US helicopter wreckage: Pakistan denies giving China access

Published: August 16, 2011
The army spokesman accused the foreign media of launching a malicious campaign against Pakistan's security forces. PHOTO: AFP

The army spokesman accused the foreign media of launching a malicious campaign against Pakistan's security forces. PHOTO: AFP


Pakistan has denied that China was given access to the wreckage of the US stealth helicopter that crashed during the Bin Laden raid in Abbottabad on May 2.

“It is baseless and speculative,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Tehmina Janjua, in response to the report that appeared in London-based newspaper The Financial Times.

Citing unnamed Pakistani officials, the paper claimed that the Chinese were allowed to take pictures of the crashed chopper as well as take samples of its special ‘skin’ that helped the American navy SEALs evade Pakistani radars.

During the raid, one of two modified Blackhawk helicopters, believed to have unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.

“The US now has information that Pakistan, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, gave the Chinese military access to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” the paper quoted a person in intelligence circles as saying.

The revelation, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the US-Pakistan relationship, which has improved only slightly after hitting its lowest point in decades following the Bin Laden raid.

However, the paper said Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani also denied that China had been given access.

The surviving tail section, photos of which were widely distributed on the Internet, was returned to the US following a trip by US Senator John Kerry in May, a US embassy spokesperson told Reuters.

Shortly after the raid, Pakistan hinted that it might give China access to the downed chopper, given its fury over the raid, which it considers a grievous violation of its sovereignty.

In an incident such as the helicopter crash, it is standard American procedure to destroy sophisticated technology such as encrypted communications and navigation computers.

Meanwhile, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Athar Abbas has also denied the assertion. The foreign media, he said, are launching a malicious campaign against Pakistan’s security organisations. “They [media outlets] need to verify and cross-check [information] rather than relying on unnamed
officials,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (47)

  • Malik Sajjad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:20AM



  • Aug 16, 2011 - 2:27AM

    It appears that the Pakistan Army, despite the practice, still hasnt sharpened its skills to rebut news. Is this the best that they can come up with? The FT has launched a “malicious campaign” against Pakistans security forces? Can you guys please come up with something more constructive then that? Yes we get it, the whole world is out to get us!


  • ba-ha
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:37AM

    The financial times itself is devoid of any intelligence what source can they possibly have?


  • mirza's dad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:45AM

    Who cares what the western media say now.ISI gave america the helicopter back and gave ISI access. ISI is not standing up for Pakistan.The time for young nationalist to take over the government


  • Realist.
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:50AM

    this News is So overrated.
    I mean whats the big deal?


  • Amjad
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:03AM

    Why should the military even bother to refute these senseless allegations. The reality is that there is a group of dedicated anti Pakistani lobbyists working for India in the US. Their job is to stir up some anti Pakistan story ever few months to turn public opinion against us. These people will stop at nothing to make up stories. Pakistan has suffered more than any Western nation for the price paid in this “War on Terror”.


  • Maulana Diesel
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:52AM

    i dont trust a single word that these idiots in the FT or the Wall Street Journal write. Now we know from the News of the World saga how these reporters get their news. This story just seems like it has been planted by the CIA to put further pressure on Pakistan and get one back against China after the Chinese roasted the US after the S&P downgrade.


  • Aug 16, 2011 - 4:24AM

    For a change … why not Sue them ? what say Pak Army Spokesman ?


  • fahim
    Aug 16, 2011 - 4:43AM

    do you think anyone believes it? as a paki i dont believe it and u expect other countries?


  • Munawar Yousaf
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:04AM

    And so what if Pakistan did show the helicopter illegally left on our sovereign land to anyone we want?!? Isn’t it ours to keep, dissect, show to our friends, heck just toss around for fun? Damn thing clearly wasn’t wanted by those who deliberately blew it up and left it behind! And who wouldn’t want to see how a helicopter blows up with nobody inside it!!!

    We need to stop denying and apologizing for what we have a right to do! Let’s just try, “yeah we did and will do it again because as the US president made the whole world believe in his election campaign…”yes, we can!!!”


  • Aug 16, 2011 - 5:07AM

    Well this is crazy! Stop denying it and say we did it because we had every right. We will do as we please Recommend

  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:27AM

    Well looking the prior antics of Pak Army I think the news has some substance. Why do we as Pakistanis believe the whole world is out to get us? Yet we have terrorists who have been caught living in the country from time to time? Ramzi Yousef, Osama, Bali Bomber, Dawood etc! Unless the Pak Military ups the ante we are going to be a mercenary state with anyone able to do the bidding, provided we get the highest price and that is too distributed amongst the people who make the decisions. The common man gets nothing but more disrespect. This nation is in decline and its just time before we implode. ( pls print this I have seen that anything I write on which is not your line of thinking you moderate, If you want to practice moderation then have the comment section otherwise learn to respect others views)


  • Salman
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:58AM

    Why we handed that helicopter back to US at first place ?


