Pakistan

Amid tears and tributes, Pakistan said ‘goodbye’ to Junaid Jamshed

KARACHI: Pakistan’s famed religious figure Junaid Jamshed was laid to rest at Darul Uloom graveyard in Korangi Industrial Area on Thursday in the presence of thousands of people who had gathered to give him a final tribute. 

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His funeral prayers were offered at AKD Ground DHA in the city, packed with a huge number of people, fans and followers of the man who made Pakistan proud through his outstanding singing earlier and conduct as a Muslim-evangelist till he breathed his last.

Law enforcement officials including police and Rangers were heavily deployed in the surrounding areas for security reasons when a flag-draped coffin of Junaid Jamshed covered with garlands was brought to the ground.

Renowned Muslim cleric and Junaid Jamshed’s mentor, Maulana Tariq Jamil led the funeral prayers while prominent dignitaries, politicians, civil society members and famous names from the worlds of entertainment and cricket attended the funeral procession.

While giving an eye-opening sermon before the funeral prayers, Maulana Tariq Jamil said, “Even kings never saw such a funeral when they died.”


Even kings never had such a funeral, says Maulana Tariq Jamil


Junaid Jamshed along with 46 others died on December 7 when a PK-661 flight of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) crashed into a hillside north of the capital Islamabad, making the incident the newest episode in the country’s disappointing history of aviation disasters.

After almost five long and painful days, his body was finally identified earlier this week on December 12 with the help of facial X-ray and his dental history after since all the bodies of the crash victims were unrecognisable.

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Arrangements were made to bring Junaid Jamshed’s body back to his city from Islamabad on Wednesday before which his funeral prayers were also offered at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Noor Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi, formerly known as Chaklala Airbase, with military honour.

“I used to think I am his only brother but people of Pakistan have proved the otherwise. I now realise, he was a brother of every Pakistani,” said Junaid Jamshed’s brother, Humayun Jamshed while talking to media in Karachi yesterday.

Junaid Jamshed’s wife, Nayha, who also died in the plane crash, was too laid to rest on Thursday at a local graveyard in Lahore.

 

The ‘Mayday’ call

An ATR-42 aircraft operated by PIA carrying 47 people including Junaid Jamshed issued a distress call on December 7 before losing radar contact and crashing into a mountain, killing everyone on board.

Engine trouble was initially believed to be responsible for the crash, but many questions remain unclear, stirring new worries about the safety record of the national carriage.

The aircraft appeared to have suffered a failure in one of its two turboprop engines just before the crash, to be confirmed by an investigation.

Depressing photographs and videos taken by locals showed a blasted hillside covered with flames and debris scattered over a wide area.

Since the incident happened in a mountainous region of Chitral, officials had to face issues in conducting rescue operations and even the locals were helpless.

Officials believed that the ill-fated aircraft suffered engine problems soon after takeoff and the media focus fell on PIA’s safety record, but the state carrier denied reports that there was a fault with the aircraft before takeoff.

 

PK-661 crash probe  

The national carriage grounded its fleet of 10 European-made ATR planes while PIA Chairman Azam Saigol also resigned, citing personal reasons, the company said December 13, less than a week after a PIA plane crashed killing all people on board.

An eight-member special team of the France-based turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR also visited the PK-661 crash site near Havelian in Abbottabad District this week amid tight security.

The team, including two members of the ATR engine manufacturers, Pratt & Whitney, and two members of the company itself, would help Pakistani officials to probe a recent deadly plane crash.

Meanwhile, investigation officials of the Safety and Investigation Board (SIB) of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) were also conducting a probe into the crash.

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