tribune]

Hockey player Shahida Raza among victims of migrant boat tragedy [Express Tribune]

by Zubair Nazir Khan

KARACHI: The Hazara community in Quetta mourns the loss of Shahida Raza, a 27-year-old woman who drowned in a boat wreck accident while trying to reach Europe in search of a better future.

Raza, also known as Chintoo in sports circles, was an important member of the Pakistan Women’s Hockey Team. She also played departmental hockey for Pakistan Railways.

Moreover, she was an exceptional football player and represented Balochistan United in women’s football.

According to reports, Raza was on board a boat from Turkey to Italy with dreams of a better future. However, the boat crashed into a sea cliff while anchored in the Crotone region, causing more than 200 migrants to drown, including around 40 Pakistanis, most of whom are said to be from Gujrat.

Raza was the mother of an infant girl, but her daughter was not with her at the time of the accident.

Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brigadier (retd) Khalid Khokhar, Secretary General Syed Haider Hussain, PHF Women Wing Syeda Shehla Raza, Tanzila Amir Cheema, and others have expressed their grief over Raza’s tragic death.

The Hazara community, which has been the target of deadly attacks in the past, has expressed deep sorrow and outrage over the incident. The community leaders have urged the government to take measures to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.

The incident has once again highlighted the dangers that migrants face while trying to reach Europe in search of a better life. Migrants often embark on dangerous journeys, risking their lives in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats, with hopes of a better future.

Published in The Express Tribune, 28 February 2023

The News adds:

Pakistan hockey player Shahida Raza drowns in Italy boat accident

KARACHI: Pakistan women’s hockey player Shahida Raza was among the 64 people who drowned in a boat accident off the coast of Italy the other day.

Shahida, also known as Chinttu in her circles, represented Pakistan in hockey at the international level. She also played football at the domestic level.

The athlete from Quetta was going through a difficult phase in her life as a single mother after the divorce, according to sources close to her family.

And in order to secure a better future, Shahida chose the path of migrating to Europe illegally.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Vice President Shehla Raza and PH Women Wing Secretary Tanzila Amir Cheema and other people associated with hockey expressed sorrow over her death.

Published in The News, 1 March 2023