Farooq Feroze Khan

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Farooq Feroze Khan
NI(M)  HI(M)  SI(M)  SBt  LoM
8th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
In office
10 November 1994 – 9 November 1997
Preceded byGen. Shamim Alam, PA
Succeeded byGen. Jehangir Karamat, PA
6th Chief of Air Staff
In office
9 March 1991 – 8 November 1994
Preceded byACM Hakeemullah Durrani
Succeeded byACM Abbas Khattak
Managing-Director of the Pakistan International Airlines
In office
1990 – 9 March 1991
President of the Pakistan Hockey Federation
In office
1990 – 9 March 1991
Preceded byAir-Mshl Azim Daudpota
Succeeded byNawaz Tiwana
Personal details
Farooq Feroze Khan

(1939-08-17)17 August 1939
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died9 October 2021(2021-10-09) (aged 82)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Citizenship Pakistan
Nickname(s)Feroze Khan, Jr.
Feroz Khan II
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/service Pakistan Air Force
Years of service1956–97
Rank Air chief marshal
UnitNo 9. Squadron Griffins
CommandsVice Chief of Air Staff
DCAS (Air Operations)
ACAS (Plans)
AOC Southern Air Command
AOC Central Air Command
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
AwardsNishan-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Order of Oman
CISM Medal of Merit
Order of Bahrain
Turkish Legion of Merit
Legion of Merit
Order of Military Merit
Order of Merit
Aeronautical Medal
Order of King Abdulaziz

Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan NI(M) HI(M) SI(M) SBt LoM (Urdu: فاروق فيروز خان ; born: 17 August 1939 – 9 October 2021), best known as Feroze Khan, was a Pakistani military officer who served as the 6th four-star air officer in the Pakistan Air Force and also served as the 8th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, appointed in 1994 and retiring in 1997.[1]

His career in the Air Force is subjected to distinction as he was the only air force officer whose career spanned more than 40 years of military service.: 355 [2] He is also the only Air Force general to be appointed a Chairman joint chiefs to date.[when?][3][4]


Early life and career in the military[edit]

The F-104 in flight: Squadron Leader Feroze Khan flew various combat missions in the 1965 war with India.: 82 [5]

Farooq Feroze Khan was born in Bombay, Bombay Province in British India Empire on 17 August 1939.: 355–356 [2]: 56–57 [6] His family belonged to a Burki tribe of Ormur ethnicity, hailing from Jalandhar.: 357 [2] His father, Feroze Khan, Sr., was a professional Field hockey player who won the Olympic gold medal for India, but later migrated and played for the Pakistan National Hockey Team for the remainder of his life.: 357 [2]

Feroze was educated at the PAF Public School in Sargodha where he completed his Senior Cambridge, and joined the Pakistan Air Force in 1956.: 73–74 [7]: 355–357 [2][8][9] He was sent to attend the Pakistan Air Force Academy in Risalpur, but later selected as one of few cadets to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, United States.: 355–357 [2] Upon completing the pilot training program from the USAF Academy, Feroze gained commission as a P/Off. in the No. 9 Squadron Griffins of the Air Force in January 1959.: 72 [10]

In the United States, he was trained as a fighter pilot to fly the F-104 Starfighter on several aerial combat missions.: 82 [5] He was known for his skills while maneuvering the aircraft in a combat mode from a subsonic to supersonic speed.: 82 [5] While living in the United States, Flt-Lt. Feroze Khan served as an exchange officer with the United States Air Force, completing several years of aerial combat training with the American pilots.: 72–148 [11] Upon returning in the 1960s, he was attached to the Royal Air Force as a military liaison officer, and flew British aircraft in their inventory.: 355 [2]

In 1965, Squadron-Leader Feroze flew on his F-104 Starfighter on various combat missions against the Indian Air Force during the various combat missions during the second war with India.: 82–83 [5] After the war, Sq-Ldr. Feroze was sent to join the No. 5 Squadron Falcons, which later formed the PAF's aerobatics team, Sherdils, where he displayed his skills while flying the F-104, alongside the F-86 Sabre flown by Flight lieutenant Cecil.[12]

In 1966–67, Sq-Ldr. Feroze was among the first group of fighter pilots who were sent to France for their conversion from American F-104 to French Mirage-III.: 83–84 [5] After his conversion, Sqn. Ldr. Feroze was posted as an air adviser to the Eastern Air Command in East-Pakistan, providing mission support to conduct combat air patrol near the Kalaikunda Air Force Station near the Eastern front of India.: 204–205 [11]

In 1971, Sqn. Ldr. Feroze, now flying the Mirage-III, participated in preemptive airstrikes in India, which eventually led to the third war with India.: 83–85 [5]


