At least four soldiers including two pilots of the Pakistani army were martyred in a helicopter crash in the northern areas of the country, the army said on late Saturday.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations’ (ISPR) statement, the helicopter crashed due to technical reasons during a casualty evacuation operation in the Minimarg area of Gilgit Baltistan.
Both pilots — Major M. Hussain and Co-Pilot Major Ayaz Hussain, Naik Inzimam Alam, and soldier Muhammad Farooq claimed martyrdom in the crash, the army confirmed.
Maj Hussain was from Skardu, Maj Ayaz from Karachi, Naik Inzimam from Chakwal while Sepoy Farooq belonged to Sahiwal.
Shocked to hear the demise news during an helicopter crash resulting in Shahadat of 2 Pakistan Army officers; Pilot Major M Hussain, Co-Pilot Major Ayaz Hussain along with 2 soldiers. May Allah bless the departed souls. Ameen #PakistanArmy #ISPR #GilgitBaltistan pic.twitter.com/NHTXzVudDn
— Malik Ali Raza (@MalikAliiRaza) December 27, 2020
The military chopper was evacuating the body of a soldier Sepoy Abdul Qadeer to Combined Military Hospital located in Skardu when it crashed.
The nation of Pakistan expresses deep grief and sorrow over the tragic helicopter crash in Gilgit-Baltistan. We pay homage to the officers and soldiers of Pakistan Army who embraced Shahadat.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones. pic.twitter.com/PHGApxz6g2
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) December 27, 2020
In April, this year, two pilots were martyred when the army aircraft crashed in the northeastern Punjab province.
Earlier, on Feb. 12, a training aircraft came down near Takht Bhai, some 63 kilometers (39 miles) from Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The pilot managed to eject safely.
On Feb. 7, a Mirage aircraft on a routine operational training mission crashed near the town of Shorkot in Punjab.
The pilot ejected safely and no loss of life or property was reported on the ground.
General Bajwa, after attending a special briefing at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in April of this year, maintained that the Pakistan Army, being part of the national effort, would not leave any stone unturned for the security and safety of the people of Pakistan. “Troops on the ground must reach out to citizens in every nook and corner of Pakistan not only to protect them against this pandemic but also for bringing comfort in this hour of distress,” the COAS said.