A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 fighter aircraft crashed near the Shakarparian area of the federal capital on Wednesday, said a statement by the armed service.
The fighter aircraft was rehearsing the upcoming March 23 parade flypast at the time of the incident.
The PAF statement added that rescue teams were dispatched towards the site of the crash and Air Headquarters has ordered a board of inquiry has been established to determine the cause of the incident.
"Wing Commander Nauman Akram embraced martyrdom in the
crash," an air force spokesman told Reuters by telephone. He was the only pilot in the aircraft, the spokesman added.
A district administration official said there was little
chance of any casualties on the ground as the plane had crashed
in the parade ground, which is largely deserted despite being in
the heart of the capital.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed deep sorrow and regret over the martyrdom of Wing Commander Numan Akram in the crash.
Expressing condolence, PM Imran prayed for patience for the bereaved family.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa also paid glowing tribute on martyrdom of the "brave-heart Wing Commander Noman Akram in the line of duty,” military media wing, the ISPR, said in a statement.
“Laying one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice one can make for defence of the motherland. May his soul rest in peace. My thoughts and sincere prayers for the bereaved family,” the army chief was quoted as saying.
The F-16 serves as the premier air defence fighter in the PAF and the first batch was acquired in the 1980s. The air force operates multiple versions of the aircraft, with the Block 52s being the most modern.
PAF's F-16 fleet has undergone multiple upgrades and remains a potent and lethal force to counter a peer adversary.
Earlier in February, a PAF trainer aircraft crashed near Takht Bhai area of Mardan district during a routine flight.
In January, two PAF pilots were martyred as an FT-7 aircraft on a routine operational training mission crashed near Mianwali.