KARACHI: Rashid Minhas, great Pakistani hero awarded with Nishan-i-Haider for his sacrifice for the homeland, is being remembered on his death anniversary today (Saturday).
Rashid Minhas was born on 17 February 1951 in Karachi. Rashid Minhas belonged to a famous Minhas clan of Rajput.
Minhas was fascinated with aviation history and technology. He used to collect different models of aircraft and jets. After schooling, he attended Karachi University where he studied Military history and Aviation history.
He was commissioned as a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force in 1971. Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas was taxiing for takeoff on a routine training flight when an Instructor Pilot forced his way into the rear cockpit, seized control of the aircraft and took off.
When Rashid Minhas realized that the absconding pilot was heading towards India, he tried to regain control of the plane but was unable to do so. Knowing that it meant certain death, he damaged the controls and forced the aircraft to crash thirty-two miles short of the border on 20 August 1971.
Rashid Minhas is also the youngest and short-service officer, belonging to the Pakistan Armed Forces, who received the Nishan-i-Haider in 1971. SAMAA