One of Pakistan’s top military commanders Lt. General Sarfaraz Ali lost his life in a helicopter crash during relief operations in Balochistan on Monday.
The commander of the XII Corps, also called the Southern Command, was with five officers and soldiers when the accident occurred. The chopper was flying over Balochistan for relief-related work following heavy rains and flash floods in the province.
In his condolence message, PM Shehbaz Sharif said that that the nation would remain eternally indepted to these sons of the soil.
PTI chief Imran Khan said that he knew the late general who was a “thorough professional and an upright, honest human being”.
Lt General Ali served as director general of Military Intelligence (DG MI) from 2018 to 2019. He also served as commander of the 111 Brigade Rawalpindi in 2012.
Before his posting in Balochistan, Lt Gen Sarfaraz Ali served as Inspector General Frontier Corps South Balochistan from January 2020 to December 2020.
He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in November 2020 and then was posted as Corps Commander Quetta in December 2020.
He was among the three generals who were interviewed by former prime minister Imran Khan last year for the slot of DG ISI to replace Lt. General Faiz Hameed.
Journalist Matiullah Jan wrote that General Sarfraz was his senior during his time at the Pakistan Military Academy Kakul and that he secretly hope to see him elevated to the post of army chief.
The Quetta Corps commander is a high-ranking figure who handles counter-insurgency in the area and protects the border with south Afghanistan.
Columnist Mushtaq Rajpar, responding to Matiullah Jan’s tweet, wrote that the Lt General Sarfraz Ali Soomro was the first person of Sindhi ethnicity to be elevated to the rank in the Pakistan army. The military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, has not verified the information.
Earlier today, the wreckage of the army helicopter that went missing on Monday during relief operations was found, with no survivors, the military’s media wing confirmed saying that the wreckage was found in the Windar area of Lasbela district in Balochistan.
Lt General Sarfraz Ali of the Quetta Corps, Pakistan Coast Guard Director General Brigadier Amjad Hanif Satti, Brigadier Muhammad Khalid, Major Saeed Ahmed (pilot), Major M. Talha Manan (co-pilot) and Naik Mudassir Fayyaz (helicopter crew) embraced martyrdom in the accident.