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LAHORE, April 15: Veteran war hero, educationist and rights activist Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry (retired) was laid to rest at the Jail Road cemetery with full military honours here on Sunday.

A smartly turned out Pakistan Air Force (PAF) contingent presented the general salute. A 14-gun salute was also presented and wreaths were laid at the grave on behalf of the defence minister, Punjab chief minister, chief of the air staff, chief of the naval staff and other dignitaries.

A large number of serving and retired personnel of the PAF, family members, relatives, journalists and friends attended the funeral and a service earlier held at the Lawrence Road’s Sacred Heart Church.

A funeral parade of the legendary veteran was also held at the PAF Base, Lahore. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, former chiefs of air staff along with a large number of senior defence and civil officials attended the ceremony.

The coffin was wrapped in Pakistani flag. His medals and cap were placed on it.

Sural Chaudhry and Anthony Chaudhry, brothers of the late Cecil Chaudhry, and his son Cecil Chaudhry Junior also laid flowers on the coffin. Christian religious leaders offered prayers for the departed soul.

At the end, services of the late Cecil Chaudhry with regard to the defence of the motherland were eulogised. A PAF contingent saluted the coffin.

Son of legendary press photographer FE Chaudhry, Cecil Chaudhry had died of lung cancer here on April 13.

Meanwhile, a large number of friends, relatives and members of the Christian community attended the funeral service held at the Sacred Heart Church. They condoled with his children and FE Chaudhry, who attended the service in wheelchair.

Arch Bishop Joseph Coutts and All Pakistan Minorities Alliance Chairman Dr Paul Bhatti, who represented Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, paid a tribute to the late Cecil Chaudhry for his services to the country and its people. They also mentioned how Mr Chaudhry continued to fight for the rights of people, especially of minorities, even after retiring from the PAF.

President Asif Ali Zardari has also sent a condolence message on the demise of Mr Chaudhry.