Rashid Minhas: Pakistan remembers youngest Nishan-e-Haider holder

03:14 PM | 20 Aug, 2019
Rashid Minhas: Pakistan remembers youngest Nishan-e-Haider holder

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani nation on Tuesday remembered its hero Rashid Minhas on his 48th martyrdom anniversary, paying rich tributes to his loyalty and patriotism for the country's defence.

Rashid Minhas was a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force who embraced martyrdom in 1971 after not being able to regain the controls from a defecting pilot in a jet trainer.

Rashid was the first Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officer who received the Nishan-i-Haider, the highest military award in Pakistan.

Minhas belonged to a famous Minhas clan of Rajput. He was born on February 17, 1951 in Karachi.

From an early age, Minhas was fascinated with aviation history and technology. He used to collect different models of aircraft and jets.

He studied from Saint Mary's Academy, Lalazar, and completed his O and A levels at the age of 18.

He then attended Karachi University where he studied Military history and Aviation history.

He completed his O levels at the age of 16 with A grades in all of his subjects.

After enrolling in the Air Force, he passed out of the PAF academy with 3rd position and was awarded the Sword of Honor for his performance.

Since his childhood he used to write in his diary that "We cannot live forever then why don't we sacrifice ourselves on our dear homeland, yes it is an easy job".

On this day in 1971, during a routine training mission on a T-33 Jet trainer, his instructor tried to take control of the plane, knocking him down in the process. Rashid made sure that he didn't let the traitor accomplish his mission.

He sacrificed his life by crashing the jet 32 miles inside Pakistani territory. He didn't compromise on the honor and integrity of his country and made sure that his jet didn't get into the hands of the enemy.

His bravery made him a childhood hero for the young Pakistanis and became the reason why so many young kids wanted to join the armed forces, especially PAF.

He is also the shortest-serving and the youngest officer to receive the award for his valor. He embraced martyrdom at the age of 20.

He died on August 20, 1971 (aged 20) and was buried at Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan.