Cecil was born on August 27, 1941, in British India, he was a veteran fighter pilot, Pakistani academic and a human rights activist. Born to the only Roman Catholic family in the village Dalwal, located in the Salt Range, Punjab, Cecil rose to prominence as one of the best fighter pilots of Pakistan. Cecil Chaudhry, son of a veteran photographer Elmer Chaudhry studied at St. Anthony School, Lahore. Cecil joined Pakistan Air Force in 1958. In 1960, he received his double B.Sc. in aeronautics and mechanical engineering along with becoming an ace fighter pilot upon graduating from the PAF Academy.
Cecil bravely served as a flight lieutenant in the Indo-Pak War of 1965 and as a squadron leader in the Indo-Pak War of 1971. During the Indo-Pak war, Cecil participated in several aerial battles. During the 1965 war, he participated in a deadly operation to attack the Amritsar Radar Station and Halwara air eld. In recognition of his commendable achievement, he was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat and Sitara-i-Basalat. Cecil is held in the highest esteem of the PAF.
After his retirement in 1986, he dedicated his services to Pakistan as an educationalist and human rights activist. He served as the Principal of St. Anthony’s College and of St. Mary’s Academy in Rawalpindi. After retiring in 2011, he joined the Punjab Education Foundation as its director. During his tenure, Cecil tirelessly worked for the betterment of special children and for education reforms. Cecil was also the Executive Secretary of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) since its formation and was also affiliated with the National Commission for Justice and Peace. In addition to that, he played a crucial role in leading the fourteen-year campaign that led to the restoration of Pakistan’s joint electorate system in 2002.
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Cecil Chaudhry passed away in 2011 at the Combined Military Hospital. His legacy is continued on by his three daughters and a son – Michelle Chaudhry, Carol Hay, Merlyn Khan and Cecil Chaudhry Junior. His daughter Michelle Chaudhry is the founder of the non-profit ‘Cecil & Iris Chaudhry Foundation’, a non-profit which works for the protection of minorities of Pakistan. In August 2013, President Asif Ali Zardari conferred the President’s Pride of Performance Award upon Cecil Chaudhry.