by Imran H. Khan

On a drizzly cold night in Dec of 1965 I found myself traveling  with my father to see the Tienanmen Square from our Sinchou hotel located close to the old city. I had just arrived from Pakistan via Canton on an ex-PIA Viscount turbo-prop of CAAC, the Chinese airline, and it seemed that I had landed on an alien planet. Everything was different here. The bread was white (steamed bread), music was string percussion, no one spoke English and bicycles were everywhere. Traveling on a two piece electric bus that silently carried the huddled Chinese in their quilt coats was a novelty for an eleven year old. I had seen photos of the Tienamen Square, but experiencing it at night for the first time with well light anchor buildings was a sensory overload. This was my introduction to the Pre-Cultural Revolution China, where my sense of novelty was only matched by the curiosity Chinese around me. I later on got to realized that I was only a handful of foreigners in the city and country where  PIA’s Boeing 707 was the only jet servicing the whole country. Here was a dark kid with a pointy nose in a mass of not so dark and not so pointy nosed people. Read more

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An informal off-the-record expose by Air Marshal (R) Inam H. Khan

F-6-ChinaPakistan was the first Muslim country to recognize China in 1950 and the third non communist state. Pakistan then voted for a bill concerning the restoration of China’s legitimate rights in the UN. PIA became the first non-communist airline to fly into China in 1964.

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by Imran H. Khan

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Pakistan’s current export of engineering goods stands at around $243 million out of total exports of $19 Billion. If we are to also include $300 Million in defense oriented exports and $169 Million in Software products and services exports, the total high margin high tech industrial export is a meager $712 Million for last year.

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by Air Cdre M Kaiser Tufail (Retd) F-6

The US embargo on military sales to Pakistan at the outbreak of 1965 Indo-Pak War was received with dismay and disbelief by the PAF, whose combat and training aircraft were totally of US origin. Already starting to get outclassed by more modern aircraft, the F-86Fs, F-104s and B-57s were now plagued by spares support problems that rendered them virtually worthless in the PAF. The C-in-C of the PAF, Air Marshal Nur Khan who had cannily led the force during the war, sensed the criticality of the situation and started an immediate search for suitable aircraft from new sources. Read more

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by Izaz Haque

natickmallWith so much to talk about these days, a lot of good opinions get left out there unheard. So lets get them out…right here on Imran’s blog.

I can start with a few leaders…

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An informal account by Air Marshal Inam-ul-Haque Khan (Retd), HJ, Former Air Officer Commanding East Pakistan

last_encounter_dec5President Yahya Khan held fair and free elections in December, 1970 in which Awami League of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman won a majority largely due to his Six-Point manifesto. National Assembly was to hold its first session in Dacca on 2nd March, 1971. It was, however, sabotaged by vested interests of West Pakistani establishment and some leading politicians, who were not willing to accept a Bengali-led government. Postponement of National Assembly strengthened the secessionist movement in East Pakistan, duly supported by India. Violent civil disobedience ensued through out East Pakistan immediately, resulting in casualties including death of students in a Dacca hostel due to shelling.  Army was forced to retreat to cantonments for avoiding bloodshed. The situation was bad demanding careful and intelligent handling. After about a week, when the disobedience had simmered down, Yahya and advisors reached Dacca and held final talks with Mujib on around 20th March for a couple of days. It was then agreed that Yahya will retain the Presidency and, honouring the outcome of election, he will transfer power to Mujib. Yahya, vacillating as ever, swayed by the ill-advice of leading politicians of West Pakistan and his own military junta, to ‘sort out these bloody Bengalis’,  resorted to use force  in starting on 25th March, 1971, instead of  implementing  political solution as reached with Awami League – a complete betrayal of trust. Read more

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by Imran H. Khan

Take a good look of the photo of Attock Fort as I am going revisit it towards the end. The use of term science and technology subconsciously suggests that science comes first and technology is a product of science. There is a growing sense in the West that this linear thinking is disconnected with reality. The new thinking states that most of the science could not have been made possible without the availability of technology. While this discussion is best left to people are a lot more cerebral, I would like to focus on the question of relative importance given to technology and science in the developing world in general, and Pakistan in particular. Countries like Pakistan have to make smart choices in terms of allocation of limited human resources and money. Read more

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