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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Pak Military honors PAF pilot Rashid Minhas on 49th martyrdom anniversary

Pilot officer Rashid Minhas lived up to the great traditions of the Pakistan Air Force serving the motherland," said DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar in a tweet.

Pakistan Military paid homage to Shaheed Pakistan Air Force Pilot, Rashid Minhas on his 49th martyrdom anniversary.

The courageous PAF pilot Rashid Minhas embraced martyrdom at the age of 20 during the 1971 war. Rashid Minhas was awarded Nishan-e-Haider for his valiance and bravery. Minhas became the youngest officer to receive Nishan-e-Haider.

“Today we remember supreme sacrifice of Pilot officer Rashid Minhas Shaheed (Nishan-e -Haider) in the line of duty. Pilot officer Rashid Minhas lived up to great traditions of Pakistan Air Force serving the motherland,” DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said in a tweet.

Who is Rashid Minhas?

Rashid Minhas was born on 17 February 1951, in Karachi to a Muslim Rajput family of the Minhas clan. Rashid Minhas spent his early childhood in the city. Later, the family shifted to Rawalpindi. Minhas obtained his early education from St Mary’s Cambridge School Rawalpindi. Later his family shifted back to Karachi. Minhas was fascinated with aviation history and technology. He used to collect different models of aircraft and jets. He also attended St Patrick’s High School, Karachi.

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Rashid entered the PAF School in Lower Topa in 1968, the Air Force’s officer candidate school, and then proceeded toward completing his military training at the Pakistan Air Force Academy in 1969.


After joining the air force, Minhas was commissioned on 13 March 1971, in the 51st GD(P) Course. He began training to become a pilot. On 20 August of that year, in the hour before noon, he was getting ready to take off in a T-33 jet trainer in Karachi, Pakistan. His second solo flight in that type of aircraft. Minhas was taxiing towards the runway when his instructor pilot signaled him to stop and then climbed into the instructor’s seat. The jet took off and turned towards India.


Minhas radioed PAF Base Masroor with the message that he was being hijacked. The air controller requested that he resend his message, and he confirmed the hijacking. Later investigation showed that Rahman intended to defect to India to join his compatriots in the Bangladesh Liberation War, along with the jet trainer. In the air, Minhas struggled physically to wrest control from Rahman; each man tried to overpower the other through the mechanically linked flight controls. Some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border, the jet crashed near Thatta. Both men were killed.

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Minhas was posthumously awarded Pakistan’s top military honor, the Nishan-E-Haider, and became the youngest man and the only member of the Pakistan Air Force to win the award.