Pakistan sends back Indian helicopter after refueling

Published: October 24, 2011
In this photograph taken on January 28, 2010, an Indian Army Chetak helicopter, a licence-built version of the French Alouette III and successor of the smaller Cheetah utility helicopter, makes a fly-past during a National Cadet Corps (NCC) parade in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

In this photograph taken on January 28, 2010, an Indian Army Chetak helicopter, a licence-built version of the French Alouette III and successor of the smaller Cheetah utility helicopter, makes a fly-past during a National Cadet Corps (NCC) parade in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI/GILGIT: India and Pakistan proved their commitment  to the peace process on Sunday when an  Indian Army helicopter that ‘strayed’ into Pakistan territory was returned with four army officials aboard after the courtesy of refueling by the Pakistan Army.

In the past, such an incident may have led to heightened tensions between the two countries. But the hotlines already present between the directors-general of military operations of the two countries were immediately activated, explanations sought and given and the helicopter returned before sunset.

An Indian army officer said: “It is a rough area. The Line of Control (LoC) is not a straight line. Therefore, if the weather is not good, a helicopter can land in the wrong area in an emergency, or even on the other side of the LoC. Civilian aircrafts have right to land in any country in case of emergency, as per international law. But as this was not a civilian aircraft, naturally there was an investigation.”

The Pakistan Army said an Indian army helicopter came 40 kilometres inside Pakistani territory, in the Olding sector of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The chopper was carrying three officers and one enlisted man. It was forced to land in Ahmedabad, a small town in Gilgit-Baltistan, at around 1 pm.  An army official, who wished to remain anonymous, said the helicopter, along with the four Indian military officials, was allowed to return after “intervention at the highest level.”

Before the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2004, the LoC was one of the most volatile borders between India and Pakistan where crossfire between forces stations alongside the frontier was a routine matter.

“The helicopter had come deep into our airspace. It was forced to land,” military spokesperson Major-General Athar Abbas told Reuters.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2011.


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Reader Comments (54)

  • Pragmatist
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:19AM

    Thanks…and PLEASE don’t send the bill for the fuel.


  • Dinesh Dey
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:05AM

    Thanks a lot, my Pakistani brethren. Even 5 years ago, this would have been a major incident with very little hope of either the helicopter or the 4 men ever being able to return. Thanks a lot, again.


  • observer
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:13AM

    A heartfelt thanks. May the peace tribe increase.


    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:41AM

    India and Pakistan amicably resolved what could have snowballed as a major crisis by allowing the Indian chopper to fly back to India. The Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said “We greatly appreciate the manner in which Pakistan worked with us in resolving the matter.”


  • breitzer
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:45AM

    Pakistan Showed his cleaned arms…and atleast media and other agencies did not presented as a major threat or something…So we hope that India would reciprocate in same way in future…


  • Oct 24, 2011 - 10:46AM

    Friendly relations has taken start, hope, would grow/


  • vasan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:56AM

    Appreciate the gesture from “Very high level”


  • Sabz
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:11AM

    This is what you call a hospitable welcome. Pakistan has all the abilities and skills to tackle any sort of situation under any kind of circumstances. Well done.


  • Awais Ullah
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:24AM

    Good news. It’s time we all showed some maturity. Makes me proud.


  • Saleem Khan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:44AM

    Friendly relations start but I wish these continue this time forever. Every time some thing bad happens and escalates tensions between 2 nations.

    Media must play role of highlighting good deeds from both sides of borders and maximum avoid to cover wrong statements. We need to change perception for each others otherwise there is not a big difference between common man living on each side of border.

    God bless this region and let us work towards regional prosperity and development. Patience and tolerance can help us a lot.


  • Chacha
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:45AM

    It is from acts like this, that one can see a genuine desire of peace. Hope our Indian leaders can also reciprocate when called upon.

    We owe you one !


  • Oct 24, 2011 - 12:03PM

    we must appreciate and initiate friendly relations with Our Neighbor countries.


  • vasan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:14PM

    The above comments by Pakistanis and Indians give me hope for peace’


  • Anoop M
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:16PM

    Very prompt and positive move by Pakistan. Much before Media hawks and hardliners get into the act to make positions hard for both . Appreciate Pakistani Government good gesture . Let us all build upon this good will .


  • Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi
    Oct 24, 2011 - 12:33PM

    Who will pay for the Fuel? No doubt the country is unable to pay PSO and other companies when all of the customers get fuel for free!


