Rashid Minhas


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Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas –17 February 1951 – 20 August 1971:

Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas was a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Minhas was the only PAF officer to receive the highest valour award, the Nishan-e-Haider. He was also the youngest person and the shortest-serving officer to have received this award. During the routine training mission in August 1971, P/Off. Minhas attempted to gain control of his jet trainer when his superior officer Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman was trying to defect to India to join Liberation war of Bangladesh and deliberately commandeer his plane that crashed near the Thatta District, Sindh in Pakistan.


Born    17 February 1951 Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Died   20 August 1971 (aged 20) Thatta District, Sindh    
Buried  Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan   
Allegiance    Pakistan   
Service/branch   Pakistan Air Force   
Years of service   13 March 1971 – 20 August 1971
Rank   Pak-air-force-OF-1a.svg Pilot Officer   
Service number  PAK-5602   
Unit      PAFlogocolor.png No. 2 Squadron Minhas   
Battles/wars   Bangladesh Liberation War †   
Awards   Nishan Haider Ribbon.gif Nishan-e-Haider


Rashid Minhas was born on 17 February 1951, at Karachi to a Muslim Rajput family of the Minhas clan. Rashid Minhas spent his early childhood in Karachi. Later, the family shifted to Rawalpindi. Minhas had his early education from St Mary’s Cambridge School Rawalpindi. Later his family shifted back to Karachi. Minhas was fascinated with aviation history and technology. He used to collect different models of aircraft and jets. He also attended St Patrick’s High School, Karachi.

The ancestor of Rashid Minhas was born in Qila Sobha Singh and later on they moved to Karachi and Rashid Minhas was born in Karachi. His father, Majeed Minhas, a civil engineer and an alumnus of the NED University in Karachi, was in a construction management business who later moved to Lahore, Punjab, for the construction project. He was educated in Lahore and taking admission in British-managed St. Mary’s School in Rawalpindi when his father found an employment opportunity but later permanently settled in Karachi.

He passed and qualified for his Senior Cambridge examination and performed well while finishing the O-level and A-level qualifications from the St. Patrick’s High School in Karachi. His father, Majeed Minhas, wanted his son, Rashid, to follow his step by attending the engineering university and strongly desired for his son to gain a degree in engineering after finishing his high schooling in Karachi. Against the wishes of his father, Rashid entered in the PAF School in Lower Topa in 1968, the Air Force’s officer candidate school, and forwarded towards completing his military training at the Pakistan Air Force Academy in 1969.



Having joined the air force, Minhas was commissioned on 13 March 1971, in the 51st GD(P) Course. He began training to become a pilot. On 20 August of that year, in the hour before noon, he was getting ready to take off in a T-33 jet trainer in Karachi, Pakistan. His second solo flight in that type of aircraft. Minhas was taxiing toward the runway when a Bengali instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, signalled him to stop and then climbed into the instructor’s seat. The jet took off and turned toward India.

Minhas radioed PAF Base Masroor with the message that he was being hijacked. The air controller requested that he resend his message, and he confirmed the hijacking. Later investigation showed that Rahman intended to defect to India to join his compatriots in the Bangladesh Liberation War, along with the jet trainer. In the air, Minhas struggled physically to wrest control from Rahman; each man tried to overpower the other through the mechanically linked flight controls. Some 32 miles (51 km) from the Indian border, the jet crashed near Thatta. Both men were killed.

Minhas was posthumously awarded Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-E-Haider, and became the youngest man and the only member of the Pakistan Air Force to win the award. Similarly, Rahman was honoured by Bangladesh with their highest military award, the Bir Sreshtho.

Minhas’s Pakistan military citation for the Nishan-E-Haider states that he “forced the aircraft to crash” in order to prevent Rahman from taking the jet to India. This is the official, popular and widely known version of how Minhas died. Yawar A. Mazhar, a writer for Pakistan Military Consortium, relayed in 2004 that he spoke to retired PAF Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry about Minhas, and that he learned more details not generally known to the public. According to Mazhar, Chaudhry led the immediate task of investigating the wreckage and writing the accident report. Chaudhry told Mazhar that he found the jet had hit the ground nose first, instantly killing Minhas in the front seat. Rahman’s body, however, was not in the jet and the canopy was missing. Chaudhry searched the area and saw Rahman’s body some distance behind the jet, the body found with severe abrasions from hitting the sand at a low angle and a high speed. Chaudhry thought that Minhas probably jettisoned the canopy at low altitude causing Rahman to be thrown from the cockpit because he was not strapped in. Chaudhry felt that the jet was too close to the ground at that time, too far out of control for Minhas to be able to prevent the crash.



After his death, Minhas was honoured as a national hero. In his memory the Pakistan Air Force base at Kamra was renamed PAF Base Minhas, often called Minhas-Kamra. In Karachi he was honoured by the naming of a main road, ‘Rashid Minhas Road’. A two-rupee postage stamp bearing his image was issued by Pakistan Post in December 2003; 500,000 were printed.


Awards and Decorations:
  • Nishan-e-Haider (NH)

Hassan Siddiqui


Squadron Leader Hassan Mehmood Siddiqui:
Full Name: Hassan Mehmood Siddiqui
Born:   1982 
Famous As: Brave PAF Pilot
Nationality:  Pakistani
Residence: North, Karachi 
Education: Intermediate
Alma Mater: Federal Urdu University
Religion: Islam 
Profession:  PAF Pilot
Post:  Squadron leader
Previous post: Flight Leftenant

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Squadron Leader Hassan Mehmood Siddiqui was born in Karachi in the house of a Bihari migrant. It is said that his father migrated to Pakistan from Patna after partition of subcontinent into two countries. Hassan Siddiqui is a lionhearted pilot of Pakistan Air force who made millions of Pakistanis proud by spilling the 2 Indian jets and saved the country from a big loss in 2019. He was being appreciated by everyone for his courageous act that will be worth remembering.

Hassan Siddiqui is a fearless and valiant pilot of Pakistan Air Force who always had a dream of serving Pakistan by becoming a pilot since Childhood. He is fully devoted to his career. After completing his education he went to fulfill his dream of childhood. In 2001 after passing the exam of Airforce he was shifted to PIA Academy Risalpur for the training where he completed the 115 GD Pilot course. According to his fellows, he has been always the most fearless pilot.



He spent his early days in Karachi and then completed his initial studies from a private school in Karachi. It was revealed that he did his matriculation from Usman Public School in 1999.

Usman Public School has many branches in Karachi, Hassan passed out from Campus II which is located in North Karachi.

He holds the degree of Intermediate. Later he obtained his education from Federal Urdu University



In 2005 he completed the training of the pilot course and achieved his first success by becoming the pilot officer. With his courage, and enthusiasm he soon got promoted to flying officer and then flight leftenant. Currently, he is on the post of Squadron leader and is making all the Pakistanis proud of his bravery.



In light of Indian animosity, Pakistan Air Force on 27th Feb panicked the adversary drive-by shooting down their two warriors jets in the open air. One of the flying machines fell inside Azad Kashmir and others fell inside Indian occupied Kashmir. One Indian pilot was likewise arrested by troops. He made all the nation proud by hitting MIG 21.


Public Appreciation:

He got a great welcome when his plane contacted down in the wake of bringing down Indian planes which abused Pakistan’s regional trustworthiness. A number of people went there to welcome the brave son of Pakistan with full excitement. A number of personalities shared a video of Pakistan’s extraordinary brave fighter who was heartily invited by his group in the wake of executing his activity that made each Pakistani proud and happy.