Sacrifice of Rashid Minhas to be always remembered: Murad Ali Shah
KARACHI (92 News) – Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Friday said that Pilot Officer Rashid Rashid Minhas (Nishan-i-Haider) sacrificed his life at the young age for the love of homeland and his name would be always remembered.
On the Defence and Martyrs Day of Pakistan, the Sindh chief minister visited the house of Shaheed Rashid Minhas and spent time with his family. He paid homage to the son of soil and also saw memorable pictures of Rashid Minhas.
Speaking to the journalists, Murad Ali shah said flying officer Shaheed Rashid Minhas sacrificed his life for saving the motherland at the young age. He also said that the glowing tributes are being paid to the sons of the soil who sacrificed their lives while fighting for the defence of the country.
Rashid Minhas was posthumously awarded Pakistan’s top military honour, the Nishan-E-Haider, and he is the youngest officer who received the Nishan-e-Haider award. He is the only recipient of the highest honour of gallantry from Pakistan Air Force.
After his death, Minhas was honoured as a national hero. Minhas martyred during Rahman, traitor, tried to take his control and defect to India to join his compatriots in the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas was born on February 17, 1951 at Karachi. Rashid Minhas spent his early childhood in Lahore. Later, the family shifted to Rawalpindi. Minhas had his early education from St Mary’s Cambridge School Rawalpindi.
Having joined the air force, Minhas was commissioned on March 13, 1971, in the 51st GD (P) Course. He began training to become a pilot. On August 20 of that year, in the hour before noon, he was getting ready to take off in a T-33 jet trainer in Karachi, 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.