Six Pakistani officers and soldiers were among eight United Nations peacekeepers who lost their lives as a Puma helicopter crashed while undertaking a reconnaissance mission in Congo, the military’s media affairs wing said on Tuesday.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the six Pakistani martyred officers and soldiers were identified as Lt Col Asif Ali Awan, who was the pilot, Maj Saad Nomani, who was the co-pilot, Maj Faizan Ali, naib subedar Samiullak Khan, who was the flight engineer, havaldar Muhammad Ismail, who was the crew chief and lance havaldar Muhamad Jamil, who was the gunner.
Exact cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained, the ISPR said. The statement said an aviation mission of Pakistan was deployed in UN Mission Congo on peacekeeping duties since 2011.
“Pakistan has always played a pivotal role as a responsible member of the international community to help realise ideals of global peace and security through active support in various UN peacekeeping missions,” the statement read.
“Our peacekeepers have always distinguished themselves in executing challenging peacekeeping tasks in conflict-prone areas through devotion and, if necessary, [by] rendering supreme sacrifices.”