SARGODHA, April 29: The late Mushaf Ali Mir had a quality of giving confidence to all those present around him. This is the quality of a great leader. I saw that he had clarity of concepts and the aggressive style of a fighter pilot
This was stated by President Gen Pervez Musharraf while speaking at a ceremony held to rename PAF Sargodha Base to Mushaf Base on Tuesday.
He said that he had appointed Mushaf as air chief in November, 2000, and found him exceeding all expectations.
“A man is seen in his true colours in times of danger when the chips are down. I saw his inner ‘Iman’ which was very strong. Let me confide in you; those were trying times when an attack by India was imminent. One night at 11:30, we were sure the attack would come. We had to take a decision for an appropriate response. Because of the will and the boldness of Mushaf, my decision making became easier. His courage, boldness and assurance that we could respond equally, was perhaps felt by the Indians and thus they decided not to follow through. Deterrence is the most important thing. And that is the kind of will that deters aggression.
“Mushaf often spoke to me about the future of the PAF. We will not leave any stone unturned to strengthen the air force and to consider all possible options for the improvement of the PAF. Now possibilities are opening and the resources are there. We will do everything to improve PAF’s offensive and defensive capabilities,” the president said.
The function began with an address by Base Commander Air Cdre Sabeeh Husain, who gave a brief history of the Sargodha Air Base.
He said all those who worked here were always affected by its spirit of zeal. Whoever gets posted here gets into the spirit of this famous base. So much so that even the city of Sargodha is not free of it, he said, adding Mushaf Ali Mir was a man of great qualities. He said he gave 36 years of commissioned service to his country.
This was followed by a detailed and well-executed film based on the life of the late Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir.
In his address, Air Chief Marshal Kaleem Saadat, who has had great regard for his predecessor, he said he worked very closely with him during the last four years. He said though he found him a hard task master, he never saw a frown on his face. He said he never asked why a problem had occurred, because he was so much involved in every project that he also knew what went wrong with it. He said when someone made a mistake, he would not hold it against him. Yet he would do everything to improve matters.
He specially mentioned that the fact that this base had been named after such a great person would inspire future generations of Air Force officers to emulate the highest standards of professionalism exhibited by Air Marshal Mushaf himself. This would serve to be the inspiration for all future generations, he said.
Many words of appreciation were spoken by all speakers about the great work done by Begum Mushaf Ali Mir, who had infused great personal zeal and interest into welfare projects.
After the renaming ceremony, a large photograph of Air Marshal Mushaf was presented by the president to Nabeel, the eldest son.
The occasion was well attended by serving and retired senior officers. Also present were Air Chief Marshal Mushaf’s daughter Menal, son Masil, and Nabeel and his wife. Later, an impressive air show was held. — Shireen Gheba Najib