Islamabad [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): The Pakistan Army on Wednesday expressed condolences on the tragic death of Indian Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, in a chopper crash.
"General Nadeem Raza, CJCSC and General Qamar Javed Bajwa, COAS express condolences on the tragic death of #CDS General #BipinRawat, his wife and loss of precious lives in a helicopter crash in India," tweeted a Spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces.
General Bipin Rawat died after a military helicopter crashed in Coonnor in Tamil Nadu today.
"With deep regret, it has now been ascertained that Gen Bipin Rawat, Madhulika Rawat and 11 other persons on board have died in the unfortunate accident," tweeted the Indian Air Force.
General Bipin Rawat was Army chief when India carried out airstrikes targeting a terror training centre in Pakistan's Balakot in February 2019.
Gen Rawat was today on a visit to Defence Services Staff College in Wellington to address the faculty and student officers of the Staff Course when his chopper crashed in a forested area near the Nilgiris.
The CDS had taken off from Sulur Airbase for Wellington and was accompanied by his wife Madhulika Rawat, his DA Brigadier LS Lidder, SO Lieutenant Colonel Harjinder Singh, among other defence officials.
"Around noon today, an IAF Mi 17 V5 helicopter with a crew of 4 members carrying the CDS and 9 other passengers met with a tragic accident near Coonoor, TN," the Indian Air Force said in a tweet.
Group Captain Varun Singh, SC, Directing Staff at DSSC, the sole survivor of the crash, is undergoing treatment for his injuries at Military Hospital in Wellington.
General Rawat was India's first Chief of Defence Staff. With his appointment in the topmost position in December 2019, he was the one-point advisor to the government matters related to the military including the Army, Navy and the Air Force.
A veteran of counterinsurgency warfare, CDS Rawat served in the most difficult terrains including northern and eastern commands.
CDS Rawat was commissioned into the Indian Army in December 1978. He previously served as Chief of the Army Staff from January 2017 to December 2019. (ANI)