Abdur Rahim Khan
Abdur Rahim Khan
|Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Air Force|
1 September 1969 – 2 March 1972
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
|Vice President||Nurul Amin|
|Preceded by||Nur Khan|
|Succeeded by||Zafar Chaudhry|
(As Chief of Air Staff)
|Ambassador of Pakistan to Spain|
11 May 1972 – 13 April 1977
Abdur Rahim Khan
October 25, 1925
|Died||February 28, 1990 (aged 64)|
Potomac, Maryland, United States
|Citizenship||British Subject (1925–1947)|
|Civilian awards|| Hilal-i-Quaid-e-Azam|
|Branch/service|| Indian Air Force (1944–1947)|
Pakistan Air Force (1947–1972)
|Years of service||1942–72|
|Unit||No. 7 Squadron Bandits|
|Commands||Deputy Commander-in-Chief (Air Operations), AHQ |
AOC PAF Base Masrur
PAF Staff College
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1965|
Air Marshal Abdur Rahim Khan, (Urdu: عبدالرحیم خان ; October 25, 1925 – February 28, 1990) HJ, S.Pk, SBt, was a three-star air officer who served as the last Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Air Force under President Yahya Khan, from 1969 until 1972.
In 1972, Air-Marshal Abdur Rahim Khan along with the Pakistan Army's Commander-in-Chief Lieutenant-General Gul Hassan dismissed from his military service over the allegations on obstructing the judicial inquiries of War Enquiry Commission on the succession of East Pakistan. Later he joined the Foreign Service and served as Pakistan Ambassador to Spain till 13 April 1977, when along with General Gul Hassan Khan who was then the Pakistan Ambassador to Greece, resigned as a protest against the rigging of the general elections held in 1977
Career in the military
World War II and Pakistan
After the independence of Pakistan as a result of partition of India on 14 August 1947, he opted for Pakistan and joined the newly established Pakistan Air Force (PAF) while taking up the instructor position in the Air Force Academy. In 1950s, he was sent to United Kingdom where he attended the Imperial Defense College where he graduated with a staff course degree. He later went to the United States to attend the staff college and underwent to complete a pilot's training on the jet aircraft.
In 1952, he became the first Pakistani pilot (and probably the first Asian pilot) to break the sound barrier. Upon returning to Pakistan, he was given the command of No. 11 Squadron (Arrows), the only squadron equipped with jet fighters. He also commanded the No. 9 Squadron (Griffins).
On 1 September 1, 1969, Air Commodore Khan was promoted to three-star rank, Air Marshal, and was appointed Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, serving under President Yahya Khan. During this time, he paid a visit to China to strengthened military relations between two nations.
In 1971, Air Marshal Khan led the PAF during the third war with India. He issued directives banning the Bengali pilots flying for the bombing missions after a one pilot attempted to defect to India, but the attempt was made unsuccessful by the second pilot.
Air Marshal Khan played a critical and pivotal role in turning over President Yahya Khan's administration and helped Zulfikar Ali Bhutto assuming the presidency on 20 December 1971. Air Marshal Khan became known as the strongest military influence in the country.
Ambassador of Pakistan to Spain
On 11 March 1972, Air Marshal Abdur Rahim Khan was appointed designate Pakistan Ambassador to Spain.:144 He presented his diplomatic credentials to Juan Carlos I in Barcelona. On 13 April 1977, he resigned his post in protest against allegations of riggings during the general elections held in 1977.:536 He immediately appealed and called for the Pakistani military to forcefully removed Prime Minister Bhutto.:536
Death, personal life, and public image
After the military takeover of civilian government by General Zia-ul-Haq, the Chief of Army Staff, Abdul Rahim left the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and moved to United States. He bought an estate in Potomac, Maryland in the United States, and lived until his death due to Kidney failure on 28 February 1990.
Abdul Rahim Khan was married to Princess Mehrunissa Khan, the only child of the beloved but unofficial third queen of the Nawab of Rampur. They got married in London when Rahim Khan was serving as a Group-Captain (Col.) in the Air Force.
- Browne, Malcolm W. Browne (29 December 1971). "Man in the News". The New York Times. Islamabad, NY Times Bureau: The New York Times, Browne. The New York Times. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Azam, Ikram (1992). From Pakitan [sic] to Pakistan: From Jinnah's Pakistan to Today's Pakistan (1st ed.). Karachi, Sindh, Pk: National Book Foundation. p. 288.
- "Abdur Rahim Khan | Pride of Pakistan | Commemorations | PrideOfPakistan.com". prideofpakistan.com. Pride. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Open Society Archives : AIR MARSHAL'S VISIT TO PEKING REFLECTS LIVELY MILITARY CONTACTS BETWEEN CHINA AND PAKISTAN[permanent dead link]
- Rizvi, H. (2000). "Civilian Interlude" (googlebooks). Military, State and Society in Pakistan. U.S.: Springer. p. 300. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Majumdar, R. (1998). Pakistan: Jinnah to the present day (2 ed.). Lahore, Pakistan: Anmol Publications. ISBN 9788174888648. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
- Mehrunissa Khan. An extraordinary life: Princess Mehrunissa of Rampur, (Blue Leaf, 2006)
- Vatsala Kaul. "The princess diaries : Mehrunissa of Rampur" Harmony Magazine, October 2004
| Commander-in-Chief, Pakistan Air Force
1969 – 1972