The youngest achiever of top military award ‘Nishan-e-Haider’ and shortest serving officer too, Rashid Minhas was remembered on Tuesday on his 48th death anniversary. To honour the brave officers, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base at Kamra has been renamed in his honour while a main street was named after him as Rashid Minhas Road.
On 20th August 1971 when he was getting ready to take off in a T 33 trainer in Karachi when Instructor pilot Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman forced his way into the rear cockpit seized control of the aircraft and took off. With the intention of defecting to India, Matiur Rahman knocked Minhas out in mid air.
Rashid Minhas regained consciousness in mid flight and realized that his plane was being hijacked. He desperately tried to communicate to the PAF Masroor Base at 11.30 AM about his hijacking by Matiur Rahman. After a tussle between the two pilots ultimately the plane crashed. Rashid Minhas Shaheed foiled enemy designs to get Pakistan Air force plane to be hijacked to Indian territory.
The plane was found later 32 km away from Indian border. The brave office joined air force on 13th March 1971 and was commissioned in the 51st GD (P) Course.