Asghar Khan, an icon of integrity


VETERAN politician and first native commander-in-chief of Pakistan Air Force retired Air Marshal Asghar Khan has passed away leaving behind a proud legacy of integrity, self-respect and honour. He contributed immensely towards modernization of PAF and strengthening defence of Pakistan and that is why Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi rightly decided to give him state funeral.
There are no two opinions that Asghar Khan was a highly professional soldier who dedicated himself to attainment of excellence. He was a straight-forward, simple, honest, truthful and loyal to the country to the core. He was a man of principles and that is why sought premature retirement from PAF after he was not consulted during launch of an important operation, an incident that also highlighted the need for more coordination and understanding among the three services. He also headed the national flag carrier – PIA – and succeeded in turning it into a profitable organization, which showed leadership do matter in making and unmaking of institutions. The late Air Marshall also ventured into politics and formed Tehreek-e-Istiqlal, which could not fare well in any general election. Majority of people liked the principle-based politics of Asghar Khan but he could not make an impact in the political arena because there is no room for idealism in our messy corruption and exploitation-based politics. Nation would always be indebted to him for making our skies impregnable and making efforts towards promotion of principles based politics, which is need of the hour. We would urge our political leaders and parties to follow the footsteps of the legendary personality if they are really interested to cleanse the politics of rotten eggs. This should be particularly so in the case of PTI as Asghar Khan had merged his Tehrik-e-Istiqlal into this party. We hope that PTI would make conscientious efforts to realize the goals that late Asghar Khan has set for him in politics but could not achieve.