Summaya Kianat, a friend of Shahida Raza (inset), shows the medals, certificates and other stuff of Raza to media at her home, in Quetta, Pakistan, on Thursday. AP
The Hazara community in the provincial capital of Balochistan 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.
Shahida Raza. File photo
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 also played soccer in domestic competitions 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 in Punjab province.
A view of a group photo of a soccer team that includes Shahida Raza, is displayed for media at her home in Quetta. Reuters
The Pakistani media reports that the hockey player is mother to an infant daughter who was not with her in the boat.
The vessel, which authorities believe was carrying up to 200 migrants, sank in rough seas before dawn on Sunday near Steccato di Cutro, a seaside resort in southern Italy. Sixteen children were among the dead.
Those on board were mostly from Afghanistan but also from Pakistan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, Iran and Somalia, Italian authorities said.
"Pakistani authorities have informed Raza's family that the Pakistani national team hockey player perished in the boating accident off the coast of Italy," Qadir Ali Nayel, a legislator from Balochistan province, told Reuters late on Wednesday.
Rescuers recover a body at a beach near Cutro, southern Italy, after a migrant boat broke apart in rough seas. AP
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 chief minister of Balochistan expressed grief over Raza's death saying in a statement she had brought honour to the province and the country.
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