Remembering Pakistan’s national hero Rashid Minhas Shaheed on his 48th martyrdom anniversary
Born on February 17 1951, he remains the youngest officer to receive the Nishan-e-Haider award and was the first recipient of the highest honour of gallantry for the Pakistan Air Force.
His childhood fascination with aircrafts and aviation and destiny led him to his dream career. Following his passion and enthusiasm, Minhas earned a degree in Military history and Aviation history from the University of Karachi.
He was commissioned as a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force in 1971.
On August 20, 1971 when he was still a trainee pilot, Minhas faced a true challenge when his Bengali instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Mataur Rahman forced his way into the cockpit took control of the aircraft and set its direction towards India.
In mid-air Rahman knocked Minhas out, seized control of the aircraft and headed towards India. Realizing the instructor pilot’s intention he tried to regain control of the plane but was unable to do so.
Eventually, the brave son of soil, Rashid Minhas did the only thing within his control and forced that plane to crash just 32 miles from the Indian border, deliberately sacrificing his life for the honour of Pakistan.
Awarded with Pakistan’s top military honor Nishan-E- Haider, Minhas became the youngest man in history and the only member of the Pakistan Air Force to be honored with this award for his valiant courage.
To honour his sacrifice and bravery, Air Force base at Kamra was renamed PAF Base Minhas.