A farewell to arms... By Sajjad
09 January, 2013
Air Chief Marshal Shamim went down with the sunset recently. He became known as Pinky to his comrades after he arrived from training in Australia and was posted to the first and only jet-fighter squadron. The fighter was a British contraption called 'Attacker' but was notoriously known as the flying coffin. Shamim was lobster pink in complexion when he arrived for his first day in the squadron, and swiftly became known by his nickname. An ever smiling and warm natured fighter pilot, he quickly became popular with the Fire Can Jockeys (no 11 squadron rabble rouser pilots). His ascent was smooth as he never stepped on any toes, unlike this scribe. He held several key appointments throughout his career until he reached the summit and stayed there for seven long years.
My personal memories of him are profound because he was an officer and a gentleman. He was always protective of me and had no qualms, even as the air chief, to utter complimentary words to me in the professional context and for what I stood for. Very few men who reach the top of the ladder have the propensity to appreciate rather than to suffer insecurity. Shamim had that incredible quality and flaunted it graciously. Adios my friend, you will find some great souls up there to welcome you. May your soul rest in eternal peace.