08:15 PM, December 07, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:25 PM, December 07, 2016

Pakistan cleric feared dead in air crash: official

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Junaid Jamshed, a Pakistani pop star turned evangelical Muslim cleric, was on board an aircraft that crashed into a mountainside on Wednesday, a airline official told Reuters.

Jamshed rocketed to fame in Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s as the singer for the Vital Signs rock group, and later launched a solo career, with a string of chart-topping albums and hits.

His name appeared on a passenger manifest for Pakistan International Airlines' (PIA) flight PK661, which crashed near the northern town of Havelian. His presence on board was confirmed by Sohail Ahmed, a PIA official in Chitral.

Jamshed retired from music in 2001 and announced that he was devoting his life to Islam, joining the conservative Tableeghi Jamaat religious organisation.

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