LAHORE: From pop star to religious preacher the journey was not an easy one for Juniad Jamshed. He was often criticized and at times revered by media at the same time. Now all that will end for good. 52-year-old Junaid Jamshed is no more. He died in a plane crash when he was coming back from Chitral to Islamabad at 4:30 pm on Wednesday.

He along with his wife Nayha Junaid was on board PIA flight PK-661 that was carrying 47 passengers. The plane crashed 10 minutes before landing time in Havelian area of Abbotabad. The news of his death sent shock waves among his fans following that runs into millions across the globe. After ending his career as a pop star Junaid became a successful businessmen dealing with men’s wear (popular brand J.) and perfumes. His tribute of cricket legend Wasim Akram was perfume by his name and number 414 the number of wickets that he took in test cricket. His passion, however, was preaching Islam and explaining its true spirit and meaning of its teachings to people. He was one of the most successful anchors during Ramazan transmission.

Junaid graduated from University of Engineering and Technology Lahore and for a short period worked as a civilian contractor and engineer for Pakistan Air Force. He shot to fame when he worked with Rohail Hyatt in 1983 that led to pop music group Vital Signs. He came up with a number of hit songs that made him a household name. His hit songs included Dil Dil Pakistan, Sanwali Saloni, Yeh Sham, Aitbar, Tum Dour Thay, Keh Do Jo Bhi and Na Tou Aai Gee. It was in 1994 when Junaid Jamshed released his debut solo album Junaid of Vital Signs, which was an instant hit. The successful albums followed with Us Rah Par (1999) and Dil Ki Baat (2002). In 2004 his fans were left in shock when he suddenly announced end of his singing career. He launched a naat album Jalwa-e-Janan next year in 2005 which was followed by Mehboob-e-Yazdaan in 2006, Badr-ud-Duja in 2008, and Badee-uz-Zaman in 2009.

Recently the celebrity posted photographs on his official Facebook page, Junaid Jamshed and twitter handle while he was in Chitral with his family and friends. Junaid posted on his twitter handle that “Heaven on Earth Chitral. With my friends in the Path of Allah. Snow packed Tirchmir right behind us.” Reportedly Junaid was on preaching tour in Chitral. The plane on which Junaid Jamshed was on board soon ‘disappeared’ and lost contact from the control room, Pakistan International Airline spokesman Danyal Gilani confirmed it.

Junaid’s death has shocked the nation especially those related to music industry and religious bent of mind. Singer Fakhir Mehmood told The Nation that Junaid Jamshed untimely and unfortunate death was a great loss for our nation. “Wherever Junaid served, he served wholeheartedly. He was the man who laid down the foundation of Pakistan’s pop music industry and his contributions will be remembered for a long time.

“Most importantly he used his iconic personality for the betterment of humanity and did a lot of charity work. He was a straight forward person. I never saw him backbiting about anyone,” he said.

Call The Band’s lead singer Junaid Khan said the plane crash was a tragedy which took 47 precious and innocent lives including that of Junaid Jamshed. “We should not take this matter lightly; the national airline should give a reasonable answer to such a huge tragedy.

“There is need to recheck all aircraft being operated by PIA. An inquiry should be held. Junaid Jamshed and other passengers lost their lives just because of some technical fault in aircraft. Junaid’s services and contribution would not be forgotten in any case. He was good artiste and a great human being,” Junaid Khan said.

Musician Uzair Altaf tweeted that on December-7 we lost the voice of our generation.’ Designer Nomi Ansari said in a tweet that death of Junaid Jamshed was end of an era.