RISALPUR: The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is not only defending the country’s aerial frontiers against any external threat, but is also in the lead role in meeting out a telling blow on the anti-state elements during operation Zarb-i-Azb.
Addressing the graduation ceremony at the PAF Academy here on Wednesday, Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt said that with the unflinching spirit of serving the nation, PAF had always been a part and parcel of all national efforts in mitigating the sufferings of people, whether these were the relief or rescue efforts in earthquakes and floods or supporting our internally displaced brethren.
The air chief was the chief guest at the graduation parade of 132 GD(P), 77 Engineering Course, 91 Air Defence Course and Commissioning Parade of 135 GD(P), 81 Engineering Course, 16 A&SD Course and 03 Navigation Course.
“History of PAF amply manifests that the valiant airmen have never shied away from any level of sacrifices for the country's defence,” he said.
He said that PAF had on its inventory state-of-the-art equipment and was well-equipped to defend its aerial frontiers. “With air power fast becoming the future weapon of choice, you must acquire the ability to be able to accept this role with all its manifestations.
Air chief says PAF playing lead role in Zarb-i-Azb
Hundred per cent commitment would be the minimum requirement for continuous progress of the Pakistan Air Force as a modern force of the 21st century,” he said.
“Make a note that perseverance, diligence and unwavering determination would be the name of the game. I therefore, want you to keep in mind what the Quaid said while addressing the PAF personnel at Malir, on 21st February, 1948,” he added.
The air chief asked the graduating officers and cadets to be alert as the time for relaxation was not yet there. With faith, discipline and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that they cannot achieve.
He said that in keeping with the tradition of cross-training among the sister services, the presence of cadets from the Pakistan Army and Navy, undergoing training at the academy, was a matter of satisfaction.
Indeed, it will go a long way in enhancing the already existing synergy among the defence forces of Pakistan to jointly pursue the aim of impregnable national defence.
Tahir Rafique Butt said that the presence of cadets and officers from the friendly countries of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kuwait, Iraq, Zimbabwe and Libya at the academy was reflective of the understanding and trust that marked Pakistan's relations with these countries.
Wishing them success and happy stay in Pakistan, he hoped that they would serve as Pakistan's ambassadors back home. A total of 102 under training officers and 13 cadets were graduated whereas 111 cadets were commissioned on the occasion.
The chief guest awarded branch insignias to the graduating officers and aviation cadets and also gave away trophies to the distinction holders.
Published in Dawn, September 25th , 2014