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PAF s' Squadrons

No. 12 Squadron History: 1988-1998

The role of the No. 12 Squadron is to transport VIPs, both home and abroad. It is also responsible for the calibration of navigational aids throughout the country. The squadron flies the President, the Prime Minister, the CAS, foreign heads of state, and other important dignitaries. A C-130 carrying the President of Pakistan, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff, the American Ambassador to Pakistan, and several others from Bahawalpur to Chaklala, crashed on 17 August 1988, killing everybody on board. The Officer Commanding 12 Squadron, Wing Commander Mashood, was the captain of the ill-fated aircraft.

On 31 January 1989, Group Captain Maqsood, Wing Commander Sabahat and Wing Commander Inam operated the first VIP flight from a Boeing 707. From 24 June to 8 July 1990, the squadron flew eleven relief flights to Tehran on the Boeing 707 aircraft. The Prime Minister of Pakistan was flown to Kuwait 25 March 1991. This was just after the Gulf War, when the Kuwait airport had no navigational aids and the city was engulfed in thick clouds of rising smoke from the burning oil wells. From 14 to 22 May 1991, the squadron flew six relief missions to Dhaka.

In 1994, a PIA Boeing 737 was officially handed over to the PAF for VIP commitments. Initially, eight officers were sent abroad for training. They continued their line training with the Boeing company instructors in Pakistan. The Boeing 737 flew for its first VIP sorite with the President of Pakistan on 13 December 1994. The operating crew included Wing Commander Jamal, Wing Commander Anjum and Squadron Leader Aasim.

On 7 November 1995, after take-off from Darwin, Australia with President Farooq A. Leghari on board, the No. 1 engine of the Boeing 707 caught fire, and suffered severe damage and the rupture of a fuel tank. Wing Commander Kamal, who was occupying the captain's seat at than time, landed the aircraft safely at Darwin.

From 15 to 20 October 1995, a number of missions were flown to Kandhar and Mazar-e-Sharif on DA-20 and F-27 aircraft, as part of the shuttle diplomacy between Pakistan and Afghanistan. During 1997, a number of peace missions were flown to various cities of Afghanistan including Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kandhar, and Shabbarghan, carrying Mr. Iftikhar Murshad, Additional Secretary of Afghanistan Affairs and others, for negotiations between the Talibans and Iran. During one such mission on 12 July 1997, while flying at night from Mazar-e-Sharif to Peshawar, the aicraft, Fokker F-27, was diverted to Mazar-e-Sharif due to an inflight emergency. Because of lack of communication facilities and poor lighting conditions on the runway, it was about to be shot down by the Afghans who mistook ot for an enemy aircraft. However, it landed safely. Wing Commander Khalid Kamal was the captain of the aircraft.

As in the previous year, extensive peace missions were flown to Afghanistan carrying the Additional Secretary of Afghanistan Affairs, Foreign Office Officials, a Saudi Prince, and an Iranian delegation. These dignitaries were meeting for negotiations, and to ease tension between Iran and Afghanistan. As a result of these peace missions, the Government of Afghanistan released five captured drivers initially, and all the remaining prisoners later, who were flown to Islamabad in a Fokker aircraft.

During the month of July 1997, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi was converted on DA-20, and flew his first mission to Lahore on 28 July 1997. From January 1993 to April 1994, the squadron flew 181 hours on the Boeing 707 aircraft, in support of the United Nation's peacekeeping mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. Between May 1993 and June 1998, the squadron flew 950 hours for missions to Ankara, Colombo, and Almaty as chartered flights for Shaheen Air Cargo.

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