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Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Saturday, January 05, 2013
From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: A distinguished fighter pilot of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and former Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal Anwar Shamim passed away here on Friday after protracted illness. He was 81.


Shamim had developed a cardiac problem and was under treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Rawalpindi.His funeral prayers will be offered at the Air Force Complex in E-9 at 2.00 pm today (Saturday). He would be buried with full military honors at H-11 graveyard. He has left behind a widow, two daughters and a son.


Shamim was born on 1st October, 1931 in an educated family from Haripur (Hazara). He became a member of the then functional University Air Squadron to begin his childhood dream career of a fighter pilot in the PAF. He joined RPAF in 1950 and on completion of training at the Royal Australian Air Force he was granted commission in March, 1954.


President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt expressed grief over the death of the former PAF chief. Shamim very ably led the PAF both in peace and during the Soviet-Afghan War. He transformed the PAF on modern lines that included induction of state of the art F-16 Fighting Falcons, Chinese A-5 aircraft, state of the art Air Defence System and the creation of Regional Air Commands.


Shamim also served the Royal Jordanian Air Force as Air Advisor to His Majesty King Hussain Bin Talal (1968-1970) and played key role in reforming the Jordanian Air Force after the 1967 Arab-Israel war. He actively participated in the 1965 and 1971 wars. His leadership during war missions was aggressive and served as an excellent example for his juniors.


He was awarded with Sitara-i-Jurrat (gallantry award) during the 1965 war. On 23 July, 1978 he became Chief of the Air Staff at the age of 47and retired on 5th March 1985 after serving almost seven years.