Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Students walk past a giant mural featuring missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 displayed on the grounds of their school in Manila's financial district of Makati on March 18, 2014. – AFP Photo
Students walk past a giant mural featuring missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 displayed on the grounds of their school in Manila's financial district of Makati on March 18, 2014. – AFP Photo

ISLAMABAD: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday called his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the phone and sought his help in tracing Malaysian airline’s missing Boeing 777.

“Prime Minister Sharif expressed sympathies with him and assured every possible cooperation,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Aviation Shujat Azeem told

“As per request from Malaysian aviation authorities, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Pakistan has saved entire data of the day and time when the jet went missing and would be sharing it with Malaysian authorities,” he said.

“Although there is no evidence that plane headed towards Pakistan but as a goodwill gesture we are sharing our data with Malaysian government,” Shujaat Azeem added, who earlier on Saturday had dismissed Western media reports that missing Malaysian airliner might be hidden somewhere in the country.

Pakistan’s top aviation official said the CAA has asked Malaysian authorities to send their official to Karachi to look at the data.

Azeem disclosed that Malaysian aviation authorities also spoke with Pakistan Air Force (PAF) chief Tahir Rafique Butt and sought cooperation in tracing the missing jet.

The special assistant said Malaysian authorities have contacted some 25 countries for their help and cooperation and Pakistan is among such countries.

“India comes before Pakistan, so how it is possible that the plane could have headed towards Pakistan without being tracked by Indian radars,” Azeem questioned and added, “what they are looking for is any minor flying object on our radars at that time.”

Thailand gives radar data 10 days after plane lost

The Malaysian premier’s telephone call came on the same day when Thailand's military said that its radar detected a plane that may have been Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 just minutes after the jetliner's communications went down, and that it didn't share the information with Malaysia earlier because it wasn't specifically asked for it.

A twisting flight path described Tuesday by Thai air force spokesman Air Vice Marshal Montol Suchookorn took the plane to the Strait of Malacca, which is where Malaysian radar tracked Flight 370 early March 8.

But Montol said the Thai military doesn't know whether it detected the same plane.

Thailand's failure to quickly share possible information regarding the fate of the plane, and the 239 people aboard it, may not substantially change what Malaysian officials know, but it raises questions about the degree to which some countries are sharing their defense information, even in the name of an urgent and mind-bending aviation mystery.

With only its own radar to go on, it took Malaysia a week to confirm that Flight 370 had entered the strait, an important detail that led it to change its search strategy.

When asked why it took so long to release the information, Montol said, “Because we did not pay any attention to it. The Royal Thai Air Force only looks after any threats against our country, so anything that did not look like a threat to us, we simply look at it without taking actions.”

He said the plane never entered Thai airspace and that Malaysia's initial request for information in the early days of the search was not specific.

“When they asked again and there was new information and assumptions from (Malaysian) Prime Minister Najib Razak, we took a look at our information again,” Montol said.

“It didn't take long for us to figure out, although it did take some experts to find out about it.”

Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur at 12:40am Malaysian time and its transponder, which allows air traffic controllers to identify and track the airplane, ceased communicating at 1:20am.

Montol said that at 1:28am, Thai military radar “was able to detect a signal, which was not a normal signal, of a plane flying in the direction opposite from the MH370 plane,” back toward Kuala Lumpur.

The plane later turned right, toward Butterworth, a Malaysian city along the Strait of Malacca. The radar signal was infrequent and did not include any data such as the flight number. He said he did not know exactly when Thai radar last detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said Flight 370 was last detected by their own military radar at 2:14am.

The search area for the plane initially focused on the South China Sea, where ships and planes spent a week searching. Pings that a satellite detected from the plane hours after its communications went down have led authorities to concentrate instead on two vast arcs – one into central Asia and the other into the Indian Ocean – that together cover an expanse as big as Australia.

