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Co-pilot Javaid Malik remembered

May 16, 2012

THIS is apropos of Raza Hussain Shah’s letter ‘Captain Noorullah Afridi’ (May 4). He was indeed a monumental figure and, like Mr Shah, also happened to be one of our flying instructors in the Primary Flying Training wing in the PAF Academy, Risalpur.

Mr Afridi knew how to deal with young flight cadets with kindness and gentleness in that disciplined and tough atmosphere. However, at the same time, it would be befitting to throw some light on the late co-pilot Javaid Malik. Mr Malik was a seasoned fighter pilot and he was also ‘under officer’ of our house (squadron) in the PAF College, Sargodha.

I found him, perhaps, one of the most disciplined and upright individuals. He was a punctual, well-dressed and upright person and his no-nonsense approach towards his job made him familiar amongst hundreds of future officers.

Besides, he was a helpful soul. I remember in one of the junior terms of PAF College, Sargodha, I could not book train seats for Karachi for several flight cadets, including myself, for the forthcoming holidays as we were ‘gated’ (banned) by him.

However, one day he came to me and told me not to worry and allowed me to go to the railway station to book our seats. That was an extremely humane gesture from him. Later, he made a good fighter pilot along with being a thorough professional in the PAF. We as a nation should give the responsibility of finding the facts behind the Bhoja Air crash to the CAA instead of jumping to our own conclusions, which must be extremely painful for the families of crash victims.

MUHAMMAD ASIF Karachi