Dedicated to the Glorious PAF Shaheeds
“The finest sight beneath
the sky is to see how bravely a man can die”
A message from the Chief Patron DJ, Air Marshal Asghar Khan
The death, in an aircraft accident, of Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali
Mir and others is a great loss to Pakistan and to the Pakistan Air Force.
Mushaf Ali Mir was an outstanding officer and in his death, the Pakistan
Air Force has lost an able commander. In the short time that he commanded
the Air Force, he did a great deal to maintain its high professional
standards and further improve its combat efficiency. His professional
competence and dedication will inspire the Pakistan Air Force to strive
to achieve even higher standards of combat preparedness.
(M. Asghar Khan)
The news that SHAHBAZ had crashed was a bolt from the blue for all ranks
of Pakistan Air Force. It meant that the Chief of the Air Staff had
perished. In one single moment of calamity, the country and PAF lost
some of its finest souls in a tragic air crash near Kohat in the morning
of 20th February, 2003. We mourn the loss of Air Chief Marshal Mushaf
Ali Mir, Begum Bilquis Mushaf Ali, Air Vice Marshal Abdul Razzaq, Air
Vice Marshal Saleem A Nawaz and all those who comprised the entourage.
The incident was the first of its kind in PAF’s history. The
service was deprived of both the members of the first family and two
Principal Staff Officers along with some distinguished senior officers,
as well as the members of the crew, both officers and men. We pray
for the departed souls and beseech Allah’s blessings and bounties. “INNA-LILLAHI-WA-INNA-ILAHI-RAJI-UN”
This is a moment of pervasive grief for PAF. Air Chief Marshal Mushaf
Ali Mir was a leader of profound calibre and capability. He was endowed
with unique leadership traits, and as leader inspired the confidence
of his team members. Allah had blessed him with a dynamic and vibrant
personality. The outstanding features of his person were a strong faith
in hard work, originality of ideas, fairplay, justice and kindness. Despite
a naturally gifted manly demeanour, he would put others at ease with
his humility, simplicity, nobility and sincerity of purpose. He was a
father and an elder who had won the hearts and minds of all those placed
under his command. Deeply loved, admired and respected by all, he brought
to his high office the best qualities of head and heart. He was scrupulously
honest, upright and straightforward, with tremendous courage and boldness.
Today, he is no more with us but his memory and legacy will forever be
a beacon of light for generations of men and women in blues. We are equally
grieved over the sad demise of the first lady of PAF, Begum Bilquis Mushaf
Ali. The tragedy becomes even more poignant when we realize that she
was the only lady on board and, as a wife and mother, she had volunteered
for the journey purely out of a strong desire to personally meet the
families of officers and airmen at Kohat and resolve their problems.
She is a true martyr because her commitment was beyond the call of duty.
Begum Bilquis was an enlightened and self-composed lady who worked tirelessly
for the welfare of the low-paid employees of PAF. Soft spoken and benevolent,
she was a source of motivation in all social and educational pursuits
within the service. She initiated multiple projects meant for the progress
of the social well-being of PAF families. She was especially very keen
on educational matters and patronized curricular and extra-curricular
activities of the children of PAF personnel. As the head of Pakistan
Air Force Women’s Association, she was a symbol of hope and assistance
to the less privileged segments of air force personnel. To her goes the
unique glory of being the first lady shaheed in the entire history of
Pakistan Air Force.
On board with the Air Chief were his two Principal Staff Officers, Air
Vice Marshal Abdul Razzaq, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Training),
and Air Vice Marshal Saleem A Nawaz, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Administration).
Both the officers were brilliant professionals and outstanding commanders
of Pakistan Air Force. AVM Razzaq was commissioned in April, 1973. He
had a distinguished career in which he excelled as a brilliant fighter
pilot. In the course of his service he commanded No 9 Squadron as well
as No 14 Squadron.
During the Afghan jehad he undertook a large number of F-16 operational
missions. He was also Officer Commanding of the prestigious Combat Commanders
School and Base Commander PAF Base, Masroor. His staff assignments included
his appointment as Principal Staff Officer to Chief of the Air Staff;
Director of Operations, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Plans), Assistant
Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of the Air Staff
(Training). His tenure as DCAS (T) will be best remembered for the dynamic
changes that were brought about in the PAF educational institutions.
His able guidance and leadership played a pivotal role in vast improvements
in the entire infrastructure of PAF schools/colleges. He imparted a fresh
vision and dimension to the overall training structure in the air force
and his services will never be forgotten. His school education took place
at PAF Public School Sargodha from where he emerged as a top student
having secured board positions both in matriculation and intermediate
Air Vice Marshal Saleem A Nawaz was commissioned in April, 1974. He proved
to be a skilful fighter pilot and flew a variety of aircraft on the PAF
inventory. He was Officer Commanding No 8 Squadron and also commanded
a fighter wing. He served as Base Commander PAF Base, Masroor. Because
of his outstanding professionalism he was promoted to the rank of Air
Vice Marshal and appointed Commandant Air War College in July, 2001.
