Editorial: Obituary M M Alam

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PKKH Editorial

Pakistani pilots of 32 Wing Sargodha, after an investiture ceremony in which they received the Sitara-E-Juraat.
(left to right)

The aura of professional superiority surrounded his persona until he lived. People reminiscing about him describe him as a soft spoken man with revolutionary beliefs; a short structured person whose technical prowess raised his stature to a level, where his presence commandeered respect. Commodore Mohammad Mahmood Alams professional integrity is an invaluable lesson for every inhabitant of Pakistan.

Venerated across the globe as the pioneer of aerial dog fight in Asia, Alam was a thorough professional whose F-86 Sabre flying skills had no parallel. Beneath the inquisitive hawk eyed twinkle, the ideology of Pakistan coursed within the blood of the son of Pakistan whose un wavering loyalty to his country knew no bounds.

Commodore M.M Alam is hailed as the only fighter pilot whose prowess earned him the prestigious title of an ace within the shortest period, which any combat fighter has ever received yet. His unbeaten record of shooting down five Hawker Hunter fighters in air-to-air combat in less than sixty seconds, with the first four within 30 seconds has been become a golden episode that would presumably outlive the end of time. Acknowledged by friends and foes alike, Alams valor became a source of inspiration for the generations that followed his path to become air warriors.

Born in July 6 1935 in Calcutta, Alam completed his secondary education from Dhaka and joined Pakistan Air Force in 1952. Judging Alams proficiency on F-86 Sabre, he was sent to France to develop his caliber on the Dassault Mirage III, along with Flight Lieutenant Farooq Umar. Later on M.M Alam commanded the elite Mirage Squadron, the only one in the Pakistan Air Force. A two times recipient of Sitara-i-Juraat for his inspiring feat of gallantry; Alam underwent various foreign courses and got deputed in Syria later on.

He was once asked, Why he didnt get married?

Alam replied, I am married to the skies.

According to his peers, this was the legend that used to eat, sleep and drink aerial combat and it was as if he never left the cockpit even when he was in his room.

His combat escapades werent limited to aerial domain. After his retirement in 1982, M.M Alam served alongside Ahmed Shah Massoud forces during Afghan War against USSR. It is said that M.M Alam was taken hostage by the Russian soldiers, but he managed to escape. The camaraderie that developed with Massoud lasted until Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated.

M.M Alams lungs were tainted with cigarettes smoke since his days at PAF. In the later years, he developed serious pulmonary issues due to which he was frequently admitted in hospital. He breathed his last in PNS Shifa Hospital on March 19, 2013.

God willing, amongst the legions of Ghazis, he would proudly tread in hereafter.

PKKH believes in the resilience of men of honour like Commodore Mohammad Mahmood Alam. The narratives of these men, who sacrificed their present for their nation future, are a reflection of their conviction in the ideology of Pakistan. With a rekindled fervor, let us vow to reconsider the sacrifices rendered by our elders for the protection of the sanctity of Qaraardaad-e-Pakistan, and consider it as an impetus to work for the protection of our ideological boundaries.

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