1st August Helicopter Crash in Pakistan
While on a flood relief operation in Balochistan, Pakistan, a top army general along with five others, were martyred in a helicopter crash on 1st August 2022 in Lasbela, Balochistan.
The army helicopter was a part of the many army relief operations that were taking place in the flood-affected areas of Balochistan, where extraordinary monsoon spells and melting glaciers had caused extreme devastation over the last two months. At the time, the country had faced the loss of over 175 lives, and experienced livelihoods, infrastructure, road networks, and food supplies being swept away. Forecasts were indicating that the flooding was only going to get worse.
The helicopter was initially reported to be missing on August 1st, 2022 after losing contact with air traffic control. However, the wreckage of the helicopter was found in Musa Goth, Windar, Lasbela the next day. According to an initial probe, the helicopter crashed due to bad weather. All 6 aboard the helicopter embraced martyrdom, including Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Sarfraz Ali, Director General Pakistan Coast Guards Brigadier (Approved Major General) Amjad Hanif, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed, Major Muhammad Talha Manan, and Naik Mudassir Fayyaz.
The whole nation prayed for and mourned the loss of these valiant individuals, who were martyred while in the line of duty to their country.
The current PM Shahbaz Sharif tweeted, “Nation is deeply grieved on the martyrdom of Lt. General Sarfraz Ali & 5 other officers of Pakistan Army. They were doing a sacred duty of providing relief to flood affectees. Will remain eternally indebted to these sons of the soil. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families!.”
Lt. General Sarfraz Ali
Lt. General Sarfraz Ali, hailing from Sialkot, was the commander of the Pakistani Army’s XII Corps from December 2020 till August 2022. He belonged to 79 Long Course and was a part of the 6 Azad Kashmir Regiment. While the current Army Chief was commanding 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali was commanding the Triple One Brigade.
Lt. Gen. Sarfraz later also served as Pakistan’s Defense Attaché in America. After returning to Pakistan, he was appointed Commandant of Staff College Quetta, and later served as DGMI from 2018 to December 2019. He also served as IGFC Balochistan from January to December 2020.
Lt. Gen. Sarfraz Ali also rendered high military services in Swat and Waziristan operations and was awarded the Tamgha-i-Basalat medal twice for his bravery.
His father, Ch. Dewan Ali was part of the Pakistan Air Force. He is now survived by his wife, a daughter, and two sons. His son Captain Ahmed Sarfraz is serving in the Pakistani Army as a captain and was his ADC.
His son paid a small tribute to him online, and addressed him with “the most daring hiker, the most spirited motivation I’ve ever had, and the best Papa in the world. You never ceased to amaze me. A true legacy that I’m too weak to follow.”
Aside from being an exceptional father, Lt. General Sarfraz Ali Shaheed was reported to be an excellent commander, one who remained positive in the face of adversity, and was known to be a great source of motivation for those around him.
Journalist Mati Ullah Jan tweeted, “‘JC Sarfraz from JC 18 Abdali Coy reporting’ echo in ears. RIP my dear. I had a secret wish to see you as COAS. He was a sergeant who inspired & cared about his Abdali juniors. Meticulous about academic notes/uniform”.
Ex-PM Imran Khan tweeted, “I had the privilege of knowing Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali whom I found to be a thorough professional & an upright, honest human being.”
Brig (Approved Major General) Amjad Hanif Shaheed
Brig (Approved Maj Gen) Amjad Hanif belonged to Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, and was serving as Director General Coast Guard. He was extremely hard working, was known for his morals, and was appreciated for his sense of humor.
The martyred officer was commissioned in the Azad Kashmir Regiment in April 1994 and had been serving the Pakistan Army in various positions since then. Brig (Approved Major General) Amjad Hanif leaves behind his wife, one daughter, and two sons.
Brigadier Muhammad Khalid Shaheed
Commander Engineer 12 Corps Brigadier Muhammad Khalid belonged to Faisalabad. He was commissioned in 20 Engineer Battalion in October 1994. Brigadier Khalid was known for his patience, and his caring attitude towards the people around him.
Major Saeed Shaheed
Pilot Major Saeed belonged to Sajawal Tunio, Larkana. He had six sisters, and five brothers, and was the youngest among 12 siblings. He initially belonged to Artillery but eventually applied for Aviation, and was selected. Major Saeed was known to be extremely dedicated and hardworking. He was around 32 years at the time of the crash, and is survived by his wife, his daughter, and his son.
Major Talha Manan Shaheed
Assistant pilot Major Muhammad Talha Manan belonged to Rawalpindi. He has left behind his wife and his two sons. He was known for his dedication to his work.
Chief Naik Mudassar Fayyaz Shaheed
Chief Naik Mudassar Fayyaz belonged to Shakargarh, Narowal, and was part of the helicopter crew at the time of the crash.
As a tribute to all the martyrs of the helicopter crash in Lasbela, Pakistan, someone shared a poem as tribute:
“Shaheed ki Jo Mout hai Wo Qoum ki Hayaat Hai,
Lahu Jo Hai Shaheed Ka, Wo Qoum ki Zakaat Hai”
“The death of a martyr is the life of the nation,
The blood of the martyr is the sacrifice of the nation”
All the martyrs were buried with full military honors, with senior military and government officials attending the funerals. The floods have since affected over 33 million people, with innumerable losses of lives, livestock, and infrastructure. The Pakistan Army has increased the relief efforts for the flood affectees, and by the end of August, over 40,000 people had been moved to safer areas and over 137 relief camps were established by the army. Moreover, 23,000 people were provided medical aid through around 200 temporary army medical centers.
While publishing this piece, the Paradigm Shift team was deeply saddened to hear about another army helicopter crash in Pakistan on September 26th, 2022 near Khost, Harnai, Balochistan.
“A helicopter on a flying mission crashed late last night. Six personnel – including two army majors [both pilots] embraced shahadat [martyrdom] in the crash,” the military said in a statement.
The martyred officers are Major Khurram Shahzad (39), Major Muhammad Muneeb Afzal (30), Sub Abdul Wahid (44), Sepoy Muhammad Imran (27), Nk Jalil (30), and Sepoy Shoaib (35).
The funeral prayers of the martyred soldiers were held at Quetta Garrison, Balochistan, and were attended by Corps Commander Balochistan Lieutenant General Asif Ghafoor among other senior military and civilian officials. The brave soldiers will be buried with full military honors in their hometowns.
We salute the brave soldiers and officers of the Pakistan Army, who leave behind their families, and continually risk their lives for the betterment, security, and welfare of our beloved country.
May God elevate their ranks in their final abodes, Ameen.
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