  • Arvind Mehraa
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:02AM

    How long will the ISI and the Pak Army,
    play the LP record on both sides,
    simultaneously? Can’t be done.
    Give it up. And come over to the right side.
    The US and India are better friends,
    and offer considerably better models for
    bringing together a diverse polity,
    than China can ever hope to offer. Recommend

  • Aug 16, 2011 - 6:20AM

    It’s funny that US or anyone else has a problem with sharing this technology, isn’t China the country who owns the largest part of US debt, didn’t US just loose it’s credit rating and it’s now similar to China’s ? China is focusing on growing it’s economy and is beating US fairly while US is deep in the world of setting arm bases and making war crafts. US’s economy is dead, it really needs to stop feeding it’s corporates through war industry and instead focus on the life of an average American. Otherwise, they are dead.


  • Arindom
    Aug 16, 2011 - 8:11AM

    What a pathetic reply!!

    The establishment if it had even an iota of self-respect would have said – “This is an foreign helicopter that entered Pakistan illegally and crashed after developing mechanical problems. We have taken possession of it’s remains and we reserve the right to do as we please – give it to the Chinese, the Mongolians, the Turks, or the local Garbage collector – as we see fit”.

    At least this would have improved the image of the establishment somewhat – instead of grovelling and denying!!


  • Maher
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:05AM

    Pakistan might have given access to China to the Chopper. Its our standard procedure. First we deny then we accept..


  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:20AM

    Does the army’s denial confirm the news which appeared in NY Times also?


  • Mirza
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:33AM

    You can deny Financial Times, but today it is NY Times. How about that?


  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Shshhhhh… dont accept it… just continue to deny it.. We are a great nation and we dont do things like this.


  • Ranjit
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:57AM

    I can’t believe that Pak Army gave the helicopter debri to Chinese. Why? Who is giving billions in aid to Pakistan? US or China? It just doesn’t make sense.

    But then inspite of Jihadis causing terror menace all over Pakistan, you have Lashkar-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed running around freely and mouthing off. That doesn’t make sense either.


  • Pundit
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:01AM

    I am sure that in the near future a joint venture between Pakistan and China will commence manufacture of Stealth Helicopters based on indigenous technology.

    And it will be called Osama I.


  • Pundit
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:05AM

    “Meanwhile, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Athar Abbas has also denied the assertion. “

    It time that ISPR started printing a daily newswpaper named Denial Times where in it can deny whatever needs to be denied.

    After all the volume of denials is so high…………….


  • Tony
    Aug 16, 2011 - 10:29AM

    This subject isn’t amusing by any means,however what is almost amusing is some of the comments seen on here..”We had every right” NO you didnt,its obviously top secret U.S. technology,and it is still U.S. property….”And so what if Pakistan did show the helicopter illegally left on our sovereign land to anyone we want?!? Isn’t it ours to keep, dissect, show to our friends, heck just toss around for fun? Damn thing clearly wasn’t wanted by those who deliberately blew it up and left it behind!”… Really?you can’t be serious,illegally left on your sovereign soil?I guess the thousands of deaths from 9/11 attacks being mass murder being illegal is none of your concern because it wasn’t on your “sovereign soil”,and it was clearly blown up deliberately to protect the top secret technology,not because we were throwing away trash…how ignorant can you possibly be?
    Do i agree with our goverments decisions involving this war?no i don’t…not in the least.
    To be perfectly honest with you I find it pointless that we destroy everything just to rebuild it,and then train your military to defend itself…you should be greatful we do anything for your people.I dont see anyone from pakistan coming to help rebuild anything blown up on our soil as a result or attacks from your people.
    It’s totally ignorant remarks by people like this that incite racisim toward your people in the middle east….YOU should be ashamed of yourself,you give your own people a bad name.


  • Ray of Hope
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:10AM

    The problem is that our Media is actually funded from outside that is why they cannot keep the state secrets, they always want to spread sensation, they dont know what news has to be published and what not. Learn lessons from the media of European countries that always keep their countries sovereign and print only those news which are not the state secrets.


  • Amir
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:26AM

    “The Pakistan now has information that US, particularly the Central Intelligence agency (CIA) ,
    still keeps Usama Bin Laden as alive to lodge another 911 style attack in UK which allow US to invade Pakistan”

    I am telling the above information on the condition of anonymity because I am not allowed to speak to the media on such an sensitive issue.


  • Amir
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:27AM

    “The Pakistan now has information that US, particularly the Central Intelligence agency (CIA) , still keeps Usama Bin Laden as alive to lodge another 911 style attack in UK which allow US to invade Pakistan”

    I am telling the above information on the condition of anonymity because I am not allowed to speak to the media on such an sensitive issue.


