KARACHI: Minutes after the news of the PIA plane crash in Karachi hit the headlines, condolence messages from international to national leaders and senior politicians and sports celebrities to showbiz stars started pouring in over social media, sharing grief with the families of the victims and prayers for the injured.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took to social media and shared his thoughts over the tragic incident.

“Shocked & saddened by the PIA crash,” he tweeted. “Am in touch with PIA CEO Arshad Malik, who has left for Karachi & with the rescue & relief teams on ground as this is the priority right now. Immediate inquiry will be instituted. Prayers & condolences go to families of the deceased.”

Seen as a goodwill gesture, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his sympathy to the families of the victims.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of life due to a plane crash in Pakistan. Our condolences to the families of the deceased, and wishing speedy recovery to those injured,” tweeted PM Modi.

Another prominent leader of the neighbouring country and president of the opposition Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi, also offered his condolences and expressed his feelings over the tragic incident.

Modi, Rahul, Ghani, Trudeau, others offer condolences; Imran expresses gratitude for their messages

“I’m sorry to hear about the air crash in Pakistan in which many lives have been lost. News of survivors is a ray of hope & I pray that there are many miraculous stories of survival tonight. My deepest condolences to the families of those who have perished,” he said in a tweet.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also tweeted and expressed grief over the incident. Terming the incident “devastating”, he said Canadians were keeping Pakistanis “in our thoughts”.

“The news from Pakistan this morning is devastating,” he tweeted. “To the families and friends of those who lost their lives in the crash of PK 8303, and to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, our hearts go out to you.”

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani also offered his condolences with the families of the crash victims and conveyed similar feeling to the government of Pakistan.

“My heart goes out to the families of victims who lost their lives in the PIA plane crash in Karachi,” he tweeted. “I offer my sincere commiserations to the people and the government of Pakistan. Afghans stand with you in this moment of grief.”

Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Sharma Oli expressed “shock” over the incident and offered condolences.

“I am deeply shocked to hear the news about the plane crash in Pakistan today,” he tweeted. “Heartfelt condolences to the government of Pakistan and the bereaved family members who lost their loved ones. I wish for the speedy recovery of those injured.”

Late in the evening, Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked the international community. “I thank world leaders for reaching out to condole over the tragic air crash and loss of precious lives. The people of Pakistan value this support and solidarity in our hour of grief,” he tweeted.

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also came up with a similar message. In a tweet from the Inter-Services Public Relations, he showed his support to the bereaved families.

“COAS condoles loss of precious lives in tragic PIA plane crash,” said the ISPR. “Shares grief of bereaved families in this difficult time. COAS directed provision of full assistance to civil administration in rescue/relief effort.”

President Dr Arif Alvi also offered prayers for the victims and their families.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also expressed shock and grief over the plane crash. In a statement, he expressed sympathy with those whose loved ones were onboard and prayed for them. He said the entire nation grieved over the tragic incident.

Federal Minister for Information Shibli Faraz said in a statement that the government was focusing on relief and rescue operations. “It is a tragic and sad incident before Eid and all prays of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government are with the passengers, crew members and their families,” he said.

Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar prayed for the victims and shared his feelings with their families in his tweet.

“My prayers and sympathies are with the families of the passengers onboard. May Allah give them strength to cope with this loss,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif also expressed heartfelt condolence over the loss of lives in the plane crash.

“I am heartbroken over the loss of precious human lives in PIA aircraft crash,” he said in a statement and prayed for the departed souls and grant of patience to the bereaved families to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude. He also prayed for early recovery of the injured.

Maryam Nawaz in her tweet expressed grief for the departed souls and sympathy with their families. “My heart goes out to the bereaved families. Their loss is colossal. May Allah give them the strength and courage to bear the tragic loss,” she said. “Heart wrenching news of the plane crash. Loss of lives most deeply felt by their loved ones but not only every Pakistani but every human grieving for it.”

Chief Minister of Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan expressed his grief over loss of precious lives in the plane crash. In his massage, he extended condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the rest of departed souls in eternal peace and early recovery of the injured. “It is a national tragedy and entire nation stands by them in this time of grief.”

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman expressed shock and grief over the loss of precious lives in the tragic incident. In his condolence message, he said the incident has made whole nation grieved. He prayed for eternal peace for the departed souls and grant of courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with fortitude. He also prayed early recovery of the injured.

Prime Minister of Azad Jammu Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider shared similar feelings and expressed sorrow over the loss of precious lives in the tragic incident. In a condolence message, he sympathised with the families who had lost their dear ones in the tragic incident and prayed for peace of the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Deputy Chairman Saleem Mandviwalla also expressed grief over the loss of precious lives in the plane crash.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2020