ISLAMABAD: Renowned journalist and expert on Afghanistan affairs Rahimullah Yousafzai died due to protected illness in Peshawar Thursday night.
According to his family, the veteran journalist was suffering from cancer that caused his death. He was 66.
The funeral prayer will be held at 11am on Friday in his native village Inzargi, Ghundo at Katlang subdivision of Mardan district near Katlang interchange on Swat Expressway.
In a Facebook post, his son confirmed the sad news. Arshad Yousufzai said that his father breathed his last after fighting cancer for over 15 months.4
“Saddened to learn of Rahimullah Yousafzai’s passing. He was one of Pakistan’s most respected journalists,” Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote on his official Twitter handle following the emergence of the sad news.
According to PM Imran, Yousafzai was an opinion maker because his columns were well researched. “My condolences & prayers go to the family.”
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry also expressed his heartfelt sorrow and grief over the demise of the senior journalist.
In his condolence message, the minister said an era of journalism had ended with the death of Rahimullah Yousafzai as his grip on Afghan affairs and issues pertaining to border areas were unmatched and no one could reach that level.
He prayed Allah Almighty to rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant patience to the bereaved family to bear the irreparable loss with equanimity.
State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib condoled the death of Yousafzai, saying the death of such a senior journalist has created a vacuum in the field of journalism.
In his separate message, the minister said Yousufzai continued to highlight the issues of tribal and border areas forcefully at every forum.
Rahimullah Yusufzai was a highly respected journalist of the country, who earned a great name due to his accurate, objective and unbiased reporting on national and international issues, especially on the Afghanistan situation.
He remained associated with the BBC and several other national and international news organisations and proved his mettle.
Before his demise, Rahimullah was the Resident Editor of The News International in Peshawar.
He was a role model for young journalists who always assist them in writing on different issues especially political, security and strategic besides Afghanistan issues.
Keeping in view of the meritorious services, the government of Pakistan has decorated him with prestigious Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
Rahimullah Yousafzai has also served as patron-in-chief of Sarhad Sports Writers Association (SSWA) in 1989. He was perhaps the first journalist from SSWP, who travelled to Beijing, China for coverage of the Asian Games 1990.
The governor and chief minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have also expressed profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of Yousafzai and termed his death is a great loss.
Praising the service of the late journalist, the chief minister said he was an institution and his contributions to journalism would always be remembered.
He said Yousafzai was a true professional and the vacuum created after his death would hardly be fulfilled.
The cabinet of Peshawar Press Club has also expressed grief over the demise of Rahimullah Yousafzai.