  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:32AM

    I don’t understand the fuzz here!!

    What’s the big deal if even Pakistan shared secrete of falling copters with china! There is no legal binding on Pakistan not to share the wreckage of falling helicopter with china.

    China already has stealth technology and there are thousands of Chinese living in US who are working day and night to get the technological secrets from US and Pass it to their country.


  • Ahmad M. Qamar
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:05PM

    The government of Pakistan should either prosectue the Financial Times for fabrication or sue them for undermining their dignity. The Financial Times will come to their senses.


  • Maulana Diesel
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:38PM

    @Mirza….the NYT has zero credibility. This is the same newspaper that published stories, leaked by the Bush administration, that said that Saddam was buying uranium from Niger which was used as a pretext by the US to invade Iraq.

    I would much rather read The Onion!


  • Nikos Retsos
    Aug 16, 2011 - 5:17PM

    The U.S. may be buttering Pakistan’s bread with a few $ millions now, but Pakistan sees China as a better ally and business partner in the future. And allowing Chinese military experts to take a few design secrets from the downed U.S. helicopter was a good way for Pakistan to cement the Chinese friendship. After all, the U.S. – Pakistan alliance has always been a facade behind which hostility has simmered unabated for years. And when about 90% of Pakistanis see the U.S. as an arrogant superpower who has treated Pakistan as a hunting ground and a bombing range, any claim of an alliance or of friendship with the U.S. has always been a laughing matter. And, if the U.S. helicopter examination by Chinese weapons experts tell us anything, it tells us that “the Chinese will have the last laugh” on which big power eventually prevails in Central Asia over the long term. Better yet, the Chinese will come on top without firing a shot, while the U.S. has wasted 10 years of war for nothing more than thousands of its servicemen coming back from Afghanistan with missing body parts and limbs, and with a suicidal mentality that has turned them into uncontrollable psychopaths!

    The former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has always claimed that “the Chinese are smarter than us (Americans).” He is correct. We do the wars, and the Chinese harvest
    the hostility and the hatred our warmongering has caused in the local states by being the good guys in the region. And with Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin calling of the U.S. “a parasite” recently, plus Russia’s traditional big influence in Central Asia, Pakistan has started to re-align itself with the states that will control Central Asia when the U.S. throw in the towel in Afghanistan. That should have happened already, but Barack Obama just cannot swallow a defeat in Afghanistan which would probably cause him a defeat on his 2012 re-election. On the meantime, the future winners – Pakistan and China- have started already to share the spoils! Nikos Retsos, retired professor


  • ss
    Aug 16, 2011 - 6:45PM

    I do not think that Pakistan might have done it but if they did, they did the right thing.


  • Aug 16, 2011 - 8:46PM
  • Aug 16, 2011 - 8:53PM

    What if Pakistan did indeed let China see the copter tail?
    For details:

  • Aug 16, 2011 - 9:00PM

    US officials accused Pakistan of giving the Chinese access to the US helicopter that crashed in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The chopper was put on fire by the US commodes so that no one could get access to the latest stealth technology used in the copter, but its tail that fell across a wall remained largely intact.
    The US officials say the Chinese engineers were allowed to take photos of the tail and take specimens. The allegation was denied by the Pakistani authorities on Monday.
    But for the sake of argument let us assume the accusation is right. Then what? Is it illegal for a state to do anything with the armory and machines used illegally on its territory? Was it right to make a raid inside a state without its permission – for whatever purpose?
    O well, I myself posted Dr Millhouse story on the same blog on August 10 wherein she claimed the US raid was carried out under a deal with Pakistan’s ISI. We Pakistanis reject such shadowy deals, and we would never want any military or civilian scoundrels to make any deals on our behalf, be it keeping of Osma, as Millhouse asserted, or any other action that compromises our sovereignty.
    We Pakistanis do not condone the American act of aggression, even though it was for a good purpose. But we condemn terrorism, be it by non-sate actors or by a state. And given that the Americans even did not bother to tender an apology from the Pakistanis for the gross misconduct, I as a Pakistani feel it perfectly right to help a reliable friendly state with whatever ruins are left behind as a result of a trespassing on my land. If it comes out tomorrow that our army did in fact allow Chinese access to the copter tail, we will endorse their action and stand by them.


  • hassan
    Aug 16, 2011 - 9:30PM


    A close friend of mine, who used to help me financially whenever I had a problem, stayed in my house for some time.

    We had a major argument one day, and he left the house in hurry. I noticed that, in his hurry, he had left his expensive sun glasses at my home.

