ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced award of Sitara-e-Pakistan to the ambassadors of Norway and Philippines as well as wives of Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors who lost their lives in Naltar helicopter crash.
In his address at a reference held at the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Monday in memory of those killed in the helicopter crash in Gilgit-Baltistan’s Naltar Valley last Friday, Sharif said that government and people of Pakistan stand by entire diplomatic community in the hour of grief.
The prime minister assured families and envoys of the countries affected by Naltar helicopter crash that they would not find Pakistan wanting in this hour of trial.
Nawaz Sharif said that the diplomats who were killed in the Naltar incident were strong supporters of forging closer relations between Pakistan and their countries.
Earlier, the Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry addressing the reference said that it was a loss which no one can describe especially for the Foreign Office as we had developed such a close and warm friendship with the deceased.
The foreign secretary read out obituaries of the four members of the diplomatic community killed in the helicopter crash.
On Friday, seven persons including Norwegian Ambassador Leif Holger Larsen, the Philippines Ambassador Domingo D. Lucenario and wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors were killed when a MI-17 helicopter carrying 17 persons crashed due to a technical fault while landing in Naltar valley.
In the incident, two Pakistani pilots and a crew member were also killed while Ambassador of Indonesia Burhan Muhammad, Polish Ambassador Andrzej Ananicz, wife of the Polish envoy, Dutch Ambassador Marcel de Vink and Malaysian High Commissioner were injured.
Senate expresses deep grief and sorrow over Naltar tragedy
Earlier in the day, the Senate passed a unanimous resolution expressing deep grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in Naltar tragedy.
The resolution moved by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sehar Kamran stated that the entire Pakistani nation is in the state of shock and mourning over this irreparable loss.
It said the people of Pakistan stand with the people of Norway, Philippines, Poland, Holland, Indonesia and Malaysia in this difficult time. It said that the valuable contribution of the diplomats in promoting cordial relations with Pakistan will be remembered for last.
The resolution recommended the highest national honour for the diplomats, valiant pilots and a soldier who embraced martyrdom.