ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi condemned on Friday the “unnecessary controversy” regarding his absence from the funeral of the army helicopter crash martyrs.
Criticizing people’s social media comments on his official Twitter handle, President Alvi condemned in “unequivocal terms the despicable tweets by those who are neither aware of our culture or our religion”.
The president questioned how the people could desecrate the memory and the sacrifice of the martyrs whom “Allah has given eternal life”, and highlighted the respect for martyrdom in the Holy Quran.
“Since you, the Pakistani people have put me in this office…I have called hundreds of families, have attended Janazas and visited them to offer my condolences. On your behalf I consider it my duty to do so,” Alvi said.
He maintained that the families had been “proud” but that everyone was cognizant of grief and personal loss in this world.
“It is especially difficult to condole with families where young children are the survivors,” he stated, adding that he had cried when the family members of the deceased had cried.
He emphasised that Pakistan was safe because of the “ultimate sacrifice” of the martyrs.
Earlier, in an interview to a private news channel, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar was asked about reports that President Arif Alvi was stopped from attending the funeral of martyred army officers since victim families did not want him present there. The spokesperson said he would not comment on it.
The army had strongly condemned what it called “hurtful and derogatory” comments made by a certain group of people following the helicopter crash in which six army officers, including Quetta Corps Commander Lt General Sarfraz Ali embraced martyrdom.
When the news of the army helicopter going missing came, certain people on social media started making derogatory comments. Some of them went to the extent of wishing for the presence of top military leadership on the missing chopper.
Most of those making such comments were apparently from a certain political party, which felt it was hard done by the country’s security establishment.
Without naming any political party, the military’s media wing took strong exception to the campaign on social media.