From The Diary-Pages Of Rashid Minhas Shaheed

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“They tell, talk to a pilot about flying and one will find a true love story.”Asma Ishaq

This line goes true about our one young pilot officer: Rashid Minhas Shaheed who happens to be the youngest and only PAF officer becoming recipient of the Highest Military Award-Nishan-e-Haider. Born on 17 February, 1951 in Karachi, this flying officer had got every charismatic mannerism that a passionate flying officer can have.

His parents and older siblings had expressed at many occasions that he grew up collecting the fighter- jetmodels and playing with them. Often, he would share about his passion for flying with the glistening eyes. As indisposition, Rashid had got a quiet and calm personality. He was regarded as a deep-thinking youngster from all his family members and close relatives. The same deep-thinking habit had turned Rashid into an amazing youngster. Likewise, he was highly appreciated by the teachers! All because, he had understood the life and its purpose so earlier. He had an acute enchanting-ability to inspire people, everywhere he had gone to. He had continued proving himself as an excellent and a brilliant studentat St. Patrick’s School in Karachi.

During his training at thePAF Academy Risalpur, he appeared as the great debater. It was observed that when Rashid began speaking for any declamation competition, he had left everyone enthralledsitting in the audience. Nonetheless, Rashid established the true leadership qualities, an amazing mediator, a highly focused young boy as well determined for the set goals. Yet! Above all, he was an awesomely humble soul. He nevershowed even the slightest ofcontempt and arrogance towards anyone. He was a happy-go-young man who made all the people smiling around him.

Other than all these personality traits of Rashid Minhas Shaheed, there wasone strong habit of writing diary entries on daily basis. There, on those pages, one can find the real Rashid Minhas who was a true dream-chaser and who had set goal beyond the sky. His diary was replenished with his sincere thoughts for the family, his unwavering love for Motherland, and unfathomable yearning for embracing the martyrdom. Rashid used to write his diary entries with mentioning date and time properly. On one page, he wrote his heart out for the martyrdom,

“Death or Victory! We all have to die one day. Man is mortal. Then why not to die for the country? Isn’t so easy?”

It was mentioned above that Rashid was a deep-thinker. Now, read these lines from his one letter about the life and its truth. One will concede to his philosophical approach about the life,

“Man wants to know the Truth, the truth about himself, about the world, about everything.
This is what they call the eternal quest for truth or truth through knowledge. Of -course religion gives it all to you in a concise form but it does not stop you from finding out for yourself and strengthening your belief. That is how it must be with you. So, youmustfindout theTruthyourself. Satisfy your self. The books just give you the thing how it happens. People can just advise you. How? andWhy? You must answer it yourself.Think it out! ”

One page of his diary shares one beautiful two-quatrain poem about the life and its purpose for upcoming generations, It expresses like,

This world is but a stopping place,
And life but a short span,
So why not through time-race,
And accomplish whatever we can,
So that generations to come,
Will remember us as great ones!

                            We cannot but forever live,
                            And we have to die for once,
                           So why not to our country give,
                          The life which we can easily can!


Rashid Minhas was so convinced and hopeful for thedetermination to inspire the later generations with his thoughts, spirits and sacrifice. I come as one of those who has learnt many things from him. From my school days, I was fond of reading articles and excerpt of his diary-pages published for the Defence Day edition in different kids’ magazines. Moreover, my late-father was a great admirer of all the martyrs from the Armed Forces. It was him who had instilled this love for Armed Forces in me. I remember still, he had taken me to one stationary shop and bought two posters to me: one was of Major Aziz Bhatti Shaheed and other was Rashid Minhas Shaheed. I had put up both posters on my wardrobe so lovingly. Seeing them daily had been an energizing factor throughout my student life.

Human carries light within and one sees the self, life, world and entire universe through its prism. This light has been given and is guided by the Divine Himself. Blessed are those who gets succeeded to see this light. And more blessed are those who transfers this light to the fellow humans. There, the person is called the benevolent. Rashid Minhas has been one such most fortunate in this regard. The light in him has been guiding many hundred souls. Such a short-lived life yet he had become a great source of motivation not only for the aspiring young flying officers but also for many young kids in the country. He has definitely personified the line of one famous PAF song sung by Vital Signs,

  “Zindagi ka mazayunjeenay main hai, kalbhizindarahain, aesay hum jiay.”

-Asma Ishaq teaches English Language and Literature to the senior classes.