After a tenure of 6 months he was posted as Air Officer Commanding Northern
Air Command. In November, 2002 he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Air
Staff (Administration). AVM Saleem had earlier served as Assistant Chief
of the Air Staff (Plans). He belonged to a martial family and his father,
Air Vice Marshal (Retd) C R Nawaz, had the distinction of being among
the pioneers of Pakistan Air Force. His elder brother, Air Marshal Pervez
A Nawaz, retired from the service in January this year.
Air Commodore Syed Javaid Sabir was commissioned in June, 1975. He remained
on active flying duties with various fighter squadrons. After completing
his instructional tenure at PAF Academy Risalpur he served with No 14
and No 17 Squadrons. He performed the duties of a Flight Commander at
key operational units. He served on deputation to Saudi Arabia and later
on did a staff course and on posting in the USA. He commanded No 23 Squadron.
His staff duties included tenures in Plans Directorate and Personnel
Branch. He was Assistant Chief of the Air Staff Personnel (Officers).
In September, 2002, he was appointed Secretary to CAS.
Air Commodore Rizwanullah Khan was commissioned in 1978. At the culmination
of his initial training at PAF Academy, he won the coveted Sword of Honour
and Chief of the Air Staff Best Pilot Trophy. He served on various staff
and command appointments including Officer Commanding No 11 Squadron
and Officer Commanding Combat Commanders School. Besides doing courses
related to his flying profession, he also graduated in Aerospace from
PAF College of Aeronautical Engineering. Thus he was both a fighter pilot
and a qualified engineer. He attended Advance Staff Course in the UK
and got his Masters in Defence Studies. He was the son-in-law of Air
Commodore (Retd) Rais A Rafi, a hero of the September, 1965 war. Air
Cdr Rizwanullah took over as PSO to CAS in August, 2002.
Group Captain Aftab Ahmed Cheema was commissioned in A&SD (ATC) Branch
of the PAF on 10 December, 1978. During his tenure of service he worked
on various appointments including Senior Air Traffic Control Officer,
Sargodha. He had been performing the duties of Assistant Principal Staff
Officer to CAS since August, 2000.
Wing Commander Syed Tabassam Abbas was commissioned in Administration & Special
Duties Branch of PAF in October, 1985. During the last 17 years of service,
he worked on various instructional and staff appointment including Air
Traffic Controller, instructor at Directorate of Studies Risalpur, Assistant
Provost Marshal at Samungli, in charge Personnel Squadron PAF Base Minhas.
He had been working as ADC to CAS since November, 2000.
Squadron Leader Mumtaz Kiani was born on 11 July, 1965 at Lahore. His
father, a Major in Pakistan Army, died in 1977 and thereafter he was
brought up by his mother. He has left behind a widow, two daughters and
a son grieved. He was commissioned in Pakistan Air Force on 25th March,
1988. He was vastly experienced in flying different transport aircraft.
Squadron Leader Ahmed Yousaf, aged 38, belonged to Chiniot. He has left
behind a widow and one daughter. He was commissioned in GD (P) Branch
of PAF on 4th April, 1986. Squadron Leader Ahmed Yousaf had extensive
experience of flying different types of transport aircraft.
Squadron Leader Abdul Rab, born on 4th September, 1972, belonged to Lahore.
He was commissioned on 23rd December, 1993. He had vast experience on
different transport aircraft.
Senior Technician Khan Muhammad Supply Assistant belonged to village
Malukal District Rawalpindi. He has left behind a widow and three sons
grieved. He was an experienced supply assistant and was on board as a
Senior Technician Ghazanfar Ali belonged to village Lambra, Tehsil and
District Gujrat. He has left behind a widow and three daughters grieved.
Corporal Technician Muhammad Ashraf hailed from village Thanil Fatohi,
District Chakwal. He has left behind a widow, one son and two daughters
grieved. He was on board as a flight steward.
Corporal Technician Fayyaz belonged to village Kalabat, Tehsil Topi (District
Sawabi). He has left behind a widow and three sons grieved. He was an
experienced and dedicated Engine Fitter.
Corporal Technician Khush Kadam Shah belonged to village Thoi-Koonoo,
Tehsil Yasin (Gilgit). He was unmarried.
Corporal Technician Amjad Pervez belonged to Chak Sikandar Tehsil Sara-e-Almgir
District Gujrat. He has left behind a widow, and a daughter grieved.
He was serving with DPR (Air) and used to accompany VIPs as photographer.
No amount of praise and expression in words can ever do justice to the
fallen Shaheens. They belonged to a special breed and class of professionals.
They were the best of the best who served as models for others. After
their Shahadat, through their actions, deeds and performance they have
left behind rich traditions of courage and dedications for the posterity
distantly to emulate. Their sacrifice will never go in vain. As promised
by Allah Almighty those who lay down their lives in His way, actually,
do live. The Omnipotent becomes their sustainers and nourishes. In a
Phoenix-like manner, they will rise from their ashes and will become
stars in the firmament. Up from the skies they are gazing at the green
fields and airfields. Every PAF pilot proceeding on a mission will have
the support of these angels of Allah. Their
Shahadat will spur and motivate PAF personnel to rededicate themselves
to the service of their motherland. This is a promise and commitment
to be upheld at all costs. For this is what we owe to the memory of our
departed heroes. May Allah accept the supreme sacrifice and give strength
and fortitude to the dependents of the Shaheeds. A’meen!
ALL PERSONNEL OF PAKISTAN AIR FORCE.