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The foundations of your state have been laid and it is now for you to build and build as quickly and as well as you can - Quaid-e-Azam’s last Message (14th August 1948)

The rebirth of Pakistan's record-holding Air Fighter as a New Man: Mohmammad M. Alam

The middle of the year 1965 was unquestionably the peak point of the Pakistan Air Force's 54-year history. It brought into focus the fundamental character of this relentless air force when faced, for the first time, with a full scale confrontation with its number one enemy, the Indian Air Force.

Mohammad Mahmood Alam, who was born in 1935 in the state of Bihar, Western Bengal, is so far the top scorer fighter pilot of PAF. In the war of 1965, he shot down nine Indian planes (five in one sortie) and damaged another two. On September 6, 1965, during an aerial combat over enemy territory, Squadron Leader Mohammad Mahmood Alam, in an F-86 Sabre Jet, shot down two enemy Hunter aircraft and damaged three others. For the exceptional flying skill and valor displayed by this Squadron Leader, Alam was awarded Sitara-i-Juraat [The Star of Courage]. On September 7, 1965, Alam is said to have destroyed five more enemy Hunter aircraft in less than a minute, which remains a record to this today. Overall he had nine kills and two damages to his credit.

It is worth quoting an Indian author here from his book Fiza'ya, regarding this remarkable achievement of M. M. Alam: "The claim of shooting down five Hunters within 30 seconds by Squadron Leader M. M. Alam OC No. 11 Squadron (F-86F), if true, would be a feat unprecedented in the annals of jet air warfare, probably in the history of all air warfare. A Luftwaffe pilot in WWII downed five Soviet aircraft in a single sortie, but no one (except M. M. Alam) could claim five in the space of less than a minute."

According to M. M. Alam himself, he is now a changed man. After his promotion to Wing Commander, he bagan to question and rectify his lifestyle, and reached the conclusion that the abandonment of traditional Islamic values by the PAF constituted a betrayal of the people it served. The most obvious symbol of that compromise of values was the consumption of alcohol. Alam not only quit such immoral and unIslamic practices himself, but also took the initiative to persuade his colleagues to banish alcohol from the officers' mess. Not surprisingly, Alam's growing zeal for Islam frustrated many PAF officers, a good many of whom were his superiors.
In 1979 Alam took a leave of absence and slipped over the border into Afghanistan. It is believed that Alam advised and inspired the Mujahiddin of Afghanistan in their operations against the Soviet-backed Afghan government. Since his return to Pakistan from the Jihad against the Soviet atheists, Alam's life has changed. He began to live a life of simplicity, residing in a sparsely furnished apartment in Karachi with little more then a pile of books.

It is interesting to note that during his appearance on Pakistan Television with his fellow war veterans in 1994, this once dashing Ace of Pakistan made very few remarks about his brilliant war time achievements, which is quite indicative of his new humble and peaceful nature. "That had been another, earlier Mohammad Alam," as Alam himself admitted in this interview. Indeed this new Alam is a different man, more concerned with his spiritual integrity than with glorifying his old dogfights.

On this Defence Day of Pakistan, we should honor and pay tribute to this honest and God-conscious man, not only for the great courage he demonstrated in the 1965 war and for the other landmarks in his PAF career, but also for his courage in giving up his prestigious life and for his efforts in removing immoral practices in Pakistan Air Force.

Date/Time Last Modified: 6/18/2002 8:06:07 AM


Readers' Comment

zain hashmi (son of gp capt hamid s hashmi): 9/15/2005 9:23:22 AM
this is in difficult english and these days children are getting alot of assiments on the defence day & i think it should also be in a bit easy english for small children

MUHAMMAD ADNAN ARIF: 12/22/2005 8:10:44 AM
I ilke this jesture very much because now a days it is very important to tell these stories to our young ones so that their moral remain high and they came to know that what that what their fore fathers done for the independence of thir country so ilke this effort.

omer ali bhatti: 4/29/2006 10:58:41 AM
i really feel proud to read this article bcz such type of information is not known commonly to every one on media which i think is quit regretfull.now adays our younger generation does know who is the latest superstar of bollywood or hollywood but does not know our national real life heroes such as great m.m.alam.we must know our history about getting independence & how our forefathers saved our country from our enemies.by this nationalism arouses & we behave rather like a nation.

omer ali bhatti: 4/29/2006 10:59:24 AM
i really feel proud to read this article bcz such type of information is not known commonly to every one on media which i think is quit regretfull.now adays our younger generation does know who is the latest superstar of bollywood or hollywood but does not know our national real life heroes such as great m.m.alam.we must know our history about getting independence & how our forefathers saved our country from our enemies.by this nationalism arouses & we behave rather like a nation.

mohsin raza: 5/3/2006 1:45:36 PM
this article has once again lited the candle of enthusiasm in my dead heart.my heart is filled with all the praises for this superb fighter people like him are the jewel of the crown.MAY GOD BLESS US WITH SUCH PEOPLE. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD.

Kashif Naushad Rajput: 7/27/2006 7:29:07 PM
the record M.M Alam holds is the pride of Pakistan.this is a little example that we can do for our beloved country.Who ever will try to harm PAKISTAN,will face such type of results. PAKISTAN ARMY IS THE BEST ONE IN THIS WORLD...................... PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

Mohsin Raza: 8/28/2006 12:23:29 AM
i shall say it is simply wonderful. This achievement is indeed brave enough to make someone praise his valour and intellect.We are proud to have such a pilot in our AIRFORCE

Salman Baig: 8/31/2006 3:24:39 PM
I really proud on Muhammad Mahmood Alam on his great Achievement in War. Good source of Information. Salman Baig www.paffalcons.com

Lt Connel BILAL AHMED SHAh: 9/21/2006 7:38:03 PM
sir hope ALLAH is taking goood care of u take care sir

SAAD : 12/23/2006 5:43:17 PM
A great artical and should have more on PAF war heros.

Ammar Khan: 1/16/2007 11:13:14 AM
MAshallah Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Forces Zindabad

Mohammed " Shafu" Hussain: 2/11/2007 1:15:40 PM
I am a Bangali, living in U.S.A. We read about him and came to admire his bravery and endowment in early age. May Allah the All Mighty take good care of this immense individual, who is larger than life and has a pure soul, hear and the afterlife. Thank you for this great article. Mohammed “Shafu” Hussain.

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