Thai officials said radar equipment in southern Thailand detected the plane. Malaysian officials have said the plane might ultimately have passed through northern Thailand, but Thai Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong told reporters Tuesday that the country's northern radar did not detect it– AP

Comments (26) Closed

Saad Mar 18, 2014 08:21pm

What a misleading heading... Malaysian PM did not call his counterpart to seek Pakistan's intelligence expertise to locate the plane where ever in the world it may be.... instead, he called to request PM Nawaz Sharif to confirm 100% that the plane is not in Pakistan!!!!!

kafantaris Mar 18, 2014 08:27pm

The United Nations should coordinate the sharing of flight information of commercial aircraft. No country

Pathan Mar 18, 2014 08:27pm

It seems Najib Razak watches FOX News too :)

Zafar Mar 18, 2014 10:24pm

The plane has been missing for over 10 days, with no trace, and some evidence of foul play. Also there is a multi-national effort going on to look for the plane. Under these circumstances, Pakistani authorities should have shown the initiative and offered any help possible, rather than the Malaysian PM having to call his counterpart. We have got to come out of our cocoons!

tansarbh Mar 18, 2014 10:57pm

@Zafar: The thing is, they were not expecting to search this wide. Once they could not find it and think it could have gone farther, they asked help from all countries in the possible radius.

Amir Mar 18, 2014 11:13pm

@Zafar: You are suggesting that the government should have been proactive and offered its support on moral grounds. What you are forgetting is that being proactive is alien to the rulers and this has never been our hallmark as a nation.

Asgher Mar 18, 2014 11:14pm

Amazing. Pakistan is yet to trace its missing Fokker PK-606 that went missing on 25th August 1988 while travelling from Gilgit to Islamabad. I wonder what help from Pakistan side can be extended to Malaysia???????

Fiz Mar 18, 2014 11:18pm

Oh dear me! what does he want? What is he suspecting? (thinking with heart in my mouth)

gangadin Mar 18, 2014 11:20pm

I don't think Pakistani PM or this nincompoop of an adviser, knows the location of all the airstrips in Pakistani territory. Try putting two and two together. Who in Pakistan can confirm or deny the presence of this plane somewhere?

iqbal Khan Mar 19, 2014 01:25am

Why not,after all we are number one in this field.

Mohammad Syed Husain Mar 19, 2014 02:08am

Laws can be adjusted to suit whatever is desired. In absence of any evidence, searching of the pilots homes and taking away their property, harassing families for whatever reason constitutes a serious violation of privacy and human dignity under any legal, moral or religious standard.

If you apply the interpretation based on Muslim tradition, you cannot even enter a house if there is no answer, what to talk of the absence of the male head. A home is a sacrosanct place. This is Malaysia, and a Muslim country and privacy of individuals, their families cannot be violated in this manner.

It is time for pilots unions or associations to take this matter up and not wait for the safer bet.on hindsight. Tomorrow it may happen anywhere, even in Pakistan.

Taimoor khan Mar 19, 2014 02:12am

@Saad:How come the plane would be in Pakistan when indians are clueless about it? it has to fly over hours literally over indian airspace before entering Pakistan. Maybe they want our armed forces expertise and resources while keeping in mind that indians keep a naval base which is also is the strategic missile base in Island of Andaman, it will be safe to assume that Pakistan will be keeping a watch eye over that place. And hence the request.

Faisal Jamali Mar 19, 2014 03:45am

@Asgher : Asher, as a son of a former, recently retired PIA Pilot, I can assure you that the wreckage of the PIA Fokker was found and it was on the Indian side of the border. The Indians informed the Pakistani government and a team from the Pakistani side flew on a PIA flight to identify the wreckage. Capt Bilgrami (the operating Captain of the F-27 was not following the original flight plan and strayed into Indian territory.

M. Emad Mar 19, 2014 05:12am

Why Malaysia repeatedly contact Pakistan about their 'missing' Boing 777 airliner? Malaysian authority probably suspect some 'Pakistan connection'.

