KARACHI: The 45th martyrdom anniversary of the brave and courageous Rashid Minhas is being observed today.

Rashid Minhas is the youngest officer to date to have received the Nishan-e-Haider award. He is the only recipient of the highest honor of gallantry from Pakistan Air Force. 

Rashid Minhas was born on February 17, 1951 in Karachi and received his primary education from St Mary’s Cambridge School Rawalpindi. He was commissioned as Pilot Officer in Pakistan Air Force in 1971.

Minhas was taxiing toward the runway for a routine training flight when an instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, forced him to stop and seized control of the jet and after take off directed it towards India.

Pilot Officer received a message from PAF Base Masroor that he was being hijacked after which he tried to regain control of the plane but failed to do so.

Minhas managed to damage control of the jet and crashed it some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border, near Thatta thereby sacrificing himself for Pakistan.