ISLAMABAD: Reacting to the social media criticism of him for not attending the funeral prayers of shuhda — who embraced martyrdom in the Balochistan helicopter crash, President Arif Alvi has said that the matter was being made controversial unnecessarily.
Taking to his personal social media account, President Arif Alvi said, “There is unnecessary controversy on why I did not attend janaza of the shaheeds recently.”
The president made the remarks on his personal account a day after martyrs of the Balochistan helicopter disaster were laid to rest with full military honours.
The president said that this also allows him to condemn, in unequivocal terms, the despicable tweets by those who are “neither aware of our culture or our religion”.
Alvi pointed out that he has called hundreds of families, attended janazas and visited them to offer his condolences — expressing that he does not stay away during such occasions.
“On your behalf, I consider it my duty to do so. The families have been proud, but we all recognise the sad and personal loss in this world,” President Alvi said.
He said it is especially difficult to condole with families where young children are the survivors.
“When the family members have cried, I have cried. There is no doubt in my mind that Pakistan is safe only because of their ultimate sacrifices. That is what makes me proud of Pakistan.”
‘President wanted to attend the funeral of martyrs’
Sources told Geo News a day earlier that the president wanted to attend the funeral of the Balochistan helicopter crash martyrs, however, he was stopped from attending due to the “false and negative propaganda created by PTI trolls”.
The president had expressed his desire that as the supreme commander and head of state he wanted to attend the funeral of the martyrs, however, the institutions informed Dr Alvi that PTI trolls have initiated a “toxic, false and negative propaganda about the martyrs” which has enraged the people, the sources said.
Therefore, President Alvi was advised that it would be better if he skipped the funeral of the martyrs to avoid any untoward incident. Adhering to the advice, the president did not attend the funeral prayers.
DG ISPR condemns negative propaganda
Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar has also condemned the negative propaganda on social media which took off after the helicopter crash.
“We have been distressed since the accident on August 1. The propaganda has caused immense pain, particularly to the families of the martyrs,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.
Emphasising that this should not happen, General Babar said that elements spreading negative propaganda and rumours should be rejected.
“Insensitive behaviour is unacceptable and should be condemned on every platform,” he asserted, adding that the Pakistan Army is grateful for the nation which stands by them and the martyrs.
Martyrs laid to rest
On Tuesday, the martyrs of the helicopter crash — which took place earlier this week — in Balochistan were laid to rest with full military honours in Rawalpindi.
The funeral prayers of Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali, Major General Amjad Hanif, and Brigadier Muhammad Khalid were offered at the Army graveyard.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, federal ministers, Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s prime minister, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, foreign dignitaries, a large number of senior serving, retired military, and civil officials, and relatives of the martyrs attended the funeral prayers.