Islamabad, Dec 7: Pakistan's famous pop star-turned- Islamic-preacher Junaid Jamshed was on board the ill-fated PK-661 flight that crashed today near Havelian while on its way to the national capital, killing all passengers.
52-year-old Jamshed, a high-profile member of the Tablighi Jamaat, was returning from Chitral where he had gone for preaching-related work. The passenger list of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 includes Jamshed and his wife's names.
All 48 people on board the ATR plane were killed after the flight crashed in the hilly area near Havelian while en-route Islamabad from Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Jamshed's brother reportedly confirmed that he was on board the flight, along with his wife Ayesha Junaid.
His fellow preacher Mehmood Alam told Geo News that Jamshed was in Chitral for a preaching trip of 10 days.
"Heaven on Earth Chitral. With my friends in the Path of Allah. Snowpacked Tirchmir right behind us," bearded Jamshed had tweeted on December 4 along with some of his pictures in traditional attire.
Before joining the Tablighi Jamaat, Jamshed was one of Pakistan's best loved pop singers, famous for hits in the 1980s such as "Dil Dil Pakistan". The patriotic lyrics of the song made it so popular that it was hailed as an unofficial national anthem of Pakistan.
Jamshed denounced singing in 2004 and announced to devote his life to Islam. He often appeared on TV advertisements to give products a religious endorsement and also had a chain of fashion boutiques.
A FIR was registered against him in 2014, accusing the preacher of blasphemy after he made some controversial remarks. Later, he apologised for those remarks. In March this year, the scholar was subjected to public ridicule at Islamabad airport where a group of infuriated people assaulted him.