The 48th martyrdom anniversary of Nishan-e-Haider recipient Rashid Minhas is being observed today.
The youngest officer to have received the Nishan-e-Haider award was born on February 17, 1951.
He belonged to famous Minhas clan of Rajputs.
His childhood fascination with aircraft and aviation led him to what he truly was destined for.
Rashid Minhas embraced his true passion after school and earned a degree in military history and aviation history from the University of Karachi.
He was the first recipient of the highest honor of gallantry for the Pakistan Air Force.
After his death, Minhas was honored as a national hero.
Rashid Minhas was taxiing toward the runway when a Bengali instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, signaled 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.
Later, investigation showed that Rahman intended to defect to India to join his compatriots in the Bangladesh Liberation War, along with the jet trainer.
However, Rashid Minhas did the only thing within his control and forced that plane to crash just 32 miles from the Indian border, deliberately sacrificing his life for the honor of Pakistan.
Minhas spent his early childhood in Lahore. Later, the family shifted to Rawalpindi.
Titled a national hero the Pakistan Air Force base at Kamra was renamed PAF Base, Minhas, often called Minhas-Kamra.