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Afghan President calls Danish Siddiqui’s father to express condolences, says it’s his ‘duty’

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was killed in Afghanistan on July 16 while on duty.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: July 24, 2021 9:43:03 am
Danish SiddiquiDuring a candlelight prayet meet in remembrance of Pulitzer prize winner photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Thursday spoke to slain Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui’s father over the phone to express his condolences saying it was his “duty” to do so. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist was killed in Afghanistan on July 16 while on duty.

“President Ghani spoke by telephone with the father of Reuters journalist Danish Sediqqui and conveyed his condolences. Sediqqui’s father thanked the president for his sympathy, the Palace said. Siddiqui was killed in fighting on July 16 in Spin Boldak District in Kandahar,” TOLOnews, an Afghan news channel tweeted Thursday night.

Danish’s father Mohammad Akhtar Siddiqui, who stays in Delhi, confirmed to The Indian Express that he had received a call from Ghani around 4 pm Thursday.

“The President of Afghanistan condoled the demise of Danish Siddiqui. He said he was a young man and we are sorry. He also requested me to convey his condolence to his (Danish’s) family (wife and two children),” he said.

Siddiqui said he had received prior intimation from the personal staff of the President sometime before Ghani called. “They said the President would like to speak to you if you’re comfortable. When we spoke, I thanked him for calling me directly on my mobile phone. He said it was his duty to call and express his condolences and that it was a big loss,” said Siddiqui.

Danish’s body was brought back to Delhi on July 18, and he was buried at the Jamia Millia Islamia graveyard in the presence of scores of people. He was an alumnus of the university. The Jamia Vice-Chancellor made an exception for his burial, as the graveyard is typically reserved for the university employees, their spouses, and their minor children.

Reuters said Danish had been embedded as a journalist with the Afghan Special Forces based out of Kandahar and “had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters”.

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