The military’s media wing Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday condemned a social media campaign after the tragic Pakistan Army helicopter crash in Balochistan during a flood relief operation. Six military personnel were martyred in the tragic incident.
“The regretful social media campaign after the unfortunate helicopter crash on August 1 has caused deep anguish and distress among Shuhada families and rank and file of the armed forces,” said the ISPR.
“While the whole nation stood with the institution in this difficult time, certain insensitive quarters resorted to hurtful and derogatory comments on social media, which is unacceptable and highly condemnable,” said Director General (DG) ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar.
Speaking on Geo News programme ‘Naya Pakistan’, DG ISPR emphasised that this should not happen and that the elements spreading negative propaganda and rumours should be rejected.
“Insensitive behaviour is unacceptable and should be condemned at every platform,” added DG ISPR.
“We have been distressed since the accident on August 1. The propaganda has caused immense pain, particularly to the families of the martyrs.”
“The derogatory and insensitive remarks were very hurtful. Especially when everyone was grieving. It was necessary to say this because we know everyone is standing with the Pakistan armed forces and supporting us. It is because of this support that the Pakistan Army is standing and is serving the nation day and night. Our people and their support are our pride,” said DG ISPR.
“We need to look into these things in our society. The way campaigns start on social media is not right. We collectively need to dismiss and reject such elements from our society,” said DG ISPR.
DG ISPR was also asked about reports and rumours if President Dr Arif Alvi’s absence from the funeral of the martyred military personnel was because he was stopped by families of the Shuhada from attending due to the “false and negative propaganda created by social media trolls”.
“I think it is better that I don’t comment on this,” responded Maj Gen Babar.
‘Unnecessary controversy’: President Alvi
President Dr Arif Alvi clarified his absence from the funeral of the martyred military personnel and tweeted, “There is unnecessary controversy on why I did not attend Janaza of the Shaheeds recently.”
The president said that he is taking the opportunity to condemn, in unequivocal terms, the despicable tweets by those who are “neither aware of our culture [nor] our religion”.
President Alvi said that he has called hundreds of families, attended funerals, and visited them to offer his condolences — stressing that he does not keep away during such occasions.
“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.”
However, his tweets did not specify why he did not attend the funeral.
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