PM, Services Chiefs attend State Funeral of Air Marshal Asghar Khan

RAWALPINDI: The country’s top civil and military leadership Saturday bid farewell to the first indigenous Commander of Pakistan Air Force Air Marshal Asghar Khan, recognised for laying foundations of a modern force.

The State Funeral for the country’s first Muslim and the youngest commander was held here at the Nur Khan Air Base Chaklala and attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, federal ministers, parliamentarians, political leaders and a large number of serving and retired senior civil and military officers and family members.

The three services were represented by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman.

The coffin of Air Marshal Asghar Khan, draped in the green and white national flag was brought in an ambulance.

The pall bearers of Pakistan Air Force carried the coffin to the prayers site as a contingent of the PAF presented salute. A citation was read, floral wreaths laid and the funeral prayers offered.

Asghar Khan (96) breathed his last Friday morning at the Combined Military Hospital Rawalpindi after a protracted illness.

His last remains were flown to Abbottabad for burial.

Late Air Marshal Asghar Khan is the fifth Pakistani to have had the honour of being accorded a State Funeral. Founder of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, General Zia-ul-Haq, Abdul Sattar Edhi and Dr Ruth Pfau were earlier honoured their meritorious services to Pakistan.

The last high profile funerals at the Nur Khan Air Base was held for Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir who was killed in an air crash near Kohat on Feb 2003.