Lahore, Sept 8: The Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies (CASS), Lahore organized a commemorative seminar titled “Pakistan Air Force: Second to None” on September 7, 2023. This event paid tribute to the enduring legacy of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), rooted in Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of being ‘Second to None’.
The 1965 and 1971 wars tested PAF’s mettle, resulting in shining victories and showcasing professionalism. The seminar’s goal was to extract invaluable lessons from these historical chapters, guiding the PAF’s pursuit of becoming a topnotch air force, committed to defending the nation with unwavering excellence.
Group Captain Faisal ul Rehman, Director Ops and Admin, CASS Lahore, delivered the introductory remarks. His speech was followed by a keynote address by Air Commodore Kaiser Tufail (Retd), who highlighted accomplishments of the PAF in 1965 and 1971 wars. Following the keynote address, Air Commodore Khalid Chishti (Retd) shed light on the remarkable achievements of PAF war heroes. Additionally, two distinguished war veterans, Air Commodore Abdul Basit (Retd) and Air Commodore Farooq Haider (Retd), shared their personal accounts from the 1965 and 1971 wars.
An extensive question and answer session followed the statements by the guest speakers.
Air Marshal Asim Suleiman (Retd), President CASS Lahore, in his concluding remarks, said that for an effective, watchful, and hard-hitting air force, it is important to have focused training; state of the art equipment and weapons; and self-sufficient industrial base with indigenously developed technologies. Under the leadership of the current Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu, PAF has undergone a strategic reset in terms of combat training along with acquisition of requisite equipment and infrastructure development, to maintain its legacy of having cutting edge combat capabilities. PAF has recently made extensive inductions to stay abreast with modern technologies and state of the art weapon systems. They include, induction of PL-15 air to air missiles and its integration to the launching platform, J10-C operationalization, offensive air and ground launched weapons, array of UAVs from strategic to tactical usage, variety of powerful EW equipment, cyber capability in all such domains and launching of PFX Pakistan’s Advanced Flight etc. The inductions made in last two years are strategic in nature and vision of the Air Chief is to have a long lasting impact on the PAF’s operational preparedness and combat readiness.
The most important takeaways from the seminar were:
In air battles, numerical superiority alone does not determine victory; instead, it is the combination of superior training, unwavering morale, and, above all, an indomitable fighting spirit that emerges as the decisive factor.
PAF needs to maintain its legacy with tenacity and hard-hitting capabilities especially in light of India’s vast expenditure on its defense budget.
Training has always been a hall mark of PAF. To remain ahead of its adversaries, PAF has to maintain the highest degree of preparedness; therefore, high-quality combat training has to be ensured at all cost.
Indigenization and self-reliance for having leading edge technologies is an essential for the future of a modern air force. Force goals and developmental strategy has to be in line with National Security and its manifestation.