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Nation, world condole plane crash in Karachi

Top Story

May 23, 2020

KARACHI: The national and international leadership on Friday expressed sadness on the plane crash in Karachi's Model Colony with Prime Minister Imran Khan promising an inquiry into the incident. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-8303 crashed on Friday in a residential area near Karachi's Jinnah International Airport after losing its engines.

It is estimated that 98 people were on board the Airbus A-320 aircraft when it crashed, including 91 passengers and seven flight crew.

The news has led to an outpouring of grief: the tragedy is compounded by the fact that the festival of Eid was just around the corner, and many of the victims were likely returning to their families to celebrate Eid.

President Arif Alvi prayed for those who lost their lives in the tragic incident.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "shocked and saddened" by the crash. He said he was in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik who was on his way to Karachi, adding "this is the priority right now". The premier promised that an inquiry will immediately be instituted. He extended "prayers and condolences" to the families of the deceased.

Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan naval chiefs also expressed sadness over the loss of precious lives in the plane crash in Karachi which left several people dead and many others on the ground injured. In a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the COAS directed provision of full assistance to civil administration in rescue and relief efforts.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, has expressed grief over the tragic air crash of PIA Airbus 320 aircraft near the Karachi airport. He further said that the PAF stands by PIA at this difficult time and extends all-out support in rescue operation, said a PAF press release.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari also expressed sorrow over the lives lost in the crash and instructed the party leaders to provide relief to the affectees.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he was "deeply grieved" over the "devastating plane crash" with so many people minutes away from being home for Eid. He said his prayers are with all the families. "We are in the midst of grave challenges as a nation and in these times of trial, we must show resolve and unity," the foreign minister said.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Communications, Lt Gen (retd) Asim Bajwa, also expressed grief and said the PM has directed mobilisation of all resources for relief operations.

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed shock and deep grief over the PIA crash and called for urgent rescue operations. He said the painful incident has grieved the entire country ahead of Eid. The PPP chairperson offered condolences and prayers for those whose loved ones were on board.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said that the "horrific PIA crash" was a "national tragedy".

Not only from Pakistan but leaders from across the globe showed solidarity and extended condolences soon after the crash took place near the Karachi Airport on Friday. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the news from Pakistan is "devastating" and termed it a "terrible tragedy".

“To the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the crash of PK8303, and to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, our hearts go out to you. Canadians are keeping you in our thoughts today,” he said.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin expressed his "deep condolences on tragic consequences of passenger plane crash in Karachi". The Prime Minister of Nepal, K.P. Sharma Oli, also extended his prayers for the affectees of the plane crash and said that he was "deeply shocked to hear the news".

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of life due to the plane crash. "Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured," he said.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Pakistan’s Charge d’Affaires Ambassador Paul W. Jones offered his “deepest condolences” over the crash. “On behalf of the US Mission to Pakistan, I offer my deepest condolences to the people of Pakistan and the families of those who lost their lives today in the plane crash near Karachi," he said.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered his "sincere commiserations to the people and the government of Pakistan".