The wreckage of the ill-fated Army Aviation helicopter, which went missing a day earlier, has been found and the military's media wing has confirmed that all six passengers onboard have embraced martyrdom in the crash.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the wreckage was found in the Musa Goth area of Windar in Lasbela district.
In a statement on Twitter, the military's media wing said "the wreckage of unfortunate hel[icopter] which was on flood relief op[erations] found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela."
The wreckage of unfortunate hel which was on flood relief ops found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela. All 6 offrs & sldrs incl Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali embraced shahadat. اِنّا لِلَّٰهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
Accident occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations . DTF pic.twitter.com/dnyano2vqC
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) August 2, 2022
"All six officers and soldiers including Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali embraced shahadat [martyrdom]," it added.
It maintained that the accident had occurred due to bad weather as per initial investigations.
Commander 12 Corps Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, who was supervising Balochistan’s relief operations in the ill-fated copter, Brigadier Amjad Hanif, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed, Major M Talha Manan and Naik Mudassar Fayyaz embraced martyrdom.
General Sarfaraz was a veteran of military operations conducted during the war on terror and was awarded the Tamgha Basalat twice for gallantry on the battlefield.
He is survived by his wife, three sons and three daughters. A native of Lahore, the general officer was commissioned 6 Azad Kashmir Regiment in March 1989 and served for 33 years in Pakistan Army.
Major General Amjab Hanif, director general Pakistan Coast Guard, is survived by his wife and a daughter and two sons. He belonged to Rawalkoy in AJK and was commissioned in the 19 Azad Kashmir Regiment in April 1994 and served for 29 years in Pakistan Army.
President calls COAS
President Dr Arif Alvi called Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to offer his condolences for the martyrs of the Balochistan helicopter incident.
President Alvi expressed deep grief and sorrow over the martyrdom of the military officials and soldiers and extended his condolences to their families.
“The dutiful sons of the nation were engaged in flood relief work in Balochistan, and embraced martyrdom while working with great zeal, hard work and dedication to fulfil their duty and serve the nation,” he stated.
The president mentioned his meeting with Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Sarfaraz Ali during his visit to Gwadar, recalling that he found Sarfaraz to be a “very capable, intelligent, and dutiful officer”.
According to the COAS, bad weather during the rescue operations and reduced visibility led to the incident.
Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had expressed concern over the missing helicopter during his telephonic conversation with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Read: Copter with army general on board goes missing
The premier had called the COAS to inquire about the latest update on the rescue operation of the aviation helicopter, which was on flood relief operations in Balochistan’s Lasbela.
During his telephonic conversation with Gen Bajwa, PM Shehbaz had prayed for the safe return of Commander 12 Corps Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, who was supervising the relief operations.
He had termed Lt Gen Ali an "outstanding professional" and a "wonderful human being".
The prime minister had also said the entire nation was deeply saddened over the incident and had prayed for the safe return of the "brave sons of the soil".
On Monday, the ISPR had said in a statement that as many as six individuals were missing after the Army Aviation copter lost contact with the air traffic control (ATC)