Chuck Kirkbride Mar 19, 2014 09:59am

Regards flight Malaysia MH370 If there was an electrical problem with the plane, example: fire/decompression pilots might not of had an immediate warning that there was a problem. The turning of the MH370 may have been an effort to return to nearest airstrip . It's possible tuning off planes radar was not done by pilot but by other factors, it may have made it down to the ocean and floated for several hours before sinking. (Lets show some love for all those who are concerned and helping with this mystery.)

Mansoor Mar 19, 2014 10:17am

My worry is that the plane may end up in Pakistan close to an army cantonment like Osama-Abbottabad.

rashid zaidi Mar 19, 2014 11:37am

@Asgher : It went down in one of the most difficult terrain in the world, amongst the biggest collection of the highest peaks anywhere on earth, which are en route to Gilgit. There is perceptual snow and ice at these heights, the area is vast and treacherous, besides we are not a mountaineering country, so the civilian effort to locate wasn't there it cost a lot of gear effort time and money. No wonder the plane and those who perished were never found, it has happened in many mountains ranges around the world. It is sad but that sometimes it happens.

montagez Mar 19, 2014 11:46am

@Amir: Sad but so true!!

montagez Mar 19, 2014 11:49am

@M. Emad: That crossed my mind too!

Sultan Ahmed Mar 20, 2014 11:50am

Tireless efforts are underway,According to the prediction of some aviation authorities the plane has been hijacked On the other hand some saying it has drowned in India ocean,or chines sea territory.

But when we deeply consider the circumstances we come to the conclusion that plane is under the control of local hijackers who well-informed the whole situation.

First instance,Malaysian government should interally investigated the matter then contact other quarters concerned

Sultan Ahmed Mar 20, 2014 12:02pm

More than 25 counteries operating in the sea to detacting the missing plane but has failed absolutely it mean the plane is not in the sea.

As for as thailand authory's information is concerned it is based on a mere guess there is no reality in it that the missing plane in Pakistan.

In fact, this is Malaysian internal matter no other party is involved in it .

It is indispensable for Malaysian government to start probe the matter from inside before levelling against other.

Sonny Afridi Mar 21, 2014 01:32am

Good work to Pakistan Air Force. Ours were the first to sift through hours and hours of data and handed them over to Malaysian counterparts. Pakistani Navy was one of the first to assist in the search/recovery mission in and around Arabian Sea waters.

My hearts and prayers to those affected. I cant even fathom what they are going through, the anguish.

Sonny Afridi Mar 21, 2014 01:33am

@Zafar: the aircraft didnt have enough fuel to reach Pakistan

Sonny Afridi Mar 21, 2014 01:34am

@Taimoor khan: indian cant even detect armed teenagers in mumbai in 2008; who knows maybe Malaysia should approach and ask indians some questions

Dr. Ghayur Mar 21, 2014 08:12pm

My dear muhtram interior minster Mr. Nisar choudhry , i would like to draw your kind attentions to one of our nation, country, mine, your and every one of us; NADRA and its officials r not loyal citizen of Pakistan. the extent to which this set up (as a national level organization or institution) has damaged Pakistan one can not imagine and weigh. Most of the Afghan national (may be other countries too) living in Peshawar and Islamabad have Pakistan IDCs. who else can do this or provide IDCs to Afghanies. We our self, the Pakistanis have to face troubles and over troubles to stand in ques for IDCs, but they afghanies, the most sweet to NADRA officers (shame to them, the corrupt and their own mother's ownership selling to the foreigners). if you kindly check and go around in afghan basties, u will find many with Pak IDC NADRA cards. NADRA gets money and sells its own mother identity, honor and the respect,,rather every thing. this country the Pakistan is our mother. but we r not sincere to our own mother. kindly get it right and order punishment to all NADRA officials any where u=involved in this dirty play. thnx Dr.Ghayur Islamabad

Dr. Ghayur Mar 21, 2014 08:17pm

I find and my analysis of thinking, watching all this finally reaches at the un-reached. this plane is within the Malaysia it self. it has not gone any where else. if not in Malaysia, then USA knows where it is and why.... Dr. Ghayur