- Calls upon nation to observe special prayers for safe recovery of officials
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the latest information regarding the missing army aviation helicopter.
On Monday, a Pakistan army aviation helicopter with senior military officers, including Corps Commander Quetta, on board, lost contact with air traffic control (ATC) during the flood relief operation in Lasbela, Balochistan.
According to the military media wing, six individuals were on board, including Commander 12 Corps, Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali (ex DG MI), who was supervising flood relief operations in Balochistan.
According to sources, the individuals onboard other than corps commander Quetta, were Pakistan Coast Guard, Major General Amjad, Comd Engineers XII Corps, Brigadier Khalid, Major Saeed (Pilot), Major Talha (Co-Pilot) and Crew Chief Nk Mudassir.
During his conversation with the army chief, PM Shehbaz expressed concern regarding safety of the six army officers including 12 Corps Commander Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali.
“Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali is an excellent professional and a very good person,” he noted. “I pray that all the people in the helicopter are safe.”
He prayed for the safe return of the brave sons of the country and appealed to the nation to observe special prayers for their safety.
“Entire nation is deeply saddened by the incident,” he said. “These dutiful sons who helped the flood victims have emerged as a great example of service.”
According to him, the “great spirit” showed by the officers and well as their families was the real strength of Pakistan.
Army chief Gen Bajwa informed Shehbaz about the ongoing search operation that has been in effect since last night.
On Monday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had said that search operation was underway. It is reported that the helicopter might have crashed and the chances of survival of all on board were slim.
According to details, the helicopter took off from Uthal at around 5:10pm on Monday and was supposed to land in Karachi at 6:05pm, but the chopper lost contact with the air traffic controller.
Rescue mission was hampered by the damage caused to the road infrastructure due to the ongoing flooding.