The country and its armed forces on Thursday paid tribute to the Nishan-e-Haider recipient Rashid Minhas, an under-training pilot who sacrificed his life on August 20, 1971, to save his country.
Minhas was taxiing toward the runway on a routine training flight when an instructor pilot Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman forced him to stop and seized the control of the jet. Rahman took controls of the aircraft and took off and headed towards India.
Minhas 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 the control of the jet and crashed it some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border near Thatta and embraced martyrdom laying down his life for Pakistan and in the process killed Rahman foiling his plans.
Rashid was posthumously awarded Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-e-Haider. He became the youngest man and the only member of the Pakistan Air Force to win the award.
The military’s media wing tweeted commemorating the sacrifice by Minhas marking his 49th martyrdom anniversary.
“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,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.