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The Quaid of centuries and Great leader of the Muslim's had very sensitive and deep concerns about Defence and Defence Forces of Pakistan particularly Pakistan Air Force. It's great dilemma and unfortunate on part of our Nation that after the emergence of a Muslim state, "Pakistan" in South Asia on the world map, the Quaid and great leader could live only a little more than an year. However, he managed to pay visit to different Army, Navy and Air Force units within the available time which God Almighty had granted him.
On a very first available schedule, the Great Quaid graced the occasion by visiting, (then) The Royal Pakistan Air Force School Risalpur on 13 April, 1948. This was first ever direct interaction by the Great Quaid to an Air Force unit. He flew from Karachi to Risalpur by Daccota aircraft and was accompanied by her sister (Madar-e-Millat) Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah and other Govt officials. The Quaid was received by Commander-in-Chief Royal Pakistan Air Force Air Vice Marshal Perry Keene and was presented guard of honour. The vision of Quaid as he envisaged about Air Force of Pakistan, is evident from address he made to the officers and Airmen of Royal Pakistan Air Force School Risalpur on the day. The Quaid said, "It gives me great pleasure to pay my first visit to a unit of the Royal Pakistan Air Force. There is no doubt that ANY COUNTRY WITHOUT A STRONG AIR FORCE IS AT THE MERCY OF ANY AGGRESSOR. PAKISTAN MUST BUILD UP HER AIR FORCE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. IT MUST BE AN EFFICIENT AIR FORCE SECOND TO NONE and must take its right place with the Army and the Navy in securing Pakistan defence. I am well aware of air developments in other countries and my government is determined that the Royal Pakistan Air Force will not lag behind. The Royal Pakistan Air Force has started with very few assets with loyalty and determination to succeed. But the Royal Pakistan Air Force is already taking shape; this school formed only 7 months ago is a worth example of this. I know you are short of personnel but I understand recruitment is brisk and good material is coming forward. To fill up the gaps in the meantime, the Royal Air Force volunteers are coming forward and are welcome. I know that you are short of aircraft and equipment but efforts are being made to procure the necessary equipment and orders for modern aircraft have also been placed. But aircraft and personnel in any numbers are of little use, unless there is a team spirit within the Air Force and a strict sense of discipline prevails. I charge you to remember that only with discipline and self reliance can the Royal Pakistan Air Force be worthy of Pakistan. I am pleased to learn of the progress which this school has made and as desired by the Air Commander and yourselves, I name it from today "The Pakistan Air Force College". I thank you all and I wish your college and yourselves all success".
Every single word of Quaid's speech clearly indicates his vision about Pakistan Air Force. Probably Quaid knew that his ailing health is not going to permit him a longer period any more. Moreover, he was much committed with day to day problems of a new born state. So, on his visit to Royal Pakistan Air Force School Risalpur, he conveyed his message to the Air Defenders of country. Infact, this message was going to prove a guide line for all those future Air Force Commanders and staff who had to serve PAF to safeguard the air territory of Pakistan. The opening remarks of Quaid's speech are the focal point and bible for PAF war strategy. Quid said these few words almost 60 years ago, but the time has proven that sovereign country cannot survive without a strong and efficient Air Force. The brave PAF history of 1965 and 1971 wars, is the shining example to this fact.
The message of the Quaid is not restricted to build up the assets only, he equally emphasized upon loyalty and determination. Be it war, social or economic sector, no Nation can ever be successful in any field of life, without a strong willpower and allegiance. The Quaid is very particular to the concept of team spirit and the sense of strict discipline. It is a matter of great honour and satisfaction for the Nation and PAF personnel that today, Pakistan Air Force is exactly following the footsteps and guidelines provided by our great Quaid. By conceiving his idea of self reliance, PAF is self sufficient in number of indigenous fields. In-country production of JF-17 Thunder, state of the art fighter aircraft with the help of China, is a classic example of self reliance.
By the grace of God Almighty, Pakistan Air Force is exactly progressing in line with the Quid's vision of Pakistan Air Force. The PAF masses at all level have left no stone unturned to bring Pakistan Air Force at a level where it is an Air Force second to none.
(TAHIR MUNIR JAFRI)
Reference / Bibliography:-
First series, Vol-II (Document No 236)
Published by Quaid-e-Azam papers project
Culture Division Islamabad Govt of Pakistan
Oxford University Press, Pakistan
Wg Cdr Tahir Munir Jafri was commissioned in Logistics sub-Branch of PAF in 1989. He has qualified number of service and professional courses from different recognized institutions. He is a graduate of Air War College and also undergoing MSc in Mass Communications from AIOU. His articles have been published in national Newspapers on Defence Day of Pakistan. At present, he is serving as Deputy Director Logistics (Budget) in Directorate of Logistics Admin Services at AHQ Islamabad.