Debunking Propaganda: Pakistan Army Aviation Crash

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Debunking Propaganda: Pakistan Army Aviation
Debunking Propaganda: Pakistan Army Aviation

Note: This article cover the unfortunate incident which occurred when Pakistan Army Aviation Corps Eurocopter AS350B3 Écureuil helicopter that crashed in Balochistan due to bad weather (Initial Investigation). Article further debunks baseless propaganda by banned terrorist outfit BRAS/BNA/BLA/BLF etc.

Background

As the southern Pakistan is experiencing a disastrous monsoon rainfall. Heavy rainfalls have caused floods which have damaged the infrastructure and lives of people are baldly affected. Floods have killed many people in Pakistan and have raised many questions on the management and progress of Civil administration of the provinces. Like always, Pakistan armed forces stood with the Pakistanis in this hour of need and provided necessary assistance to tackle the damage caused by floods and Pakistan armed forces conducted flood rescue operations across Pakistan which saved many lives. Pakistan armed forces are continuously providing medical assistance and shelters to the affected people and is conducting flood rescue operations across Pakistan.

Helicopter Incident

On 1st August 2022, a Pakistan Army Aviation Corps Eurocopter AS350B3 Écureuil helicopter which was flying from Quetta to Karachi to monitor the flood relief operations by Pakistan armed forces across the way lost contact with air traffic control and went missing. The news came around 11pm that the helicopter went missing for 5-6 hours and didn’t reach the destination.

ISPR statement on PAAC helicopter crash
ISPR statement on PAAC helicopter crash

Pakistan armed forces immediately started rescue operation to find the helicopter. 6 Pakistan Military personnel including high profile military officers were onboard the helicopter. Later the wreckage of the helicopter was found on a terrain near Musa Goth in Lasbela district of Balochistan (Pakistan), and all six military personnel onboard embraced shahadaat.

DGISPR tweeted,

Confirmation of 6x Shahadaats by ISPR
Confirmation of 6x Shahadaats by ISPR

The area where the helicopter went missing was mountainous terrain, without even jeep paths and lacks cell phones coverage and no electricity, making it extremely difficult for search and rescue operations.

“The accident occurred due to bad weather”, the military said in a statement.

The passengers onboard the helicopter included:

Officers who embraced Shahadaat
Officers who embraced Shahadaat
  1. Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali

Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali Soomro was the Commander of XII Corps of Pakistan Army also known as Quetta Corps. He was commissioned in 6 Azad Kashmir Regiment in March 1989 and served for 33 years in Pak Army. He was awarded Tamgha-e-Basalat for his gallantry in counterterrorism operations, also in Kargil War in 1999, when he was a Major, he earned Tamgha-e-Basalat for his valour actions. Lieutenant General Sarfraz Ali was married and has one daughter and two Sons. Due to his hard work and ambitious approach to safeguard the country he became the first Sindhi in history of Pakistan promoted to Lieutenant General in Pakistan Army. He worked extensively to promote peace in the Balochistan region and took measures accordingly.

  1. Brigadier Amjad Hanif Satti (Approved Major General)

Brigadier Amjad Hanif Satti was the Director General Pakistan Coast Guard. He was from Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir. Commissioned in 19 Azad Kashmir Regiment in April 1994 and served for 29 years in Pakistan Army. He was married and has one daughter and two sons.

  1. Brigadier Muhammad Khalid

Brigadier Muhammad Khalid Commander Engineers of XII Corps (Quetta Corps). Brigadier M. Khalid was from Faisalabad, Punjab (Pakistan). He was commissioned in 20 Engineer Battalion in 1994 and served for 29 years in Pakistan Army. He was married and has 3 daughters and 3 sons.

  1. Major Saeed Ahmed

Major Saeed Ahmed was the main pilot of the helicopter. He was from Larkana and has a son and a daughter.

  1. Major Talha Manan

Major Talha Manan was the co-pilot of the helicopter

  1. Naik Mudassir Fayyaz

Naik Mudassir Fayyaz was a crew chief and was onboard as flight engineer on the helicopter.

Debunking Indian (backed) propaganda and fake news

After the accidental helicopter crash India and Indian Backed terrorist groups started propaganda that the helicopter was shot down by an Indian Backed Group BLA (Balochistan Liberation Army). Many YouTube channels of India, news platforms and verified twitter handles started propaganda and spread this fake news.

Fake news by Indian media
Fake news by Indian media
Fake news & propaganda by Indians
Fake news & propaganda by Indians

Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar (BRAS) (an umbrella organization of Baloch armed groups), also claimed the responsibility for targeting and downing the military helicopter in the mountainous areas of Balochistan.

Now let’s analyze the practicality of above propagandas.

  • Did BLA, BLF or BRAS targeted the helicopter?

As it is already concluded that the helicopter was monitoring the flood rescue operations by Pakistan Armed Forces. The wreckage of the helicopter was found in the Lasbela district of Balochistan which touches border with Sindh.

Map of Balochistan
Map of Balochistan

Baloch separatist groups are extinct in Lasbela district of Balochistan. And as the helicopter was carrying a Corps Commander and two Brigadiers, the route of the helicopter carrying high ranking officials is also monitored before flight and then a security clearance is given for the route. Under these circumstances it is not possible that the Baloch groups could have attacked the helicopter.

As the BRAS has claimed in a statement, they shot the helicopter with an antiaircraft gun.

Propaganda statement by BRAS
Propaganda statement by BRAS

First, the Baloch groups are not that much equipped, they don’t have an anti-aircraft gun (Some visual are there but very old [Dated early back in 2000s]) but let’s assume they have. One can’t carry an anti-aircraft gun on his shoulder unless he is “THE Hulk”. Anti-aircraft gun is tither towed or carried through a vehicle.

The police already reported that it took them so long to find the wreckage of the helicopter because the terrain is so difficult, you can’t even take a jeep their because no roads are available. Either you must walk miles over the whole terrain, or you can take a motorbike which is also extremely difficult.

So, the allegations made above are nothing but a propaganda as it is not possible practically.

  • Did US drone shot down the Helicopter?

An account on twitter claimed that the helicopter was shot down by the US drone.

Fake account of US official
Fake account of US official

Reportedly that was a fake account with only 2 followers claiming to be a US consulate in Afghanistan.

BRAS claims debunked by Farzana Shah

Propaganda statement by BRAS
Propaganda statement by BRAS
  1. They are claiming to ‘hit’ the helicopter with anti-aircraft guns while its associated accounts are sharing MANPAD pics which BTW are old.
  2. No BLA/BRAS group is known to petrol carrying AA gun particularly in Lasbela area where no CT/COIN operation in progress.
  3. AA guns of all calibers are used with tripod mounts & require prior setup before firing on an incoming aircraft/helicopter.

Question: How BRAS did that during ‘Patrol’ upon ‘spotting’ a low flying helicopter of Pakistan Army Aviation “suddenly”?

  1. Why were they carrying 34 KG AA gun for patrol on ground?
  2. If the statement is issued by actual BRAS spokesman, why it is using the name of that spokesperson as 3rd person. “Baloch Khan said”, ” He told”, “He said”.
  3. Looks like fake claims peddled to claim Indian (RAW) money as usual.
  4. Last but not the least this account @BRAS_media03 has just been created yesterday (After Incident) with only one tweet. Just to claim money from their handlers in Delhi.

Author: Ali Hassan

#TeamPakistanStrategicForum

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