Journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai dies

PESHAWAR: Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai passed away on Thursday in Peshawar, his family said.According to the family, Yusufzai’s funeral prayers will be held today (Friday) morning, at 11. The veteran journalist had been ill for some time. His son, Arshad Yusufzai, said that he had fought “a long battle against cancer”. His funeral will be held in his native village Inzargai, near Babuzai Interchange, Swat Expressway, Katlang Tehsil, in Mardan District. He was born on September 10, 1954.
Yusufzai shot to fame with his interview of Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. He is also among the few within the journalist fraternity to have reported on the Taliban. He went to Kandahar in 1995 on an assignment in this regard. He was Resident Editor, The News International, Peshawar, and was a columnist for the Daily Jang.
His works were also published in Time magazine. In addition, he served as a correspondent for BBC Urdu and BBC Pashto. He was considered an expert on Afghan affairs and North West Pakistan. The accomplished journalist was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2004 in recognition of his services in the field of journalism.
Thereafter, in 2009, he was also awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz. Soon after news of his demise broke, condolences began to pour in. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry expressed sadness over Yusufzai’s passing.
“His death is the end of an era in journalism,” Chaudhry said, recalling how the journalist had a tight grip on issues pertaining to Afghanistan and Pakistan’s northern areas.
Chaudhry prayed for Yusufzai’s ranks to be elevated in heaven and for his family to find the patience to bear this loss. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman expressed regret over Yousufzai’s death and extended his heartfelt condolences to the family.
“Rahimullah Yusufzai’s services to democracy and journalism are worthy of praise,” he said. He was also fondly remembered by several fellow journalists.–Agencies