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Dil Dil Pakistan: Nation mourns ex-singer killed in crash

Junaid Jamshed was among those on board the crashed PIA Flight

Date of publication: 7 December, 2016

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#RIPJunaidJamshed: Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the former Pakistani pop star turned preacher, whose popular Dil Dil Pakistan became an unofficial national anthem.

A Pakistani plane carrying scores of people crashed in the country's mountainous north on Wednesday, bursting into flames, in an incident that has shocked the country.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Flight PK661 came down on a flight from the city of Chitral to Islamabad.

As rescue workers continued to pull dozens of bodies from the wreckage, officials expressed little hope for survivors.

Among those on board was Junaid Jamshed, a former Pakistani pop star turned evangelical Muslim.

The singer's Twitter account had said he was in Chitral.

Following news of the crash, an image circulated on Twitter showing the passenger list, which included Jamshed's name:

Tributes began pouring in on social media for the former lead singer of the country's first major pop band, whose popular Dil Dil Pakistan became an unofficial national anthem.

"The voice of my youth, the voice of my generation.... #JunaidJamshed you will be sorely missed," tweeted user Huma A Shah.

The 52-year-old first gained recognition as the lead singer for Pakistani band Vital Signs in 1987, but in 2004, Jamshed officially renounced music after announcing that he had devoted his life to Islam. He has been listed by The Muslim 500 as one of the "World's Most Influential Muslims" for his active involvement in charity work.

Many more, including renowned names and celebrities like Outlandish, took to Twitter to express their shock and disbelief at the loss of one of Pakistan's favourite voices:

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his "deep grief and sorrow" over the crash.

In a statement, he said "the entire nation is deeply saddened over today's unfortunate crash and shares the grief of the families who lost their dear ones."

Plane crashes are not uncommon in Pakistan. The most recent air disasters involved helicopters, both in 2015.

In May that year a Pakistani military helicopter crashed in a remote northern valley, killing eight people including the Norwegian, Philippine and Indonesian envoys and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian envoys.

In August 2015 another army helicopter crashed killing 12 people, all military.

The deadliest air disaster on Pakistani soil was in 2010, when an Airbus 321 operated by private airline Airblue and flying from Karachi crashed into the hills outside Islamabad while about to land, killing all 152 on board.

An official report blamed the accident on a confused captain and a hostile cockpit atmosphere.

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