  • Cityboy
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:24PM

    Chanakya strategy by india. .they made pak to fuel the empty tank helicopterRecommend

  • zalim singh
    Oct 24, 2011 - 1:50PM

    do you accept VISA?


  • Cityboy
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Thank u pakistan. it was chankya strategy by indian pilot. He wanted to fuel the empty tank with Pakistani fuel as aviation fuel is very much costly nowadays..


  • Abdul
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:12PM

    Please donot worry abt the fuel cost. Pak army can manage its budget which for your information, is only 2.4 % of the GDP after taking inflation into account.
    And indian brothers thankyou for all the hearty comments. I hope and wish that you do not potray negativity in your comments on other topics.


  • Ashish
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:15PM

    If India and Pak Join hands we can refuel all US Airplane and send them back out of the subconitinent ….. It will save Money / Fuel / Life & Relation.


  • sick of this nonsense
    Oct 24, 2011 - 2:45PM

    @ cityboy and pragmatist.. consider this charity


  • rehman
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:00PM

    i can see light at the end of the tunnel. pak-hind dosti zindabaad


  • Ali
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:07PM

    Well done! a mistake can happen by anyone theres no need to make a big deal out of it. Shows there is some maturity happening in the peace process. gives us hope for the future. Maybe one day these two militaries can even work together!


  • Jahanzeb Khan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Pashtoons can do the job alone. Thanks for the offer though.!!!!
    We always give hope and friendship gestures to everyone. Don’t you remember your 4 sailors on Somali ship? Ransom was arranged by Ansar Burney trust. And PNS Babar rescued them. If someone wants to be blind, There is no remedy for that.
    @zalim singh:
    Naw, Fuel was free. If you don’t have face worth two pennies, at least talk a dollar worth. LOL. Learn to appreciate good gesture.
    @Anoop M:
    When will we see some good gesture from you? Such a Big country with heart of a ……? Never Mind!!!
    @Dinesh Dey:
    See !!! Not always we are bad. Bad with the bad guys.
    Don’t worry. This time it’s free fuel. Next time you show up, we will charge double price for the fuel. :)


  • imindian
    Oct 24, 2011 - 4:12PM

    @Dinesh Dey:

    They have taken a smart decision otherwise they had to face indian air force attack.

    I am sure they will use this incident to divert their internal and USA pressure.


  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Oct 24, 2011 - 4:56PM

    Now I know where to come when I run out of fuel :-)


  • Asif Butt
    Oct 24, 2011 - 5:00PM

    keep dreaming…..Recommend

  • Pundit
    Oct 24, 2011 - 5:34PM

    for the next IPL Finals…pls send 10 helicopters….will be refueled and garlanded!Recommend

  • vasan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 5:51PM

    Jahanzeb Khan : Friendly gestures from the civilians on both sides have always been there. Remember the free heart surgery done in India for the Pakistani children . Ask their parents about Indian hospitality.
    But special appreciation this time because the gesture is from PAK ARMY


  • Ahmed
    Oct 24, 2011 - 6:23PM

    Indian Air Defence Control situated in your bedroom?? next you’ll be saying India had already launched a couple of nukes, but were ‘recalled’ after Pakistan re-fueled the helicopter…Recommend

  • Sajjad Hussain
    Oct 24, 2011 - 6:30PM

    Would the Indian Army do the same.


  • Jan sher
    Oct 24, 2011 - 6:54PM

    Oh WOW~ If your Air force were worth anything, you would not have surrendered to Chinese on your own soil. Big Mouth and small talks. Learn to appreciate or take a hike. You think People who can fight with Americans and Soviets are scared of you Mr. Hercules? Just Stop dreaming. Idols of Grandeur are not hard to break. Just observe how two super Power got defeated by poor and backward ( as compare to the Invaders) Pashtoons. No one is greater than God. This is the one principal on which Super powers are defeated by Pashtoon resistance. You think You are greater Power than them?

    Why don’t you try to come over with a chopper ? Let’s see if you return? You never Know until you come here. Recommend

  • Achoowehshi
    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:37PM

    What? Will we not see another “Veer Zara”???


    Oct 24, 2011 - 7:38PM

    @Sajjad Hussain:
    In India its the civilian govt and not army who takes all decisions on matters pertaining to foreign and defence affairs. I am sure this favour would be returned by India if any such intrusion is not delibrate or intential.


  • Jan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 8:58PM

    its because of people like you that there is so much hostility.
    never forget ” Hathi ke daant…khanay ke aur dekhane ke aur….”


