I was born in 1948, exactly one year after the creation of my country. My birthplace is Abbotabad, a beautiful, serene and sleepy cantonment nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was thrust into global prominence on the night of May 2nd, 2011. It was there that, almost one decade after the 9/11 disaster, its mastermind, Osama Bin Laden, was despatched to his Maker by Seal Team Six.
I am a fighter pilot. I learnt to fly before I learnt how to drive. I flew my first solo flight in a glider when I was barely 14 years old. I was flying powered aircraft, the Texan T6G Harvard at age 16, jet trainers at age 17 and single seat fighters after turning 18.
Flying fast jets has been my passion; flying the best and the fastest, my great fortune. I am privileged to have flown all the front line fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force and those of some other friendly Air Forces also. Starting out on the F86 Sabre and retiring from active flying while flying the F16, Fighting Falcon, I have flown British, American, Russian, Chinese and French fighters in diverse locations spread across many continents. Equally, I am privileged to have flown with and against some of really great fighter pilots of many air forces. My extensive travels have taken me far and wide and, during such visits, I have been fortunate interacted with some of the finest human beings from across the globe.
Having lived through the tumultous second half of the last century, I have had the unenviable opportunity of experiencing the dark side of humanity. This has fortunately been more than offset by many uplifting experiences that have proven to me the innate goodness of Man.
I have been in harm’s way and ‘fired in anger’ more than once.