Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said Pakistan Air Force (PAF) is a capable and professional force, which will prove its mettle in safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity. He was addressing the Graduation ceremony of 130 General Duty Pilots (GDP), 75 Engineering, 89 Air Defence Courses and Commissioning of 133 GDP, 79 Engineering and 14 A&SD (Administration and Special Duty) Courses, at PAF Academy Risalpur. The Prime Minister said Pakistan was a peace-loving country and had always strived for peace. He said the country would continue to play a responsible role in the comity of nations. “However,our enemy must know that Pakistan’s aerial defence (InshaAllah) is impregnable,” he said.
The Prime Minister felicitated the young officers and their families on the successful completion of their training. He especially congratulated the officers who had won distinction during the training. He expressed satisfaction that cadets from Saudi Arabia were also commissioning and wished them well in their future professional endeavours. To the graduates,Prime Minister Sharif said the academy had equipped them with the requisite training and skill to embark on a demanding career and defending the aerial boundaries of the country.
“You should,therefore, endeavour constantly to make optimum use of this training with a desire to further enhance your professional competence,” he advised the graduating cadets. The Prime Minister emphasized that there were no shortcut to professional excellence and one must uphold the honour and traditions of his or her illustrious service. “It is only through relentless commitment that you will excel and prosper.I advise you to fully devote yourselves to the honourable profession that you have chosen,” he said. Nawaz Sharif said there was no greater honour and prestige than choosing to defend and serve the country.
He said that PAF had a history of legendary officers whom the graduates must emulate as role models. “You can acknowledge the great heroes by following in their footsteps,which would be a just tribute to them,” he added. The Prime Minister urged the graduates to combine sound professionalism with qualities of good leadership. “Your subordinates will look up to you for inspiration and guidance.This requires an exemplary personal conduct, display of courage,determination and resolution on your part,” he said.
He expressed confidence that graduating from this prestigious academy,the officers would always come up to the expectations of the nation,and would make Pakistan reach the zenith of glory. A total of 94 under-training officers and 12 cadets were graduated whereas 110 cadets were commissioned. The Prime Minister awarded branch insignias to the graduating officers and Aviation Cadets and also gave away trophies among the distinction holders.
He awarded Quaid-e-Azam Banner to No 4 Squadron, the Champion Squadron of the Academy.The Chief of the Air Staff trophy for best performance in flying training was awarded to Pilot Officer Hassam Hassan. Pilot Officer Umer Shahzad was awarded Sword of Honour for overall best performance in college of flying training. Pilot Officer Hamza Malik won the Sword of Honour for overall best performance in College of Aeronautical Engineering. The trophy for Overall Best Performance in 89 Air Defence course was received by Aviation Cadet Arif Rasheed.
Earlier on his arrival at the Academy, the Prime Minister was received by PAF chief Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt and Air Vice Marshal Rashid Kamal,Air Officer Commanding PAF Academy, Risalpur.
The ceremony was attended by senators, parliamentarians, diplomats, senior high-ranking military and civil officials, foreign military attaches, and guests of graduating and commissioning officers and cadets. The ceremony concluded with the aerobatics show by ‘Sherdils’, as the K-8 trainer aircraft in the formation of nine presented different air maneuvers.The display also featured the aircraft emitting coloured smoke,leaving behind trails of red, green and white patterns in the blue sky.
In a performance by ‘The Eaglets’, two paramotor gliders – a man and a woman officer, flew from a high altitude and made a smooth landing on the ground. The cadets from Albania,Bangladesh,Azerbai