OBITUARY

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)
Air Marshal

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 examinations.
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 flight steward.
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!
MOURNER
ALL PERSONNEL OF PAKISTAN AIR FORCE.

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