Air Marshal Zaheer Babar takes over Pakistan Air Force command

By: News Desk      Published: 11:51 AM, 19 Mar, 2021
Air Marshal Zaheer Babar takes over Pakistan Air Force command

Air Marshal Zaheer Ahmed Babar Sidhu on Friday took charge as the new Air Chief of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) at an impressive change of command ceremony in Islamabad, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Outgoing Air Chief Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan pinned badges on the new Air Chief and presented him the Command Sword during the ceremony.

A formation of JF-17 fighter jets presented a salute to the outgoing air chief as he also reviewed a guard of honour. 

In his farewell address, Air Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan congratulated Zaheer Ahmed Babar Sidhu on his appointment as the Air Chief.

Mujahid said that his successor is a sound professional with extraordinary leadership qualities and expressed the confidence that during his tenure the PAF will scale to new heights of excellence.

The outgoing Air Chief said that serving the Pakistan Air Force for over four decades has been a privilege, honour and a matter of immense satisfaction for him.

Mujahid Anwar Khan said that the PAF is a strong element of the national defence and pride of the nation.

The outgoing Air Chief said that the air force once again lived up to the expectations of the nation and proved to be guardians of blue skies in the Operation Swift Retort. He said that our response was timely and well-calibrated which kept the adversary at bay.

Mujahid Anwar Khan said that despite testing times, the PAF has made great strides on its journey to excellence and continued transformation for the Next Generation Air Force 2047. He said our vision requires relentless pursuit in the years and decades to come.

Earlier, the government had appointed Air Marshal Zaheer Ahmad Babar Sidhu as the new chief of the air staff. 

Air Marshal Sidhu was earlier posted as the deputy chief of administrative affairs. He joined the GD (P) branch of the PAF in 1986 as a fighter pilot and has also commanded a fighter squadron, operational airbase and regional command during his service.

He also served as the assistant chief of the air staff (operations research and development), assistant chief of air staff (training officers) and director general projects at Air Headquarters Islamabad. He served as the additional secretary in the Ministry of Defence as well.

Air Marshal Sidhu is a graduate of Britain's Combat Commanders School, Air War College and the Royal College of Defence Studies.

He has been awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military) and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military) in recognition of his services.

Sidhu is the son of renowned religious scholar Hakeem Ghulam Muhammad and hails from Gujrat. This makes him the third service chief to come from Gujrat, with retired Admiral Mohammad Sharif and retired Gen Raheel Sharif being the other two.