PTCL CEO, senior journalist lose battle to Covid-19 leaving hundreds grieved


Zubair Qureshi


Thursday turned out to be a day of mourning particularly for those hailing from media and telecom sector of Islamabad as they received with great grief the news of passing away of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the national telecom company the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) and Ufone Rashid Khan and senior journalist, anchorperson and teacher of mass communication Tariq Mehmood Malik. They happened to be the latest casualties of Coronavirus in Islamabad and whoever knew them or chanced to meet or talked to them felt a terrible sense of loss over their death at this young age. A Ufone spokesperson confirmed that Khan had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Islamabad for a few days and passed away on Thursday morning after his condition detriorated. Khan had been the CEO of Ufone since August 2017, the Ufone spokesperson said. Rashid Khan was considered a veteran of the telecom industry and has held several leading positions in the last 25 years, according to the spokesperson.
Tariq Mehmood Malik was also among the few persons one would feel happy to meet. His deep sense of judgment about issues of national and international importance had earned him respect not only among the journalists’ community, his colleague but also his students at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) where he took Mass Com classes. He too was hospitalized at the Holy Family Hospital for a few days and breathed his last in the early hours Thursday. His funeral prayers were held in his ancestral village Talagang at 11 A.M.Currently, Tariq Mehmood was working as senior correspondent for Hum News for the last two years while earlier he was associated with ARY News for over ten years. The news of Tariq Mehmood’s death has saddened his colleagues, particularly the beat reporters who cover Foreign Office. In their separate messages, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood and Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry expressed their heart-felt condolences with the family members, friends and journalists colleagues of Tariq Mehmood terming his death a great loss. The federal capital on Thursday recorded a total number of 381 deaths with three in the last 24 hours. Islamabad so far has reported 35,441 confirmed cases of Covid-19—238 in the last 24 hours. According to District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Zaeem, the number of recoveries in one day 364 have outnumbered the deaths in the same period that is an encouraging sign. He however, requested the residents to keep following the SOPs for Covid-19.