PAF F-16 crashes in Islamabad during March 23 parade rehearsal, pilot martyred

Updated March 11, 2020

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Smoke billowing from the site where a PAF F-16 aircraft crashed on Wednesday. — AFP
Smoke billowing from the site where a PAF F-16 aircraft crashed on Wednesday. — AFP
Army officials stand near the site.  — AFP
Army officials stand near the site. — AFP
Wing Commander Nauman Akram receiving the Sher Afgan Trophy. He was martyred in Wednesday's crash. —
Wing Commander Nauman Akram receiving the Sher Afgan Trophy. He was martyred in Wednesday's crash. —
Rescue services at the site. — AFP
Rescue services at the site. — AFP

A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16 aircraft crashed near Shakarparian in Islamabad on Wednesday morning during rehearsals for the March 23 parade, the air force said.

Wing Commander Nauman Akram was martyred in the crash, PAF confirmed.

PAF said rescue teams rushed to the site of the crash while a board of inquiry has been ordered by Air Headquarters to determine the cause of the accident.

Shakarparian is a hill in the capital, located near the Zero Point Interchange.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa paid tribute to the martyr and said: "Laying one’s life is the ultimate sacrifice one can make for defence of the motherland. May his soul rest in peace. My thoughts and sincere prayers for the bereaved family.”

Gen Bajwa's statement was posted by Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Twitter.

Speaker of the National Assembly Asad Qaiser in a tweet said that he was "deeply saddened" by the crash.

PML-N chief and Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif also expressed "deep grief and sadness" on Wing Commander Akram's martyrdom in the crash.

Last month, a PAF trainer aircraft crashed on February 12 during a routine training mission near Takht Bhai in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Mardan district. It was the third PAF training aircraft to have crashed while on a routine training mission in less than two months.

On Feb 7, a PAF Mirage aircraft, which was also on a routine operational training mission, had crashed near the Lahore-Multan Motorway. Pilots in both cases had ejected safely.

Earlier in January, a PAF aircraft had crashed while on a training mission near Mianwali. Both pilots – Squadron Leader Haris bin Khalid and Flying Officer Ibaadur Rehman – aboard the PAF FT-7 aircraft had lost their lives in the crash.