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PAF: discipline & equality


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THIs is apropos of the letter ‘PAF: discipline and equality’ by WG.CDR(r) Ahmed Shah Jan (March 27) in which he has expressed his exasperation as regards special perks and privileges being enjoyed by fighter pilots and which are not available to education corps officers.

He has also criticised the system of career progression and has called it a sore point. I fail to understand why Ahmed Shah Jan should compare fighter pilots with education corps officers. The job of a fighter pilot is highly specialised and immensely risky.

Every sortie is risk-prone and anything can happen to him whereas the job of an education corps officer is easy-going, not risk-prone and hardly challenging. It is the rule in the world that pilots are highly paid, be he a commercial pilot or a fighter pilot. Nobody cribs. Nobody should be jealous of them.

As regards career progression, one should be mindful that fighter pilots are the backbone of PAF. Hence they reach the top (only if they survive an air crash\getting shot down in combat). An education corps officer should not aspire to become an air marshal or air chief. Actually PAF should not reward ranks like Flt. LT and Sqdn Ldr to education corps officers, they should be simply called lecturer, assistant professor and so on as in any university. Then they will not compare themselves with fighter pilots.


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Comments (7) Closed

Umar Aftab
Apr 01, 2013 11:08am
The size of Air Force and Navy and the economic resources available to the country do not justify existence of separate entities. PAF and Navy both need to be integrated in the Army. Having separate HQs for these two forces is a complete wastage of national resources.
S. Tanwir Hasan
Apr 01, 2013 02:42pm
There should be amalgamation of all 3 forces and reforms should bring in the forces like in developed countries. Ranks like Squadran leader given to fighting forces should not be given to ground staff and non-fighting forces in the Airforce.
Apr 01, 2013 03:15pm
It may be a wastage in your eyes, but its also more effective. Controlling three services from the same HQ is a huge problem because the HQ cannot oversee the planning, operations, training and requirements of each service. Span of control and command in a very large organization (the three combined services are about 1 million people) becomes a huge challenge. In the earlier years when the concept of Air Forces came about, the practice was to amalgamate this air wing into the ground forces, but overtime it was found to be extremely challenging to maintain this model due to the level of specialization that is required within each service from the troops all the way to the general staff. Most Army generals have a very vague idea about the use of air power, the same can be said of the officers in the other services about operations that the Army undertakes. Perhaps a better suggestion would be having more streamlined Services HQs and a more robust Joint Services HQ.
Pak Patriot
Apr 01, 2013 04:46pm
Excellent reply by SAFIR A. SIDDIQUI, not antagonistic but simply factual.
Apr 01, 2013 05:01pm
Where is my reply - You are scared to add the truth here.... No worries. I will get it printed in news paper if you do not advertise my view point.
Apr 01, 2013 06:09pm
I totally disagree with Safir ? he has not provided the real picture. To me every men in uniform is equally important. According to the real time situation, below is the fact that who is important. 1. PAF responsibility is to safeguard the air boundaries of the country. Whenever there is a threat, it is seen by the person sitting on the Radar. He is the first person to see that threat. He reacts according to the instruction. If he does not do so, then Pilots will be bombed in their beds. So to me that person is the most important person, called controller and they come from Air Defense branch. 2. When threat alert goes to Pilot, he needs an aircraft to counter threat. Aircrafts are being maintained/fit for flying by the engineers. If Air Craft is not fit to fly, again bases will be bombed including Pilots. So 2nd most important people in Air Force are the Engineers. 3. Pilots go in the Air while sitting in Jet to counter attack that threat. He is constantly being guided by the controller. Controller will take Pilot to the exact location where there is enemy aircraft. So 3rd most important people are Pilot. 4. All other ground branch officers are equally important like, doctors, logistic officers, ATC controllers, Educationists etc. Air Force can?t work properly if any of these elements do not function properly. So not sure how Safir is saying Pilots are the backbone of the Air Force. To me they stand 3rd in the priority list. Most important they are being paid extra for their flying duties. But any additional perks for pilot is a big source of concern for the ground branch officers. Whereas they are equally important people once it comes to defend the country.
Apr 02, 2013 10:59am
well argued.....