  • Jan
    Oct 24, 2011 - 9:00PM


    don’t forget who foot the bill to rescue Pakistanis AND Indians from a Ship hijacked by somali pirates….no one from the Indian side came to the rescue of their own citizens even.


  • Jude
    Oct 24, 2011 - 10:27PM

    After all… We all are brothers and our motherland is one for thousands of years before 1947… Lets leave the past and look forward – learn to like each other…


  • Dinesh Dey
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:34PM

    @Jude: Indians and Pakistanis share a lot of love in foreign countries. They usually stick together and help one another outside the subcontinent. My Pakistani friends in fact even regularly attend our cultural functions where I live in the US. Its only within the subcontinent that the hatred starts.


  • Babloo
    Oct 24, 2011 - 11:34PM

    One day, Skardu may just be a regular gas-pump stop for Indian airforce, employing locals in Indian support effort.


  • Ehtesham Ali
    Oct 25, 2011 - 12:13AM

    Sooner or later, Peace will win, inshallah.
    Lets Pray For Peace…!


  • Sid
    Oct 25, 2011 - 12:56AM

    Hold on every one. What if sooner or later, the helicopter develops some technical fault on return. It will take no time to accuse Pakistan for fueling the chopper with some sweet sugar added it ! LOL !!


  • Ali Akbar Khan
    Oct 25, 2011 - 2:27AM

    @Babloo: You are perfectly right: India will become a Muslim-majority country by 2025, after which there will be no reason for hostilities between India and Pakistan. Skardu will then become a refueling station for both our armies.


  • Hamid
    Oct 25, 2011 - 2:36AM

    @Pragmatist: Don’t think small with your small brain. We returned your four men alive, we could have used your helicoptor and killed your men for the wild animals if we were so cheap as you think. This is a goodwill gesture and let it be that way.


  • American Desi
    Oct 25, 2011 - 3:55AM

    If only both the countries could extend the same courtesy to the common people and fishermen who cross to the other side of botder inadvertently?! Shame on this immature behavior. US heat has made khakis lose some swagger for sure.


  • Sun-Rise
    Oct 25, 2011 - 5:55AM

    @Umair Waheed Sheikh, Khayban e Hafiz,IBA Karachi

    Buddy you remind me of a friend who send private messages to his relatives on Facebook Wall. Every time this friend see his relative’s picture he start typing letter under it, no mater if the relative is posted at someone else’s site. We got your address, now we need “driving direction” too…..

    By the way “fuel” is always free for the guests, right? But you will see an increase of 10 Rupee per litre__ for the love public has shown here, I am afraid. Just kidding!


  • Ehtesham Ali
    Oct 25, 2011 - 2:41PM

    @Ali Akbar Khan:
    India will become Muslim Majority Country in 2025, why? Hindus are going to die from any disease or they are impressed from Muslims and converting into Islam?
    This world is based on “Quality not Quantity” look at Jews they are in small numbers, small state known as “Israel” but they are that powerful even White House and Pentagon are not allowed to do any thing without their permission.
    We need Quality not Quantity !!!


  • Oct 25, 2011 - 4:53PM

    yes, Pakistan did this, but the question is if this was other way around what they have done the same, i dont thinks.


  • imran
    Oct 25, 2011 - 6:14PM

    if india come in the field of war then same case will never be happen,so take care next time


  • Arslan
    Oct 26, 2011 - 2:22AM

    Well done Pakistan Army for treating our Neighbours with curtesy and respect :)

    Proud of Pakistan and releived by this gesture by Pak Army…. !


  • Rational
    Oct 26, 2011 - 3:46AM

    @Jahanzeb Khan:
    it seems u spend all ur time (re-fuelling) the online comments ;)


  • Dr.A.K. Tewari
    Oct 26, 2011 - 8:52AM

    GOOD GESTURE ! A mature step on the part of Pakistan .


  • Wonderland
    Oct 26, 2011 - 10:36PM

    Surprised they were not offered palau biryani, tikka kabab and gulab jamun . . . . .


  • asad
    Oct 31, 2011 - 4:53PM

    Hope same good gestures from both sides continue in case of any mistake made by others like fishermen at sea where there isn’t any clear demarcation of boundary between two neighbors and my dear fellows plz avoid talking on controversial issues and past mishaps and kindly give peace a chance and help in stopping this violence which has ruined us both..
    Pakistan Zindabad and Jai Hind. Long Live Both countries in Peace.

    Request by ASAD From Karachi.


  • musa
    Nov 24, 2011 - 1:10PM

    see the difference, how u perceive our gestures, as we owe u.pathetic approach.


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