ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilot was martyred early Wednesday morning when an F-16 fighter jet crashed near Shakarparian in Islamabad during the Pakistan Day rehearsals.
According to the PAF officials, Wing Commander Nauman Akram was martyred in the crash.
Rescue teams rushed to the site of the crash while a board of inquiry has been ordered by the Air Headquarters to determine the cause of the accident, the statement added.
Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz said officials from the Pakistan Army and PAF cordoned off the area and conducted further rescue operations.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa paid glowing tribute to Akram. He said, ”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 Inter-Services Public Relations said quoting the army chief.
His funeral prayer was attended by the army chief, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Raza, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and other high officials of the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
In 2020 alone, three incidents of aircraft crash have been reported. In January, a PAF FT-7 aircraft had crashed while on a training mission near Mianwali. Both pilots – Squadron Leader Haris bin Khalid and Flying Officer Ibaadur Rehman – aboard the aircraft had lost their lives in the crash.
On Feb 7, a PAF Mirage aircraft, which was also on a routine operational training mission, had crashed near the Lahore-Multan Motorway. Pilots in both cases had ejected safely.
Later in February, a PAF trainer aircraft crashed on Feb 12 during a routine training mission near Takht Bhai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mardan district. It was the third PAF training aircraft to have crashed while on a routine training mission in less than two months.