The saga of late Hashim Khan & Azam Khan as former PAF officers


All the newspapers have car ried reports saying @Air Chief expresses grief on the demise of Azam Khan. This came as both a most appropriate as well as surprise to me as perhaps no one had properly briefed the Air Chief on the illustrious background of both the late Hashim Khan and Azam Khan. This needs to be properly explained and brought to the notice of current Air Chief as both stalwarts owed their illustrious career to the efforts of PAF and subsequently their induction to PAF as officers with the permission of then President Iskander Mirza ,on their return from UK in 1951 ,after annexing both the Scottish and British Open after making short work of the then reigning World Champion, Mehmood Karim of Egypt. Both the brothers had been employed by the PAF officers club at Peshawar where the PAF headquarters was also located. Both employed as markers in tennis and subsequently taking to squash ,were encouraged ,supported and subsequently financed by PAF officers to travel by sea to try their luck in England where British Open was considered as the virtual World Squash Championship. These two completely unknown ,unheard and even poorly equipped Peshawar players were to make world headlines . At first during Scottish Championship the reigning World Champion ,Karim ,was swapped and then in the subsequent British Open in 1951,the the inevitable happened with the complete overcoming of Karim,by Hashim Khan with his brother Azam Khan as close second. On their return to Pakistan at Karachi,Hashim Khan and Azam Khan ,got a hero’s welcome .It was also a personal and appropriate achievement of the PAF Officers whose effort ,had led to this great and singular achievement. With the appropriate and most willing approval of President Iskander Mirza ,who had strong connections with Peshawar having earlier served as a Political Officer,and DC there, both were inducted in the PAF as officers to serve as coaches at PAF Risalpur . Both used to travel on their newly acquired motor bikes from Peshawar to Risalpur. However ,few years later both immigrated ,Hashim to USA,andAzam to UK ,where they settled and found greater financial opportunities. It so happens ,Air Marshal Nur Khan ,during his tenure in PIA had tried to bring back Hashim Khan ,offering him an appropriate job at Karachi ,but Hashim was reluctant to return home with his whole family so well settled abroad. As someone ,who has followed squash both as a journalist and then my long years with PIA ,I owed it to highlight the above facts including the strong PAF connection of Hashim Khan and Azam Khan ,which unfortunately have not even been revealed to the current PAF Chief.