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Veteran journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai passes away

Rahimullah Yusufzai was known for having interviewed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Source: Twitter.

PESHAWAR: Renowned Pakistani journalist, war correspondent and political analyst Rahimullah Yusufzai has passed away after battling cancer. He was aged 66.

His son Arshad confirmed his passing away in a statement on social media. “My father Rahimullah Yusufzai has breathed his last after fighting a long battle against cancer.”

His funeral will be held at his native village Inzargai, near Babuzai Interchange, Swat Expressway, Katlang Tehsil in Mardan District on Friday, 10 September.

Rahimullah Yusufzai was best known for having interviewed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Rahimullah was especially noted for holding the last interview with Osama bin Laden.

Born September 10, 1954, He was a war correspondent and the former editor of The News International at the Peshawar Bureau. He also served as Time’s Pakistan correspondent. Rahimullah was also a correspondent of BBC’s Pashto and Urdu services in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province

Yusufzai was considered an authority on Afghan affairs and on the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

The government of Pakistan first awarded him with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2005 for this achievement in journalism. He received Sitara-i-Imtiaz for his achievement in journalism in 2010.

Condolences

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was saddened to hear of the death of “one of Pakistan’s most well-respected journalists”. “He was an opinion maker because his columns were well researched,” the premier said, offering condolences to the family of the deceased journalist.

President Dr Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan have expressed deep sorrow and grief over his demise.

President Dr Arif Alani has expressed grief over the death of a senior journalist and expert on Afghan affairs Rahimullah Yousufzai. In his condolence message, the president prayed for the departed soul and bereaved family.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said Rahimullah Yousafzai’s death marks the end of an era of journalism. He said Yuusfzai’s grip on issues of Afghanistan and our border areas can hardly be anyone else’s expertise. He prayed for the departed soul and bereaved family.

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute and said he was “heartbroken” on Yusufzai’s demise. Shehbaz recalled him as a “veteran journalist, seasoned analyst & thorough gentleman”, adding that “his death has left a huge void in the field of journalism.”

“He was one of the most credible voices on the politics of the region, particularly Afghanistan & war on terror,” the PML-N president noted.