Journalist Sadaf Naeem crushed to death by truck during political rally under former prime minister Imran Khan

A female journalist was crushed to death in Pakistan while covering a political march led by former prime minister Imran Khan, a senior police officer said.

Sadaf Naeem, 36, a television journalist with Channel 5 in Lahore, died on Sunday after she slipped from the container truck Khan was riding in, said Salman Zafar, assistant inspector in Kamuke, one of the towns on the march’s path.

Journalist Qazzafi Butt, who witnessed the incident, told Reuters that Naeem lost her balance when she tried to get into Khan’s truck to interview him and the truck’s wheel went over her head.

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Sadaf Naeem

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Khan’s convoy made its way through Punjab province to Islamabad on the third day of the march. Protesters have been questioning Khan’s successor, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, and his government, demanding early elections. It was the practice of Khan’s entourage to invite a few journalists at a time to the top of the truck to speak to Khan.

“Shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible accident which led to 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 the family of the bereaved Naeem, announcing a donation of around $20,000 to her relatives.

“Deeply saddened by the death of journalist Sadaf Naeem after falling from a long shipping container,” Sharif said in a tweet. “I cannot feel sad enough about this tragic incident. Heartfelt condolences to the family. Sadaf Naeem was a dynamic and hardworking journalist. We pray for patience for the family of the deceased.”

Naeem was the breadwinner of her family and had worked as a journalist for 12 years. Pakistani officials say they will cover the living and education costs of her two children, ages 17 and 21.

Journalist Mazhar Abbas called the accident a “tragedy” and appealed to Channel 5 to “take care of her family as she died on duty”.

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