PAF Heros

Sqn Ldr Sarfaraz Ahmad Rafiqui
(Hilal-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Jurat)

On 6 September, 1965, Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmad Rafiqui led a formation of 3 F-86 aircraft on a strike against Halwara airfield. The formation was intercepted by about 10 Hunter aircraft out of which Squadron Leader Rafiqui accounted for one in the first few seconds. But then his guns jammed due to a defect and stopped firing. However, Rafiqui refused to leave the battle area which he would have been perfectly justified to do; instead he ordered his No. 2 to take over as leader and continue the engagement while he tried to give the formation as much protection as was possible with an unarmed aircraft. This called on the part of Squadron Leader Rafiqui. The end for him was never in doubt but he chose to disregard it and, in the process, his aircraft was shot down and he was killed but not before enabling his formation to shoot down 3 more Hunter aircraft. Rafiqui’s conduct was clearly beyond the call of duty and conformed to the highest traditions of leadership and bravery in battle against overwhelming odds. For this and his earlier exploits, he is awarded Hilal-i-Jurat and Sitara-i-Jurat.


Squadron Leader Munir-ud-Din Ahmed

During the war, a high-powered heavily defended radar station near Amritsar was attacked repeatedly by the PAF fighters. In all these missions, Squadron Leader Munir unhesitatingly volunteered to fly and without regard for his personal safety exposed himself to intense ack ack fire for long periods in attempts to locate and destroy the target. In the final successful attack on September 11, he made the supreme sacrifice when his aircraft was fatally hit. Before his last sortie, Munir flew eight combat missions and shot down an IAF Gnat on September 10. For displaying courage and determination in the face of heavy odds and beyond the call of duty, Squadron Leader Munir-ud-Din Ahmed is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.


Sqn Ldr Alauddin Ahmed

Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed, led his squadron in twenty combat missions against the Indian ground and air forces. His leadership throughout the operations was cool, courageous and most determined which inspired the greatest confidence amongst pilots of his formations and resulted in destruction of many Indian tanks and vehicles. In his last sortie, he attacked and blew up an important ammunition train at Gurdaspur rail-head in complete disregard of his personal safety. During this attack on September 13, his aircraft was damaged and he was reported missing over enemy territory. Subsequently, it was confirmed that the officer died in this action. For his exemplary leadership, courage and valour, Squadron Leader Alauddin Ahmed is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.


Flt Lt Yunus Hussain

Flight Lieutenant Yunus Hussain fought in air battles aggressively, fearlessly and with great professional skill. During one such engagement he fought singly against 6 enemy aircraft and shot down 2 Hunters. Though his own aircraft was damaged in this encounter, he managed to bring it back to base safely. On 6 September, while attacking Halwara airfield, his small formation was intercepted by a large number of enemy and, although his aircraft was hit, he refused to break off the engagement, in complete disregard of personal safety, and was reported missing from this mission. He became a symbol of courage and professional ability for other pilots. For his gallantry, valour, professional skill and devotion to duty he is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.


Sqn Ldr Muhammad Iqbal

Squadron Leader Muhammad Iqbal flew many operational missions which played a vital part in the success of the Pakistan Air Force during the India-Pakistan War. He carried out these missions with determination, enthusiasm, outstanding ability and at great personal risk. His performance, throughout, was exemplary and highly inspiring for the personnel under his command. For his outstanding leadership, valour, loyalty and invaluable services to the Pakistan Air Force and the country, he is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.


Flt Lt Saifullah Khan Lodhi

Flight Lieutenant Saifullah Khan Lodhi was a navigator of exceptional ability and a completely dedicated officer. He possessed unusual skill, enthusiasm and drive, which enabled him to make valuable contribution towards operations. He undertook several operational missions most cheerfully and enthusiastically, invariably attaining outstanding results. It was on one such mission on 11 September ‘65, that he lost his life. For his extreme dedication to duty, Flight Lieutenant Saifullah Khan Lodhi is awarded Sitara-i-Jurat.


Leading Aircraftman
Muhammad Anwar Hussain Khan

Leading Aircraftman Anwar Hussain Khan was on duty at a vital point. His position was rocketed by enemy aircraft and the place caught fire. Anwar Hussain was the only person on duty over there. He fought the fire single-handedly with the available fire appliances and managed to control it and thus saved expensive equipment. During his brave and selfless struggle, he was engulfed by the fire and lost his life. His death is an example of courage and unfaltering devotion to duty towards the service as well as to the country. He is granted the award of Tamgha-i-Jurat.


Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas

On the morning of Friday, 20th August, 1971, Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas, a pilot still under training, was in the front seat of a jet trainer, taxing out for take off. An instructor pilot from the same unit forced his way into the rear cockpit, seized control of the aircraft and having taken off, headed the aircraft towards India. With just some 40 miles of Pakistan territory remaining, Minhas had only one course open to him to prevent his aircraft from entering India. Without hesitation, and living up to the highest traditions of the Pakistan Air Force, Rashid Minhas tried to regain control of his aircraft, but finding this to be impossible in the face of the superior skill and experience of his instructor, forced the aircraft to crash at a point 32 miles from the Indian border. In doing so Pilot Officer Minhas deliberately made the supreme sacrifice for the honour of Pakistan and the service to which he belonged. For this act of heroism above and beyond the call of duty, the President of Pakistan is pleased to award the Nishan-i-Haider to Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas.