ISLAMABAD - Former President Asif Ali Zardari Friday expressed profound grief and shock over the death in air crash of 17-year-old American-Pakistani pilot Haris Suleman along with his father Babar Suleman the other day.

Both Haris and his father died when their plane crashed in the sea from Hawai to California as the young pilot was seeking to set a world record in circling the world in a single engine aircraft in thirty days to raise money for the education of disadvantaged youth in Pakistan.

Haris died along with his father in pursuit of a noble cause namely, to equip the underprivileged youth of the country with the steel armour of education, the former president said in a condolence message.

"In dying for the cause of education Haris innocently made a dramatic political statement that change and revolution in the country of his origin will come about not through slogans but by making education a national priority, massively investing in it and even dying for it."

Zardari said that Haris' daring flight for the cause of education came close on the heels of a nationwide survey that showed that 47 per cent of the children numbering over 25 million are out of school. Nearly two-third of these left out children have never entered a school while one-third who entered school were soon dropped out due to poverty and other reasons.

"The heart rendering statements for the cause of education made first by young Malala and now by teenager Haris show the penchant of our youth for books and their determination to bring change through education without waiting for others," he said.

Zardari also prayed for eternal rest to the souls of Haris and his father Babar Suleman and for patience to members of the bereaved family to bear the loss with equanimity.