Quaid and PAF
Sep 12: Few individuals significantly alter the course
of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can he
credited with creating a nation-state. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three. Hailed
as "Great Leader" (Quaid-e-Azam) of Pakistan and its first Governor General,
Jinnah virtually conjured that country into statehood by the force of his
indomitable will.-Stanley Wolport
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is one of
the most dynamic leaders of modem times. As is evident from Wolport's opening
paragraphs of the Quaid's biography, 'Jinnah of Pakistan', he was a complete
leader. His foresight was tremendous. During his stay in Europe, he had watched
the emergence of air power very closely. From its limited role in the First
World War to the unprecedented death and destruction unleashed on humanity by
the use of this new weapon, the Quaid perceived the overriding role that air
power would play in future conflicts.
In 1936, Quaid-e-Azam met the Muslim
Officers and men of the Royal Air Force at Lahore to discuss their progress and
participation in the Air Force. He urged them to work hard and acquire the
knowledge requisite to flying and maintaining aircraft displaying his interest
in air power and its emerging potentials.
Pakistan Air Force has been lucky
to receive the Quaid's special attention. PAF Base Masroor then known as
Mauripur has the unique distinction of welcoming the Quaid in August 1947 when
he flew in the Viceroy's Dakota to take up his mantle as the Governor General of
independent Pakistan. People from all walks of life thronged to Mauripur to
catch a glimpse of their "Messiah of the promised land".
As the Quaid
alighted from the aircraft, overwhelmed by adoration, chanting Pakistan
Zindabad, Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad, the people broke the cordons put up by the
police and rushed towards the aircraft. The Quaid stopped on the last step of
the aircraft's gangway and with a wave of his hand, beckoned the crowd, to go
back behind the barriers. They retreated instantly as if they had been pushed by
a magic wand. The first lesson of discipline had been driven home.
It was the
Quaid's amazing prescience that convinced him of the inseparable link between
survival and air power which would guarantee the security of Pakistan in the
shadow of the neighbouring implacable enemy. It was his love of PAF which, on
April 13, 1948 brought him to the RPAF Flying School at Risalpur despite his
As the Quaid stood before this small band of adoring PAF
Officers and Cadets of his, fledgling nation's air force, despite his frail
health, the air reverberated with his famous speech which became a source of
inspiration for PAF in the trials and tribulations of the years to
"There is no doubt that a country without a strong Air Force is at the
mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build up her air force as quickly as
possible. It must be an efficient air force second to none and must take its
right place with the Army and the Navy in securing Pakistan's Defence."
stirring words have rightly become enshrined in the creed of the Pakistan Air
Quaid's towering personality radiated great courage and dynamism and
his inspiring words serve as a beacon of strength in the PAF even today.
the formative years, every officer, airman cadet and civilian of the Air Force
worked with untiring effort and never ending zeal to build PAF. The Quaid's
dream of making the PAF second to none, did not take long to become a reality
and the nation today is rightly proud of its Air Force as an impregnable shield
of the country's airspace.
Successive leadership in the PAF pursued with
continued resolve the task of building the nation's air arm from strength to
strength. In keeping with the Quaid's aspirations, it behooves all of us in the
PAF to indicate the Quaid's trust in out abilities to serve Pakistan with
courage and dignity and make PAF a credible deterrent against our potential
It is a unique coincidence that having received the first salute
on Pakistan's soil in August, 1947 at PAF Base Mauripur, the Quaid replied his
last salute also at a PAF Base. When he began his final flight from PAF Base
Samungli at Quetta at 2:00 pm on September 11, 1948, Fatima Jinnah in her book
Jinnah, "My Brother", writes: "....... the pilot, and crew lined up and saluted
him. He in turn lifted his hand feebly....."
S.M. Hali (The nation)
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