Commodore Sattar Alvi, the only Pakistani pilot to have shot down an Israeli air force aircraft
Commodore Sattar Alvi, the only Pakistani pilot to have shot down an Israeli air force aircraft

KARACHI: Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman said on Saturday that the enemies of Pakistan were hatching conspiracies against it but they would fail in their nefarious designs.

He was speaking at a ceremony held at the PAF Museum to pay tribute to retired Air Commodore Sattar Alvi, a celebrated fighter pilot of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and veteran of the 1973 Arab-Israel war. In 1974, he shot down an Israeli Mirage aircraft while flying a Syrian Air Force MiG-21, becoming the only pilot in history to have committed the rare feat.

On this act of gallantry, Mr Alvi was awarded a Sitara-i-Jurat by the government of Pakistan, and Wisaam Faris and Wisaam Shujaat by the government of Syria.

Mr Alvi presented the flying coverall (suit) of the deceased Israeli pilot (Capt Lutz) to the PAF Museum on the occasion.

Designs against Pakistan to be thwarted, says air chief

Sindh Governor Moha­mmad Zubair was the chief guest of the ceremony.

The air chief said in his speech that the enemies of the country had joined hands against it. “This is the ideological state made in the name of Allah and nobody dare cast an evil eye on it. PAF together with sister services and the nation would thwart their nefarious designs and they would meet the same fate as always, Insha Allah,” he was quoted as saying.

He said that PAF stood ready for the aerial defence of the motherland on the strength of supreme sacrifices and professionalism of its valiant predecessors who paved the path of glory for this elite organisation.

The air chief paid tribute to Mr Alvi and said the heroics of the legendary fighter pilot not only brought laurels to PAF, but were also a source of pride for the entire nation.

He described the flying coverall of the deceased Israeli pilot as a ‘war trophy’ and termed it a valuable addition to the historic archive of the museum.

Air Chief Marshal Aman praised retired Group Captain Syed Masood Akhtar Hussaini for his artworks and said his world-renowned aviation paintings manifested his earnest efforts towards preserving PAF’s accounts of professionalism, journey towards progress and supreme sacrifices made by PAF heroes for defence of the country.

The illustrious history of PAF depicted by Mr Hussaini would be a source of inspiration for the future generations and instil in them the spirit of nationhood, he added.

On his arrival at PAF Museum, Governor Zubair was received by Air Chief Marshal Aman. On the occasion, the governor inaugurated the ‘Aviat­ion Paintings Exhib­ition’ with the theme ‘Pakis­tan Air Force — De­fen­­ders of Aerial Frontiers’.

More than 300 pieces of aviation art painted by internationally acclaimed aviation artist of PAF Hussaini, would be on display for the general public.

Speaking at the occasion, the governor said: “The nation must know the history and the contribution of the great heroes and we must acknowledge their courage towards the noble cause of bringing honours to the country. In the 1967 and 1973 Arab-Israel wars our air force had participated with valour and I am honoured to be here to recognise our heroes like Air Commodore Alvi who bravely fought and shot down the Israel air force aircraft. My special felicitations to Group Captain Hussaini for capturing the great history of Pakistan. It’s not just service to Pakistan Air Force but also for our country and future generations, who would be able to see the history as you have captured it brilliantly.”

A large number of retired and serving officers of PAF, families of martyred soldiers, war veterans and pro­minent artists of Karachi attended the ceremony.

The exhibition will remain open for the general public till Jan 23.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2018