Farooq Feroze died due to cardiac arrest in Islamabad on 9 October 2021 at the age of 82.[13][14]

War and command appointments[edit]

After the third war with India in 1971, Wing-Commander Feroze joined the faculty of the Combat Commander's School in Sargodha Air Force Base, instructing on the methods of combat flights.: 360 [2] During this time, Wg-Cdr. Feroze was posted in the Pakistan Armed Forces–Middle East Command, briefly commanding a fighter wing in the United Arab Emirates Air Force for nearly three years.: 73 [15]

In 1982–83, Air-Commodore Feroze was elevated as the base commander of the Sargodha AFB, witnessing the introduction of American-built F-16s.: 43 [16] In 1984–85, Air-Cdre. Feroze was promoted to the two-star promotion when Air Vice-Marshal Feroze was appointed AOC of the Southern Air Command based in Karachi, and later as the Central Air Command based in Sargodha.: 73–74 [7] In 1988, Air Vice Marshal Feroze, serving as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) was elevated to the three-star promotion when he was appointed the Vice Chief of the Air Staff (VCAS) under ACM Hakeemullah Durrani.: 72 [17] During this time, Air-Marshal Feroze took an interest and participated in board of inquiry that investigated the mysterious circumstances involved in the death of President Zia-ul-Haq.: 156–162 [18]

In 1990, Air-Mshl. Feroze was taken on secondment by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as the Managing-Director of the Pakistan International Airlines, which he managed until 1991.: 81 [19]

Chief of Air staff[edit]

On 9 March 1991, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promoted Air-Mshl. Feroze to the four-star air officer in the Pakistan Air Force, subsequently appointing the Air Chief Marshal as the new Chief of Air Staff (CAS).: 23 [20] ACM Feroze assumed the command of the Air Force at a difficult time, when the military embargo by the United States on a suspicion of a covert nuclear weapons program was enforced.: 356–357 [2] During this time, he launched the program to acquire the license to reproduce the Australian Mirage-III and induction of F-7P from China at the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC).: 356–357 [2]

In 1994, ACM Feroze was given a one-year extension to continue serving as an air chief.: 473 [21]

Chairman joint chiefs[edit]

In 1994, the extension made him the most senior military officer in the Pakistani military but this became a subject of controversy in the Air Force, when many senior air officers showed resentment towards this decision taken by the civil government at that time.: 17 [22]: 48 [23] Upon the retirement of Gen. Shamim Alam on 8 November 1994, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto approved ACM Feroze to be elevated as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee—this was the first time the chairmanship was rotated to the Air Force since its inception in 1976.: 48–49 [23]

As Chairman joint chiefs, ACM Feroze attempted to procure the MiG-29F and the Su-27 aircraft from the Eastern Europe as well as Mirage 2000 from Qatar, with a view to replacing the F-16s but this was met with strong opposition from ACM Khattak, the air chief, who was unimpressed with the war performances of Russian fighter jets.: 58–60 [24] In 1995, Gen. Feroze Khan also provided his crucial military support and political advocacy for the development of the Shaheen program with a view to keeping the second-strike capability.: 89 [3]

His tenure as Chairman joint chiefs is criticized by the defense observer in the country for not being able to take steps in strengthening the role of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and was largely seen as ineffective and unable to provide any military or political advice to Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her administration on a longer extension— the void was filled by then-army chief, Gen. Jehangir Karamat.[25]

Critics observed that ACM Feroze's preference of "flying solo" and his nature of working alone further complicated the matters in the military that required the comprehensive collaboration and teamwork in national security issues.[25] According to the critical paper penned by defense analyst, Ikram Sehgal, "ACM Feroze marked ineffectiveness in the post of Chairman and its institution."[25]

Upon retiring on 9 November 1997, Gen. Jehangir Karamat was eventually appointed to replace him and who took the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee to new heights and took the four-tiered military into a responsive and efficient fighting machine in the 21st century.[25] His uniform was placed in the PAF Museum in Karachi, where he was retired in his estate.: 355 [2]

Awards and decorations[edit]

PAF GD(P) Badge RED (More than 3000 Flying Hours)


(Order of Excellence)



(Crescent of Excellence)



(Star of Excellence)


(Star of Good Conduct)

Sitara-e-Harb 1965 War

(War Star 1965)

Sitara-e-Harb 1971 War

(War Star 1971)

Tamgha-e-Jang 1965 War

(War Medal 1965)

Tamgha-e-Jang 1971 War

(War Medal 1971)

10 Years Service Medal 20 Years Service Medal
30 Years Service Medal 40 Years Service Medal Tamgha-e-Sad Saala Jashan-e-


(100th Birth Anniversary of

Muhammad Ali Jinnah)


Hijri Tamgha

(Hijri Medal)


