Legendary fighter pilot Group Captain (retd) Saiful Azam, who was awarded with Sitara-i-Jura’at for his exemplary performance during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, passed away in Bangladesh on Monday after protracted illness.
He was born in the then East Bengal’s Pabna District in 1941 and joined the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as a Fighter Pilot in October 1960.
During the 1965 war, he served in No 17 Squadron at PAF Base Sargodha. Apart from inflicting heavy damage to the Indian forces in 12 ground-attack missions, Azam also downed one Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft. He was awarded “Sitara-i-Jura’at” for his valour and devotion to duty.
The former PAF officer also attained global repute when he shot down three Israeli aircraft during the 1967 Arab-Israel war.
In recognition of his heroic contributions, he was honoured with the military awards by the governments of Jordan and Iraq.
The US government also bestowed upon him the title of “Living Eagle” in 2001.
Air chief pays tribute
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan has expressed heartfelt grief on the sad demise of the legendary war veteran, read the PAF press release.
Paying homage to Group Captain (retd) Saiful Azam, the air chief acknowledged his heroic efforts during the 1965 Indo-Pak and 1967 Arab-Israel wars. “He was an exceptional fighter pilot who would always be remembered for his valour and professionalism.”