Pakistan Army fighter jet crashes, kills two pilots

Islamabad: A Pakistan Army fighter jet crashed on Monday during a routine training mission in eastern Punjab province, killing both the pilots on board, according to the military’s media wing.

The crash took place in Gujrat area of Punjab province, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

Both pilots, Major Umer – who was the Instructor Pilot and Lieutenant Fiazan, who was Student Pilot – were killed in the accident, the army said in a statement.

Major Umer is survived by his wife, it said, adding that the exact cause of the crash is yet to be ascertained.

There were no casualties on ground, the military said.

Pakistan has a chequered military and civilian aviation safety record, with plane and helicopter crashes frequent over the years.

On March 23, a Pakistan Air Force F-16 aircraft crashed near Shakarparian in Islamabad during rehearsals for the Pakistan Day Parade. Wing Commander Nauman Akram was killed in the crash.

In July 2019, 17 people lost their lives after a military aircraft crashed into a populated area in the suburbs of Rawalpindi. Five army officials and 12 civilians were killed in the crash, the ISPR had said.

Another 12 civilians were injured in the crash as the aircraft slammed into houses below where most of the people were sleeping at the time.

And in 2016 a Pakistan International Airlines plane burst into flames after one of its engines failed while travelling from northern Pakistan to Islamabad, killing more than 40 people.

Pakistan’s powerful military consumes a major chunk of the country’s budget, spending millions on sophisticated hardware in the impoverished nation, which critics say has come at the expense of investment in other sectors.

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