    Since, I don’t use sun glasses, I sold it immediately. My friend asks, why did you do this? You should have returned this to me, at least, for old times’ sake? Is it ethical to do this?

    I told him,”Don’t be stupid. I can do whatever I want which is in my house!”

    PS: Next month, my housing loan installment falls due. I hope he helps me out financially, like he used to do before, without keeping the above trifling episode in his mind.Recommend

  • Truthbetold
    Aug 16, 2011 - 11:27PM

    @Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi:

    “Yet we have terrorists who have been caught living in the country from time to time? Ramzi Yousef, Osama, Bali Bomber, Dawood etc! Unless the Pak Military ups the ante we are going to be a mercenary state with anyone able to do the bidding, provided we get the highest price”

    Umair, a very sensible post.

    As for your comment above, terrorists have been sheltered, nurtured, supported and trained in Pakistan for over three decades and Pakistan has indeed been a mercenary state for the past six decades.


  • Samad Javed
    Aug 17, 2011 - 4:28AM

    What India had been for three decades>? 100,000 Kashmiris dead and disappeared? A Terrorist nation.

    @Arvind Mehraa:
    They are on the right side. Same side as of Afghans. You are and were on the wrong side always. First with Soviets who got defeated and Now with NATO. Who can not hold their Positions there fo too long. Thats the reality. So come on the right side.


  • Tango-News
    Aug 17, 2011 - 5:23AM

    This is an another tidbits from dunken donut shop. You wonder why every two weeks CCIIAA release these tidbits to press against Pakistan.


  • Indian
    Aug 17, 2011 - 7:34AM

    No matter what Pakistan did, we are going to accuse Pakistan of something.


  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 17, 2011 - 8:20AM

    Pakistan was trying to impress China and show them their allegiance… unfortunately our state’s actions on the side have back fired the attempt to charm them. The support to Uigher rebels and attack in China which China blames directly on Pakistan based Uighers and their Pakistani masters made Gen Pasha’s Beijing trip interesting. Pakistan unfortunately is lost in time they think China will support them against India and that will now not happen because the economic ties with India are far more vital. US & China have same security concerns in Afghanistan. The only advantage Pakistan has is access to Indian Ocean so that they can provide but that wont be an equals dealing it will be a master and puppet so if Pakistanis believe China will stand by our side thick and thin then they have failed to appreciate China’s evolution. US, China and India are joined at the hip economically and we dont come in that equation. Rivalries are their but antagonism is not.
    If Pakistanis believe China will bank roll them even then they are gravely mistaken.
    Showing the wreckage is sign of weakness on part of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aug 17, 2011 - 11:46AM

    Your analogy and argument is very interesting but somewhat misplaced. State relations are much different form personal relations. Being a weak nation we need assistance, but the question is on what terms. I prefer loans from China to those from the US for many reasons. You remember what response Pakistanis got from China on their recent appeal for help. The Chinese said: “Well gentlemen, we are ready to help you as always, but we are not going to give you cash; we would rather provide funds for such projects as could generate employment for your people and contribute to your long-term development.” But, you know, our leaders always prefer cash to stuff their own pockets.
    By the way have you read John Perkinis’ Confessions Of An Economic HItman. Please read it and I am sure you would no more seek American credit.


  • Anjum
    Aug 18, 2011 - 1:09AM

    LOL. I’m very sorry, but get some advise from some clever persons.


  • Anjum
    Aug 18, 2011 - 3:00AM

    if anyone commenting here has not read and seen John Perkins book/interviews and also read our own Ayesha Saddiquis “Military Inc” beforehand, i take their comments as naive or malliceous! Period. Pak Zindabad.


  • I M American
    Aug 18, 2011 - 4:59AM

    All you Pakistanis who are loyal to a Pakistan/Chinese friendship, just one comment I must make. Look at how the Chinese government treats it’s own people. I’ll leave it there.


  • i am baloch
    Aug 19, 2011 - 4:52AM

    @ i am american……….you are right…china is a country which aims high and watching itself the next super power…it is not pakistan’s relative,which will stand up for pakistan in a bad situation..its friendship is for its own cause…like we say in war “each man for himself”
    and a message for pakistanies

    .and about pakistan! its a country which was came into existance i dont know for what.
    to kill people?dont u pakistanis see pakistan killing its own people,the pashtuns and baloch.
    dont u worry Baloch will soon get independence, u dont have to kill them any more


  • Amir
    Aug 19, 2011 - 7:06AM

    @i am baloch:
    As long as US/NATO/India is in Afganistan, enjoy your so called freedom movement. I bet you will be bubble out as they all moved out of this territory. Balochs are patriotic people and love Pakistan.
    Its all about those Fueds who have been sucking the money on Royalities and when the taps are close they are raising slogans of independance by misleading the poors.
    You must be the one kind


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