A Former Air Chief's Reminiscences of a Developing Air Force


“Cutting Edge” is Air Chief Marshal M Anwar Shamim’s account of experiences in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). He writes from the vantage point of a former head of the service. The interesting aspect is that the account coincides with the emergence of Pakistan on world map as an independent entity. This makes the author’s story synonymous with the development of the nascent state. PAF is one national institution that can rightly claim an unblemished past, present and future. The author gives credit to the founding fathers for their visionary leadership and highlights the contributions of all key players who were instrumental in shaping the destiny of the aerial defenders. It is a story as much of equipment as it is of people; rather it presents a blending of the two. The author takes pride where pride is due but without any rancour or ill feeling. Herein we get to know ACM Shamim as a man and as a professional officer. Anecdotal in structure, the narrative is full of facts and we have a book available for consultation and study. It is a must-read for all.
ISBN: 9789694025407

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SKU: 9789694025407
Weight 0.56 kg



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Author Description

Air Chief Marshal M Anwar Shamim graduated as a pilot from Point Cook, Australia in 1954. After his jet conversion on Vampires in Australia, he was posted to PAF’s first jet unit, No 11 Squardon, which he later went on to command in 1963. In 1964, he was given charge of PAF’s elite 33 Wing, which he commanded during the 1965 War. He led the famous raid on Amritsar’s radar, which earned him a Sitara-i-Jur’at. In 1968, he was sent to Jordon as Air Adviser to King Hussein. On return to Pakistan, he took over as Air Defense Sector Commander – South, in which capacity he controlled air defense operations in 1971 War. He had the privilege of commanding Sakesar, Korangi Creek and PAF’s largest, Masroor, Air Bases. He was appointed Assistant Chief of Air Staff in 1975. In 1978, he was selected to be the Chief of Air Staff, an appointment he held till 1985. He was instrumental in two important developments in the PAF that have helped it remain second to none: Introduction of Regional Commands to decentralise command and control and ensure better liaison with the Army and Navy field formations; secondly, the induction of F16s which redressed the imbalance against the traditional adversary India over the years."An Air force facing multiple threats cannot mature and become a self-assured fighting force overnight. Air Chief Marshal Shamim inherited an air force, a large part of which had yet to be operationally trained and fully tested in its fighting mettle. He therefore set himself the goal of attaining the highest possible level of operational preparedness for the PAF within the resources, which the nation could make available. This was no easy task. Taking into consideration our grave security situation, he drove himself and all of us hard and relentlessly."Newly-appointed CAS, then Air Marshal Jamal A Khan's tribute to outgoing CAS