MARDAN: Thousands of people attended the funeral prayer for Rahimullah Yusufzai, a renowned journalist and Resident Editor of The News International, Peshawar, who was laid to rest at his family graveyard in Inzargi village at Katlang tehsil of the Mardan district on Friday. Awami National Party senior leaders Haji Ghulam Bilour and Farid Toofan, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawazprovincial president Amir Muqam and MPA Ikhtiar Wali, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami leader Maulana Yusuf Shah and several others attended the funeral.
The journalist breathed his last on Thursday night after battling cancer for more than a year. The news about his death spread across the country and abroad within no time and the social media portals were flooded with condolence messages and posts.
Similarly, people from across the country and from all walks of life traveled to his village to attend his funeral and burial. The local people also turned up in large numbers to attend the last rituals of the deceased.
Everyone in the funeral was heard speaking well of him who was, no doubt, one of the best journalists and a great human being. A large number of journalists from across the country in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular was present at the funeral. The majority of them had worked under his tutelage.
Everyone was sad and recalling his sweet memories with him. "I owe my career to him. I feel no hesitation in saying that he was my mentor. He was my elder and he was my teacher. I learned everything from him," said Ismail Khan, Resident Editor of Daily Dawn, who worked under him for years in The News.
Rahimullah Yusufzai is survived by four sons, two daughters and a large number of admirers. His elder son, Arshad Yusufzai, who is also a journalist, expressed his commitment to follow in the footsteps of his father and serve the needy and deserving people.
Well-known journalist Hamid Mir was also present at the funeral. He said that Rahimullah Yusufzai was among the greatest journalists in the country. He said that he had a humble and modest personality. His humbleness was his great strength, he said.
Hamid Mir expressed his optimism that the ones, who had learned journalistic skills from him as his juniors, would keep his name shining in the field of journalism and in humanity. Rahimullah Yusufzai was known for his hard work, he added.
Abdullah Jan, a senior journalist, who, too, worked for years under the supervision of Rahimullah Yusufzai, recalled the days when they used to work on type-writers. He said that several times he saw him sleeping on the typewriter in the late hours.
He said being a good investigative journalist and an excellent writer, the late journalist wanted to see his colleagues and reporters work hard and would appreciate his junior colleagues for filing good reports.
Delawar Jan, another junior to Rahimullah Yusufzai, said that he learnt a lot from him. "I had a bad habit of not giving a second reading to what I used to write. Rahimullah Sahib would often ask me to read my writings again and again. And when I started doing so, I would found lots of mistakes in my first draft," he remarked.
Besides his excellent journalist skills, he was a great human being, an affectionate father and elder, a practicing Muslim and a committed social worker. He kept working hard even during his serious ailment.
Rahimullah Yusufzai was known in his area for the social works he has done. He used his influence to build roads, a grid station and several other development projects in his underdeveloped area. It was because of him that many people in his area managed to get jobs. He was a humble and respectful soul. He would give respect to everyone and this was the reason that he had earned matchless respect in his own community and every segment of life.