Jamhuriat Tamgha

(Democracy Medal)


Qarardad-e-Pakistan Tamgha

(Resolution Day

Golden Jubilee Medal)


Tamgha-e-Salgirah Pakistan

(Independence Day

Golden Jubilee Medal)


The Order of Oman


Class I



Medal of Merit

(Grand Knight)

The Order of Bahrain

Class I


Turkish Order of Honor


The Legion of Merit

(Degree of Commander)


Order of Military Merit

Grand Cordon


Order of Merit

(Wisam al Istehqaq)


Aeronautical Medal


Order of King Abdul Aziz

(1st Class)

(Saudi Arabia)

Foreign Decorations[edit]

Foreign Awards
 Oman The Order of Oman (Military) - Class I
CISM Medal of Merit - Grand Knight
 Bahrain The Order of Bahrain - Class I
 Turkey Turkish Legion of Merit
 USA The Legion of Merit (Degree of Commander)
 Jordan The Order of Military Merit
 Syria Order of Merit (Wisam al Istehqaq)
 France Aeronautical Medal
 Saudi Arabia Order of King Abdul Aziz (1st Class)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bureau, Report (13 September 1997). "COAS to get additional charge of CJCSC". asianstudies.github.io. No. 3/37. Dawn Newspaper, wire service. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Sheikh, PAF, Lt. Gen. (retd) Rashid Sheikh (2001). The story of the Pakistan Air Force, 1988–1998 : a battle against odds (google books) (1st ed.). Karachi, Sindh Pk.: Shaheen Foundation. p. 414. ISBN 9698553002.
  3. ^ a b The Story of the Pakistan Air Force 1988–1998: A Battle Against Odds (Oxford University Press, 2000)
  4. ^ Sehgal, Maj. Ikram. "Integrated defence command". www.sehgalfamily.com. Ikram Sehgal publications. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Davies, Peter E. (2014). "Asia Goes Double-Sonic". F-104 Starfighter Units in Combat (google books) (1st ed.). Indiana, U.S.: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 150. ISBN 9781780963143. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  6. ^ Pakistan and Gulf Economist. Economist Publications. 1989. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ a b Economic Review. Economic & Industrial Publications. 1990. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Illustrious Students". pafcollegesargodha.com. PAF Public School in Sargodha. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Profile of Farooq Feroze Khan" Archived 27 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Sargodhians website, accessed 1 June 2009
  10. ^ "Shaheen" (google books). Journal of the Pakistan Air Force. 35. Islamabad: Air Headquarters., 1988. 1988. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  11. ^ a b Sadiq, Johnny (2006). Come Fly With Me Jets (google books) (1st ed.). Sama Editorial and Publishing Services. p. 269. ISBN 9698784489. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  12. ^ Amin, AH (June 2001). "Remembering our warriors – Group-Captain (Col.) Cecil Chaudhry, SJ". www.defencejournal.com. Defence journal. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Former air chief Farooq Feroze passes away". Pakistan Today. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  14. ^ "Air Chief Marshal (r) Farooq Feroze Khan passes away". The Nation. 10 October 2021. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  15. ^ Excerpts from Economic review. 1990. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  16. ^ Najib, Shireen (2013). My Life, My Stories. Dorrance Publishing. p. 160. ISBN 9781480900004. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  17. ^ Shaheen: Journal of the Pakistan Air Force. Air Headquarters. 1988. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  18. ^ Majeed, Tariq (2006). Masterminds of Air Massacres of August 17 in Pakistan to Sept. 11 in America (1st ed.). Karachi, Pakistan: Bait-ul-Hikmat. p. 774. ISBN 9789698983031. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  19. ^ The Herald. Pakistan Herald Publications. 1990. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  20. ^ Pakistan affairs. Information Division, Embassy of Pakistan. 1991. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  21. ^ Grover, Verinder; Arora, Ranjana (1997). Pakistan, Fifty Years of Independence: Fifty years of Pakistan's independence: a chronology of events, 1947–97. New Delhi: Deep & Deep. ISBN 9788171009251. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  22. ^ Sehgal, Ikram, ed. (1994). "Reshuffing the Deck" (google books). The Herald. 25 (4–5). Islamabad: Pakistan Herald Publications: 35. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  23. ^ a b Mahmood, Afzal (1994). "The Pakistan Air Force" (google books). Globe. 7 (7–11). Islamabad: Afzal Mahmood: 55.
  24. ^ Air Force Chief says that F-16s "Not Indispensable". Daily Report: Near East & South Asia, The Service. 1994. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  25. ^ a b c d Sehgal, Ikram (April 1999). "Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC)". www.defencejournal.com. Islamabad: Defence Journal. Retrieved 5 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Chief of Air Staff
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Succeeded by