“Although the sadness of the young son’s eternal separation is never-ending, I am glad my son died for a noble cause.”
These were the remarks of the mother of Rashid Minhas shaheed, the youngest ever honored by Nishan-e Haider.
How much fortunate those mothers would have been who gave birth to intrepid and fearless dutiful-son who not only enlightened their mother’s name and tribe, but also the country’s and the whole nation, and fulfilled their duty with such valor that even the heavens were envious.
On February 17, 1951, Pakistan’s great son Rashid Minhas opened his eyes in the Rajput dynasty of Karachi. The attachment of the people of his family to the Pakistani Navy and the Pakistan Air Force encouraged him to join the army. His passion leads him to opt Pak Air Force. And consequently, the mother’s beloved Rashid, became pilot officer Rashid Minhas, passing through rigorous training.
Martyr Rashid Minhas did BSc in English, Air Force Law, Military History, Electronics, Meteorology, Shipping, Aviation etc. from the University of Peshawar in February 1971. His Urdu language was a bit infirm because of his studies at Cambridge School, but he regularly wrote letters to his mother in Urdu.
It was August 20, 1971, when Rashid Minhas got a chance to fly “T33 jet trainer” as a pilot, but a Bengali Pilot instructor, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rehman, resisted to be on-board. The young pilot officer respected his trainer. He was unaware of his ulterior motives while allowing him to ride in the cockpit. But as soon as the training plane took off, Pilot instructor Matiur Rehman commanded Rashid Minhas to fly the plane towards India. The Pakistani soil’s son refused to obey the instructions of the traitor who knocked Rashid Minhas on the head, making him unconscious and took control of the flight and turned the plane towards India.
But the Allah Almighty wrote the exalted of Pakistan and the martyrdom was written in the fate of Rashid Minhas. The aircraft in Pakistan’s airspace was just 40Km away from enemy country India, when Rashid Minhas returned to his senses and when he learned that the pilot instructor Matiur Rahman had documents containing Pakistan’s sensitive defense secrets which he wanted to carry in India. Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas started trying to regain control of the aircraft. But due to the blood flowing from the wound on his head, he found it impossible to regain control of the aircraft. Now Rashid Minhas had only one way left to prevent Pakistani aircraft from going to India, and moving toward enemy’s territory at every moment, just 32Km away from the Indian border, he made a magnificent decision that could be written only in the destiny of blessed sons. That talented officer of the Pak Air Force, just a few miles away from the enemy’s territory, suddenly turned the direction of the aircraft, occupied by the traitor with the most sensitive defense secrets, towards the ground. He sacrificed his life for Pakistan and at the age of 17 he himself went to the soil but saved the country’s dignity from being mixed in the soil.
On August 21, He was buried with military honor. His name was suggested by General Yahya Khan for Nishan-e Haider, and thus he is known as the sole and youngest officer of the Pak Air Force to receive the highest military honor.
Without sacrificing nations couldn’t be made, the role of young population is critical in making any nation mighty and mightier. When the love of homeland is in heart, the name of the country is enlightened not only in the curricular and the extracurricular field, but the sweetest entity “life”, is also imposed at stake.
Today is the 69th birth anniversary of Rashid Minhas Shaheed, he is not among us physically but his memories, his words and everlasting sacrifice is leading the way for our youth by becoming a beacon. The path of the nation’s glory, its determination that this country of God, Pakistan, is to remain forever because its soil has been irrigated by the sacred blood of the martyrs and The honorable sons of this holy land will not delay even a moment in destroying the evil eye of enemy, whether in any field of life and at any distinguished rank,. And the Moral is,
“The Country Remains, this life is temporary.
That is the way of the lions of Allah. ”
CDC team of Pakistan.