The martyrdom of Gen Sarfraz is, indeed, a great loss for us and his vacuum will be felt for long.
The whole nation is in pain due to the tragic incident of the helicopter crash in which Corps Commander of Quetta along with his five other companions got martyrdom. The loss of Quetta’s Corps Commander Lt Gen Sarfraz Ali cannot be described in words as he was a professional army officer with a much-accomplished career. In this tragic incident, DG Pakistan Coast Guards Maj Gen Amjad Hanif, Brig Khalid of Engineering Corps, Pilot Major Saeed Ahmad, Pilot Major Talha and crew head Naik Mudasar Feyaz were also martyred. They were all brave sons of this soil who were monitoring the relief measures in the flood-hit areas of Balochistan. Gen Sarfraz was himself leading from the front as he was on a mission to provide maximum relief to those hit by flood and torrential rains. The Pakistan Army was busy in Balochistan for the last many days since the province was hit by flood and Gen Sarfraz himself flew to monitor the relief activities in far-flung areas.
It was, indeed, an unusual incident in our recent history. Just think about the journey of a General who starts from the beginning and reaches the highest office. During this journey, he had to face long nights at the border away from the family while also facing the hard mountainous terrains. These are the blessed officers who get the status of martyrs after reaching the coveted office and Gen Sarfraz is also one of them. He had served in different key positions in the Pakistan Army while also getting Tamgha-e-Basalat two times, which speak volume of his bravery. Gen Sarfraz got commission in the army’s Azad Kashmir regiment in March 1989 and served the institution for 33 long years. Gen Sarfraz remained Quetta’s Corps Commander for more than one and half years as he got this position in December 2020 after being promoted to the rank of Lt Gen in November 2020. He had also served as Commander of 111 Brigade. It is also to the credit of Gen Sarfraz that he was once DG of Military Intelligence. He was also posted as Defense Attaché in Washington DC. He was considered the tough General of the Pak Army who used to be seen as always busy in his work. His father was also in the military and his two sons are serving officers of the Pakistan Army currently. It was a great pride for his son that he received the coffin of his father and flew from Quetta to his ancestor’s home in C130 with the body of his father covered with the Pakistani flag. His son was presenting a true picture of courage and bravery while receiving the coffin of his father covered with the flag. DG Coast Guard Amjad Hanif was just promoted from Brig to the rank of Maj Gen just a week ago. It should be noted here that Gen Sarfraz was disturbed since the province of Balochistan was hit by the flood. He directed his 12th Corps and the FC to remain alert 24/7 for providing relief measures to the people of Balochistan. He formed special teams to monitor the relief activities all the time. It was his priority to save maximum people and ensure that their belongings also reached safe places. During his tenure as Corps Commander Quetta, Gen Sarfraz initiated many projects for the welfare of the people of Balochistan. He was much interested in ensuring the provision of clean drinking water in the far-flung areas of the province. When Balochistan was hit by cholera disease, Gen Sarfraz immediately established medical camps to provide the best medical treatment to the people. He managed to dig new tube- wells to provide clean drinking water to the people suffering from water-borne diseases.
The martyrdom of Gen Sarfraz is, indeed, a great loss for us and his vacuum will be felt for long. In his last video message, Gen Sarfraz lauded the sacrifices rendered by Pak Army to ensure law and order in the country. He said in his last message that the sacrifices of the Pak Army are matchless and cannot be described in words. He vowed to protect this motherland till the last drop of his blood and he rightly proved it. Gen Sarfraz kept serving this country till the last minute.
The whole nation witnessed very emotional scenes during the burial of these martyred officers. The old father of a martyred Major who lost his life in this crash received the coffin of his son with great courage that everyone had tears in their eyes. At a time, when the whole nation is in pain due to this tragic incident, some miscreants started baseless propaganda on social media against the great martyrdom of officers. The families of martyrs were already in grief and therefore DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had to issue a strong statement against these troublemakers on social media. He termed this social media campaign unfortunate. The DG ISPR was of the view that it is disheartening for the families of martyrs and army’s rank and file. This fifth-generation war on social media is just due to the agenda of enemy forces. It is the responsibility of all of us to crush this monster with full force as it is very detrimental to the social fabric of our society.
The martyrdom of these officers should be written with golden words and the whole nation salutes them.
The writer is an old Aitchisonian who believes in freedom of expression, a freelance columnist, entrepreneur and social activist.