According to the military’s media wing, the campaign has “caused deep anguish and distress among martyred families and rank and file of the armed forces”.
“While the whole nation stood by the institution in this difficult time, certain insensitive quarters resorted to hurtful and derogatory comments on social media which is unacceptable and highly condemnable,” the ISPR added.
The helicopter went missing after losing contact with the air traffic control on Monday. The military mounted a search operation which was stymied by the difficult mountainous terrain of Lasbela district.
On Tuesday, the wreckage of the helicopter was found in a coastal district of the province and none of the six officers and crew on board could survive the crash, the military’s media wing said.
Commander 12 Corps Lieutenant General Sarfaraz Ali, Major General Amjad Hanif, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed, Major M Talha Manan and Naik Mudassar Fayyaz were on board the Mi-17 helicopter of Army Aviation.
Lt Gen Ali was supervising relief operations in Balochistan, which has been hit hard by flash floods triggered by the heavy monsoon rains in the province.
“The wreckage of the unfortunate helicopter which was on flood relief operations has been found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela [district of Balochistan],” DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar wrote on his verified Twitter handle.
“All six officers and soldiers, including Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali embraced shahadat [martyrdom],” it added in the tweet. “As per initial investigations, the accident occurred due to bad weather.”
On Wednesday, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa attended the funeral prayers of Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, Major General Amjad Hanif and Brigadier Muhammad Khalid who embraced martyrdom in the crash.
According to the military’s media wing, the COAS visited the families of Lt Gen Ali and Brig Khalid as well as the family of Lt Colonel Laiq Baig Mirza who embraced martyrdom in Ziarat.
The mortal remains of the martyrs’ crash were moved to Rawalpindi through helicopter. The martyrs were buried with full military honours, the ISPR added.