It is with great sadness that API has learned of the sudden death of our long-time member Khalid Farooqi, correspondent for Geo News TV from Pakistan. Mr Farooqi suffered a heart attack just after arriving in Brussels by bus from London. He leaves behind his wife, a son and a daughter.
Khalid Farooqi had been a correspondent in Brussels since 2004. From Brussels, he covered international events in Europe and beyond. Recently, he covered the Russian invasion of Ukraine directly from the war zone, but he also followed EU and NATO affairs closely, and last month covered the French elections.
Farooqi came to Europe in the 1990s and studied mass communication and development studies at the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. After graduating, he taught at a university in Poland, where he met his future wife, a Polish teacher. They also lived in The Hague for several years, travelling back and forth to Brussels, before finally settling here.
Mr Farooqi was well respected in the Brussels bubble. At Tuesday's lunchtime briefing, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer paid tribute to him. ,"Khalid was always the voice of journalism at a time when it was often silenced," Mamer said. "He always put human rights at the top of his agenda, working on conflict and development in different parts of the world." Mamer said he will be remembered for his journalistic and humanitarian work, as he fought for press freedom and democracy.
In his home country, Khalid Farooqi was praised by Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other dignitaries. On Monday, Khalid was buried in the Evere cemetery in Brussels in the presence of many colleagues and diplomats.
Our thoughts are with Khalid's widow and children, his family and his many friends and colleagues.
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