A journalist has been crushed to death in Pakistan while covering a political march led by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, a senior police official has said.
Sadaf Naeem, 36, a Channel 5 TV reporter in Lahore, died on Sunday after slipping from the container truck Khan was traveling in, said Salman Zafar, deputy superintendent in Kamuke, one of the towns on the way to walking.
Journalist Qazzafi Butt, who witnessed the incident, told Reuters that Naeem lost her balance when she tried to get on Khan’s truck to interview him, and the wheel of the truck threw her. head past.
Khan’s convoy was crossing the Punjab province towards Islamabad on the third day of the march. The protesters defied Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and his government, demanding a snap election. It is the custom of Khan’s convoy team to invite a few reporters at a time to the roof of the truck to talk to Khan.
“Shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible accident that resulted in the death of Channel 5 journalist Sadaf Naeem during our march today,” Khan said in a tweet. “I have no words to express my sorrow. My prayers and condolences go out to the family at this tragic time. We have canceled our march for today.”
Sharif also expressed his condolences to Naeem’s bereaved family, announcing a donation of around $20,000 to his loved ones.
“Deeply saddened by the death of journalist Sadaf Naeem after falling from a container on the long march”, Sharif said in a tweet. “I cannot be sad enough for this tragic incident. Sincere condolences to the family. Sadaf Naeem was a dynamic and hardworking journalist. We pray for the patience of the family of the deceased.”
Naeem was the breadwinner of his family and worked as a journalist for 12 years. Pakistani officials said they would cover living expenses and school fees for her two children, aged 17 and 21.
Journalist Mazhar Abbas called the crash a “tragedy” and called on Channel 5 to “look after her family as she died in the line of duty”.
What a tragedy. A young reporter #SadafNaeem died while covering ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s long walk. I call on Channel V to look after her family as she died in the line of duty. All TV channels must guarantee life insurance and training. Sincere condolences to the family.
— Mazhar Abbas (@MazharAbbasGEO) October 30, 2022
About 10,000 Khan supporters, many crammed into hundreds of trucks and cars, left Lahore on Friday.
The convoy’s journey, which is expected to end with an open-ended rally in Islamabad, could present a significant challenge for the new administration. The rally could also turn violent if police intervene to disperse Khan’s supporters.