“This is love; to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet” –Rumi
The era which started with the WWII, had established the fact that the modern warfare would be dependent on air power. This statement is further strengthened today when we see that the US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are largely based on mass air weapons. Now, the success of any war is largely attributed to the air force. This gives birth to the induction of drones and gunship helicopters and surgical strikes in the modern weapon technology.
Undoubtedly, Pakistan Air Force is a symbol of pride for the whole nation. Its recital is in conformity with the Quaid’s saying as “Second to None”. The wonders done by the Air Force during the war of 1965 and 1971 were witnessed by the whole world. India lost 129 and 130 aircrafts in the wars of 1965 and 1971 respectively. The role of Pakistan Air Force during the ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb is also highly commendable. The appointment of new Air Chief Air Marshall, Sohail Aman, is a very good decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This indicates that the mantra of meritocracy propagated by the current government bears some truth.
Air Marshall Sohail Aman is a fighter pilot and combat commander, who has also evaluated fifth generations fighters like Gripen and Eurofighter Typhoon. He has a vast experience of flying with over 3000 fighter hours to his credit. He has been awarded Nishan Imtiaz, Hilal Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz. He served the nation as Deputy Air Chief Operations and Training, Air Officer Commanding Central Air Command, Director Plans and Director Operations.
Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman is capable, brave, visionary and a person of higher acumen and intellect, who is fully aware of the pulse of the nation and know well how to win the hearts of common men. Theses abilities of Sohail Aman can be witnessed easily from his first few weeks as Air Chief.
Sohail Aman during his tenure as Deputy Air chief Operations ably broke the backbone of the terrorists. A large portion of “Operation Zrb-e-Azb” is carried out by the aerial strikers under the instructions of Sohail Aman, who himself flew into the operation area many times. He proved himself as a capable commander and able solider who has the ability to combat terrorists.
Days after his oath taking ceremony, he won the heart of the nation when he flew over the parade venue in an F-16 aircraft and presented salute to the president by performing a magnificent vertical roll over the parade square. This performance was recorded both from the external camera and camera in the cockpit. This was much appreciated by the nation especially on social media where youth gave him titles like “Coolest Air Chief ever”.
This gave a message to the world that Pakistan Army’s high command is efficient and well trained. Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman boasted the morale of the nation by leading from the front.
Similarly, the way, the Chinese President’s Plane was escorted by a group of JF-17 Thunder, is another example of novel ideas of Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman. This performance was highly applauded by the Chinese President. The Air Chief also presented a photograph of the aerial escort afterwards.
Sohail Aman is a visionary air chief. His recent resolve to make Pakistan Air Force as the best air force of the world shows his vision and intellect. He assured the former chiefs and serving officers in Sarghodha that the air force would always keep itself up to the expectations and hopes of the nation. Similarly, during this ceremony, his statement to get advantage of the experience from the retired officers shows that he is a selfless person whose sole aim is to build Pakistan Air Force to the highest extreme.
In the same way, the role of Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman in the aftermath of the Naltar incident also shows the higher acumen of him. He visited the CMH Gilgit and inquired about the health of the wounded. He also saw the site of the tragic event and monitored himself the rescue operation. On his special instruction, a PAF C-130 was sent to aid the rescue operation. Top of all unprecedentedly, the Air Chief gave his views on the media and also appreciated the reaction of international community over the sad incident. This shows his skills of handling the crisis of international level.
The contributions and able sense of Sohail Aman proved that it was a judicious decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to uplift him to the post of Air Chief. Well done Nawaz Sharif well done Sohail Aman!
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org