Afghan president Ashraf Ghani calls up slain journalist Danish Siddiqui’s father, expresses condolences
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday called up the father of slain Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui, who was killed last week during clashes between Afghan special forces and the Taliban while covering a story in Spin Bodlak. The president expressed his condolences to the family, friends and the colleagues of Siddiqui during the call, said Aziz Amin, special secretary to Ghani.
Taking to Twitter, Amin said that president Ghani called the father of Siddiqui on Thursday afternoon and expressed his condolences. He also said that the president termed Siddiqui’s death as a “great loss for the journalism fraternity.”
Danish Siddiqui was an Indian photojournalist and had won many global accolades including the Pulitzer Prize in 2018. On July 16, he was killed in the Kandahar province in Afghanistan while on duty, covering the conflict in that region for news agency Reuters.
Ghani had then expressed his shock over Siddiqui’s killing. “I am deeply saddened with the shocking reports that Reuters Photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering the Taliban atrocities in Kandahar,” news agency ANI quoted Ghani as saying on July 16. “While I extend my heartfelt condolences to Sidiqqui's family and also to our media family, I reiterate my government's unwavering commitment to freedom of speech and protection of free media and journalists,” he further said.
However, the Taliban had said that it was not aware of how Siddiqui was killed and also said that they were “sorry” for his death.
Afghanistan’s ambassador to India Farid Mamundzay, too, had expressed his condolences to Siddiqui. “Deeply disturbed by the sad news of the killing of a friend, Danish Siddiqui in Kandahar last night. The Indian Journalist & winner of Pulitzer Prize was embedded with Afghan security forces. I met him 2 weeks ago before his departure to Kabul. Condolences to his family & Reuters,” Mamundzay said in a tweet.
Siddiqui was laid to rest in the graveyard at Jamia Millia Islamia university in Delhi following his family’s request.
(With agency inputs)