PM announces day of mourning following Gilgit crash

PM extends condolences to families of deceased; COAS expresses deepest regrets over loss of lives

Abdul Manan/web Desk May 08, 2015
Pakistani soldiers stand guard outside a military hospital where victims of a helicopter crash were brought for treatment in Gilgit on May 8, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday announced a day of mourning following the tragic crash of the Mi-17 helicopter in Gilgit that claimed 7 lives, including the Norwegian and Philippine envoys.

The premier extended his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident, a statement from the Prime Minister Office said.

Read: Norway, Philippines ambassadors among 6 killed in Gilgit helicopter crash

Following the crash, PM Nawaz directed that that the injured be shifted to the nearest hospital and best medical treatment be given to them.

He mourned the tragic loss of precious lives of Major Altamash, Major Faisal, Naib Subedar Zakir and foreign diplomats and their families in the incident, Radio Pakistan reported.

Nawaz calls Norwegian prime minister, extends condolences

The prime minister called his Norwegian counterpart and extended his condolences on the sad demise of Norwegian Ambassador.

Nawaz said the ambassador would be missed and his remains would be sent to Norway as soon as possible. He added that Pakistan will do its best to look after the families of deceased diplomats.

The premier said entire Pakistani nation is heartbroken over this incident and shares the grief and anguish of Norwegian nation.

He also conveyed his personal condolences to the family of the deceased ambassador, which the Norwegian PM promised to convey.

Norwegian PM thanked the PM for his timely efforts and also for the decision of observing a day of mourning.

President of Maldives calls Nawaz

President of Maldives Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom called Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif on Friday evening to extend condolences following the tragic crash in Naltar Valley.

He expressed his condolences for the bereaved families over the loss of precious lives of their beloved ones and conveyed sympathies for the injured.

Nawaz shared details of the accident with Gayoom and thanked him for his solidarity and support in the hour of national grief.

Army chief expresses grief

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif also expressed his deepest grief over deaths of Major Altamash, Major Faisal, Naib Subedar Zakir, and foreign diplomats and their families in the helicopter crash.

"It is a sad day for all of us and our heart goes out to the bereaved families at this sad moment of heir life," Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted the army chief as saying.

The aircraft was carrying around 11 foreigners and 6 Pakistani passengers. Nawaz announced a day of mourning following the brutal crash.

Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman also extended his condolences on the loss of valuable lives in Friday's tragedy, said his spokesperson.

The Air Chief visited the site of the incident in Naltar before heading to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) to inquire after the health of those injured. He also expressed solidarity with the bereaved families of the departed souls.

Meanwhile, a C-130 aircraft has arrived in Gilgit to assist in rescue efforts.

In a statement, Norway also expressed 'great sadness' over the death of its ambassador in the crash, AFP reported.

Condolence book

The Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad will open a condolence book to allow those who wish to express sorrow and pay respects to Hery Listyawati, the late spouse of the Indonesian Ambassador Burhan Muhammad and one of the victims who lost their lives in the incident, a press release said.

The condolence book will be available for signature at the embassy’s premises on May 11-12,2015 from 10:00 to 1200 hrs and 14:00 to 16:00 hrs,  it added.

After news spread of the crash, various politicians took to Twitter to condole with the victims’ families and express their grief.

"Saddened by tragic the Naltar helicopter crash killing diplomats, envoys' wives and Pakistan Army pilots," Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairmain tweeted. "My condolences go out to their families."

PTI leader Jahangir Tareen also expressed his grief over the crash.

Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat ul Ebad sent out his condolences to the bereaved families.

Pakistan People's Party co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari as well as Aseefa Bhutto Zardari took to twitter to send their condolences.


Iqbal Hadi Zaidi | 9 years ago | Reply Too tragic to loose so many important lives of distinguished foreigners and our outstanding pilots. I offer my condolences for the departed souls. How shameful to read that Taleban boasts of shooting down the helicopter which we denied but who knows what is the hard truth. Taleban claimed they wanted to hit PM Nawaz. How did Taleban know it? Why did we endanger lives of so many Ambassadors is my 1st question? Who will come to Pakistan if Talebans are still so strong despite Pakistan army and air force attacks on Taleban for so many weeks in continuity is my second question? PM as a true leader should have gone to the incident place ensuring that all remedial activities are carried out professionally and quickly but he instead came back to his palatial castle to issue condolence and declare one day mourning. Why no minister has been sent to the incident is my third question? Did today PM earn laurels is my fourth question? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait /
Motiwala | 9 years ago | Reply That's all he does. Either condemn or condole. The Condolence Man also known as Condemn them Man, also known as Raja of Raiwind also known as the alleged PM of Pakland.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