As the nation is observing Air Force Day on September 7 (today) with tradition zeal, a contingent of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) presented guard of honor at the tomb of Rashid Minhas – Pakistan’s only fighter pilot who was awarded the highest decoration of Nishan-e-Haider.

Air Officer Commanding Southern Air Command (AOC SAC) Ghulam Abbas Ghumman and Anjum Minhas – brother of Rashid Minhas – laid floral wreath at the martyr’s tomb and prayed for him.

Rashid Minhas – only 20 – was decorated with Nishan-e-Haider for not letting his defector instructor, Flt Lt Matiur Rahman, fly to India with state secrets and an in-service air force official.

He chose to point aircraft’s nose to ground and destroy it, rendering sacrifice of his life for the sake of sanctity and integrity of his country in 1971 war against India. Coup leader, President General Yahya Khan announced posthumous decoration for the martyr.

Ghulam Abbas Ghumman said in his message today, “The armed forces are always ready to retaliate against any aggression. Pakistan’s history is full of such examples of sacrificing lives for the motherland. The PAF made the nation proud.”

PAF attacked Indian airbases in Pathankot, Adampur and Halwara on September 6 and destroyed 53 fighter jets of the enemy before 05:00 PM on September 7.