Thursday Sep 09 2021
Web Desk

Award-winning journalist who interviewed OBL, Rahimullah Yusufzai passes away in Peshawar

Web Desk
Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai. — Photo courtesy family
Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai. — Photo courtesy family

Senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai passed away on Thursday in Peshawar, his family said.

According to the family, Yusufzai's funeral prayers will be held tomorrow 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.

President Arif Alvi expressed sorrow over the journalist's passing, acknowledging his efforts in the fields of journalism and research.

"He had great insight into current affairs, especially Afghan issues," the president said.

"With his demise, a great chapter in journalism has closed," he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he is saddened to learn of Yusufzai's passing.

"He was one of Pakistan's most respected journalists. He was an opinion maker because his columns were well researched," the premier said.

"My condolences and prayers go to the family," he added.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said he was deeply saddened on the demise of the renowned journalist.

"Sympathies with the bereaved family and prayers for the eternal peace of the departed soul [whose] valuable services will always be remembered," he said.

Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also extended his condolences of the journalist's demise. 

He paid tribute to his "top-notch" political insight into Afghanistan-related affairs.

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.

Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar, expressed sorrow over the journalist's death and extended his heartfelt sympathies to his family.

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.

Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali, extending his condolences over the journalist's death, prayed for his family's forbearance.

"He was a class apart when it came to Pak-Afghan issues," Wali said.

Yusufzai was also fondly remembered by several fellow journalists.