Asghar Khan was one of the world’s youngest air force chiefs at 36
The first Muslim commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Air Marshal Asghar Khan passed away at the age of 97 after a prolonged illness in Islamabad.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and other government and military dignitaries attended the funeral at the Nur Khan Air Base.
Asghar Khan was the first youngest Air Chief of Pakistan who took up his job at the age of 36. He took up his job under President Iskander Mirza (1956–59) and under President Ayub Khan until he resigned in 1965 prior to the start of the air operations of the PAF during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965.
After the independence in 1947, he settled in West Pakistan where he became the first commandant of Pakistan Air Force Academy in 1947 And in 1957, Asghar Khan was raised to be the Air Chief and thus he became the youngest and the first native Air Chief of PAF.
After serving for the PAF, Asghar Khan took up the job as President of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) till 1968 and founded Tehreek-i-Istaqlal in 1970 that merged with the PTI in 2012.
He lived an eventful life as a soldier and politician. He was one among the very few who flew the Royal Indian Air Force jets. He also carried the distinction of becoming youngest air chief in the history of the air forces.
Air Marshal Sohail Khan praised his efforts for Pakistan air force and said Air Marshal Asghar Khan headed the PAF diligently and with courage. With his leadership capabilities, he played a vital role in transforming the PAF into a modern air force.
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa described him as “an iconic soldier who will be remembered for his historic contributions to laying foundations of a strong Pakistan Air Force”.
Pakistani for all walks of life paid a rich tribute to Air Marshal Asghar Khan, some of the top politicians, ex-army persons and TV personalities praised him in the following words:
COAS expresses his grief on sad demise of ex Air Chief, Air Marshal Asghar Khan, Retired. An iconic soldier who will be remembered for his historic contributions for laying foundations of a strong Pakistan Air Force. May Allah bless his soul-Amen.
— Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (@OfficialDGISPR) January 5, 2018
The passing away of the great Air Marshal Asghar Khan, who represented a Pakistan of another era, could also be an invitation to Pakistanis.
The generation of elders that founded, built and established this country is gone.
It is time for us to grow up.
— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) January 5, 2018
Saddened to learn of Air Chief Marshal Asghar Khan’s death early this morning. He transformed the PAF and was a man of steadfast principles and integrity. My prayers and condolences go to his family.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 5, 2018
— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) January 5, 2018
Rest in peace, Asghar Khan sb…
Heartfelt condolences and prayers for the family.
An iconic military officer who was known for his service to his country and the values he lived his life with, his death is a national loss.
— Mehr Tarar (@MehrTarar) January 5, 2018