Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was a key element for counter-terrorism and lauded the role of its officers in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and other campaigns against terrorists.
Addressing the firepower demonstration by PAF fighter aircraft at Somiani Range near Karachi, the prime minister expressed satisfaction that PAF was working in close coordination with the Pakistan Army, which was deployed in some of the most challenging terrains for a modern battlefield.
Appreciating the combat readiness and professionalism of the air force, he said the significance of air power and its role in achieving strategic objectives has increased manifold in the contemporary era. The bravery, professionalism and enthusiasm of our air warriors clearly reflect that PAF is the best.
The Prime Minister said that the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet is our national pride and assured that the government will extend all possible assistance to augment PAF’s capabilities. He was confident that it would continue to live up to the expectations of the nation.
He said the PAF is fast modernising itself by taking foreign and domestic initiatives. He said the history of PAF is replete with examples of valour was confident that the force will live up to glorious traditions set by MM Alam and Rafiqui. He said the nation is proud of the unmatched courage and heroism of our air warriors and remarked that they were the true custodians of PAF’s legacy.
He said the world acknowledged Pakistan’s contribution towards maintaining peace and appreciated its consistency in domestic and foreign policy.
“Our national resolve and commitment to eliminate the menace of terrorism has earned us a sound repute and respect in international society,” he said.
The prime minister extended felicitations to the Chief of the Air Staff for successful completion of the inter-squadron competition, in which the PAF fighter squadrons demonstrated their excellence in weapon delivery standards.
Earlier, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman in his welcome address said that the PAF is fully ready to defend Pakistan’s aerial frontiers. He said the entire nation takes pride in the air force and has trusted it for national defence.
He appreciated “the job well done” by the air warriors, their level of expertise, and demonstrated precision in weapons’ delivery. He said that during the competition the JF-17 squad took part and gave a magnificent performance.
The Air Chief said that the newly inducted weapons system would give an added punch to the PAF. He made it clear that no power is strong enough to undermine their will.
Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman thanked the prime minister and the government for their all out support to PAF in meeting its operational requirements for equipment and infrastructure.
PM MEETS PARENTS OF MARIUM MUKHTIAR
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif also met the parents of the Pakistan Air Force pilot Marium Mukhtiar who embraced martyrdom in an air crash on November 24.
The parents of the flying officers were specially invited for the firepower demonstration event. Sharif paid rich tributes to the Pakistan Air Force fighter pilot for her courage and bringing pride to the nation.
“Marium is the pride of Pakistan, and a role model for Pakistani women,” he told her mother.
Marium got fatal injuries as her fighter aircraft FT-7PG encountered a “serious in-flight emergency” near Kundian, in Mianwali district around 170 km south of Islamabad.
Marium is the first Pakistani woman fighter pilot to have attained the honour of martyrdom, while trying to save the civilian population.