KARACHI - Thousands of mourners on Thursday gathered in Karachi’s Liaquatabad for the funeral of acclaimed Sufi singer and qawwali maestro Amjad Sabri whose death left the entire nation in mourning.

Sabri was laid to rest in the Paposhnagar Graveyard, next to his father, qawwali maestro Ghulam Farid Sabri. Thousands of fans, supporters and friends attended the funeral prayers of Amjad Sabr. His funeral was held after Zuhr prayers at Furqania Masjid in Liaquatabad. The funeral prayers were led by Maulana Ahmed Deewan Massoud, the spiritual heir of Sufi saint Baba Farid. Tearful mourners showered rose petals over an ambulance carrying the coffin of Sabri to his residence. Prominent members of the civil society, show-biz and political leaders from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement including Farooq Sattar and Waseem Akhtar attended the funeral.

A wave of grief and shock gripped the whole country when armed motorcyclists sprayed Sabri with bullets in broad daylight in Liaquatabad area when the 45-year-old was heading to a private TV channel to perform in its Ramazan transmission on Wednesday.

The killing was carried out on a day when the law enforcement agencies had claimed to have beefed up security in the wake of the kidnapping of the Sindh High Court chief justice’s son, Advocate Owais Ali Shah.

The Rangers and police guarded the route of the funeral. Shops along the route remained closed. Earlier, his family received his body from the Chhipa Morgue and took it to their Liaquatabad residence.

His mother in a TV interview 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.

He demanded Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to bring the perpetrators of attack to justice. Sarwat refuted media reports about death threats to Amjad Sabri , saying “he was a pious man; he didn't receive any death threat.”

He said that protecting citizens' lives was responsibility of the government. "You can arrest killers of Amjad Sabri , abductors of Sindh chief justice's son, but who will safeguard millions of other citizens?” he asked.

He said that it is government responsibility to protect life of each citizen. Teary-eyed Sarwat said such people were not born daily. Vacuum created after Amjad’s death is unlikely to fill, he added. "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 sometimes now.

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).

Music is said to transcend borders. That was proven right when artists from across the border expressed their grief at the death of renowned qawwal Amjad Sabri .

"I'm extremely saddened to hear about the death of Amjad Sabri ," said the acclaimed Indian singer Kavita Krishnamurthy.

"A musician spends his life trying to spread the message of peace through his music and for such a man to meet a violent end is truly shocking," she added and prayed for his soul to rest in peace. Celebrated singer Sonu Nigam spoke of the time he spent performing with Sabri and also their shared near death experience. Meanwhile, Karachi police investigators released sketch of a man allegedly involved in the killing of Amjad Sabri . The police said that the sketch was made with the help of eyewitnesses and it seventy per cent resembles with the attacker. An eyewitness who was on the crime scene said that one gunman fired five shots on Amjad Sabri .

Sindh Assembly pays tribute

The Sindh Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution paying tribute to renowned qawwal Amjad Sabri , who was gunned down on Wednesday in Karachi.

The resolution was jointly tabled by lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional. The resolution also urged the law enforcement agencies to take immediate action for arrest of culprits. The resolution stated that Amjad Sabri 's demise was not only the loss of Pakistan but also of Muslim World. “We pay tribute to Amjad and express condolence on his demise. We stand by his family in this period of grief and sorrow,” the resolution added. Later, the assembly adopted the resolution unanimously.