Reuters' bureau chief found dead in Islamabad

Published: February 23, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Afghanistan bureau chief for Reuters, Maria Golovnina, was found dead at her office located in Sector F-8 in Islamabad on Monday, the police said.

The police said that Golovnina, a Russian reporter, went to office and came back in the afternoon as she was not feeling well. Initial information revealed that she was feeling heavy headed and dropped on the floor after vomiting, the police said.

“We are saddened to announce that Maria Golovnina, Reuters Bureau Chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan, passed away on Monday. She was 34. Maria fell unconscious in the Islamabad bureau. An ambulance arrived quickly and she was rushed to Kulsum International Hospital, but medical teams were unable to save her.

Maria was a superb journalist with a long and varied career at Reuters. A fluent Japanese and Russian speaker, she joined Reuters in Tokyo in 2001 and subsequently worked in postings around the world including London, Singapore, Moscow, Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2013, Maria became Bureau Chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and led her team through an impressive run of exclusives and insights. Her talents, energy and can-do spirit will be sorely missed,” said a statement released by Reuters on Golovnina’s death.

Dr Ayesha Ishani, the spokesperson for Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), said that she was brought dead to the hospital. Before that she was taken to a private hospital where she was pronounced dead. She further said that it was too early to get to the cause of death.

Contrary to the police version, the spokesperson said that Golovnina was found dead from the washroom of her office, adding that the body was recovered after breaking the door. Post-mortem report will reveal the real cause of death, she said.

Golovnina’s husband had initially refused PIMS administration to carry out a post-mortem but then later gave permission for the hospital to carry out one.

Dr Ishani further said her post-mortem is underway and being carried out by medico-legal officers Dr Nasreen Butt and Dr Furukh Kamal.

“The body has been brought to PIMS so that it can be kept it in the mortuary,” she added.

Golovnina had been working with Reuters as the news agency’s bureau chief for Pakistan and Afghanistan for the past year-and-a-half.

According to her colleagues, the Russian journalist fell unconscious and was rushed to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where she was officially pronounced dead.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid expressed his grief over the sad demise of Golovnina.








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Reader Comments (19)

  • Observer
    Feb 23, 2015 - 5:06PM

    Awaiting all the trolls who will automatically blame this on an intel agency even though none of her stories were unfairly biased against Pakistan… it was probably just a natural cause. RIP.Recommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 23, 2015 - 6:52PM

    Hmmm too young to die . Either too much stress or ?Recommend

  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Feb 23, 2015 - 7:38PM

    Some thing is fishy . If she was medically fit ,then the convincing reason of the death should be exposed .through proper investigationRecommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)
    Feb 23, 2015 - 9:25PM

    Young Lady. Something is amiss. Could be murder. Autopsy might reveal death due to poisoning.Recommend

  • Nero
    Feb 23, 2015 - 10:49PM

    It is easy to jump to the conclusion that something is fishy. But, a 32 year old colleague of mine died in his cubicle due to heart attack, while another 28 year old died in office cafe due to cerebral hemorrhage. These things happen. RIP! Recommend

  • dr.akkhan
    Feb 23, 2015 - 10:52PM

    sign and symptom shows death due to poisoning..the fact is that no body want to die….may be some bodies did some illegal act with her than given her poisonous substance to kill her…and they achieved it.its just my opinion.lets wait for investigation of postmortem… .Recommend

  • Feb 23, 2015 - 10:55PM

    A young woman suddenly drop dead in Pakistan and she is a journalist.

    The question is: What was she investigating? What has she reported in the past?

    Seems like Saleem Shehzad story all over again.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 23, 2015 - 11:16PM

    Poor thing.

    She was so young.

    Condolences to the family.Recommend

  • zara
    Feb 23, 2015 - 11:50PM

    Yeah but vomit doesnt sound natural unless someone is already ill or something.Recommend

  • Imran Ahmed
    Feb 24, 2015 - 12:51AM

    Very very sad loss of a talented young professional.Recommend

  • James
    Feb 24, 2015 - 3:43AM

    People talk of a conspiracy, but in truth we Europeans have often found early graves in the tropics.

    Look on the walls of St Thomas Cathedral in Bombay and you will see many aged 34 and younger who succumbed to illnesses far from home. Even today, with modern vaccines, it happens. A tragedy nonetheless, poor Maria.Recommend

  • KakashiFNGRL
    Feb 24, 2015 - 4:51AM

    My best bet?


    Wouldn’t be surprised if true.Recommend

  • Milind
    Feb 24, 2015 - 8:21AM

    8 years back Bob Woolmer was found dead in suspicious circumstances. This incident reminds of the same.Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Feb 24, 2015 - 9:16AM


    “Yeah but vomit doesnt sound natural unless someone is already ill or something.”

    Vomiting is a frequent precursor/symptom of deadly heart attack.Recommend

  • syed arif saeed bukhari
    Feb 24, 2015 - 11:05AM

    Very very sad loss of a talented young professional.Recommend

  • syed arif saeed bukhari
    Feb 24, 2015 - 11:10AM

    very sad news … reporter in pakistan ……great loss of jounalism.Recommend

  • Chengez K
    Feb 24, 2015 - 3:40PM

    She seemed to have done something awful or someone thought that way……


  • Feb 24, 2015 - 4:37PM

    Very sad news. She was so young . A talented and smart person, great loss:( my condolences to her parentsRecommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Feb 25, 2015 - 10:18PM

    Ricin only works when injected into the blood stream, don’t speculate till the results of autopsy come out. I bet she was well aware of the dangers working in terror laden countries, I am hoping she passed away of natural causes. RIP Maria Golovnina and my deepest condolences to the bereaved families.Recommend

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