Anwar Shamim

Anwar Shamim
Air Chief Marshal Anwar Shamim.
Birth name Muhammad Anwar Shamim
Nickname Sabres-I Maverick
Born October 1, 1931 (1931-10-01) (age 80)
Haripur Hazara Division, British Indian Empire
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Years of service 1952-1985
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Air Chief Marshal (General)
Unit No. II Squadron Minhas
Commands held Chief of Air Staff
ACAS Air War Operations
Research and Plans, Air Headquarters
AOC Sakesar Air Force Base
Air.Cmdnt. No. 31 Fighter Wing
No. 31 (Fighter) Wing
No. 11 Squadron Arrows
OC Corangi-Creek Air Force Base
AOC Masrour Air Force Base
Commander Tactical Operations, AHQ
Integrated missile programme
PAF Sherdils
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
1965 Air Operations
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Operation Chengiz Khan
Operation Sentinel
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Awards Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Legion of Merit

Air-Chief Marshal Anwar Shamim, (Urdu:شميم انور; born 1 October 1931) NI(M), SI(M), HI(M), SJ, is a retired four-star air-force general officer who was the 10th Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force from July 23, 1978 to March 5, 1985.[1] Air Chief Marshal Shamim was promoted to four-star general and assumed the command of the Pakistan Air Force on 23 July 1978.[1] Air Chief Marshal Anwar Shamim, a war hero, is a one of the most decorated military officer in the Pakistan Armed Forces.[2]

Air-Chief Marshal Shamim was one of the important and powerful figure during the dictatorial regime of General Zia-ul-Haq. Shamim was one of the closest confident of General Zia-ul-Haq and have had access to country's most confidential assets. As four-star general and air officer, Shamim was one of the few figures that had played an influential and internal role in county's clandestine nuclear development programme, with major security and logistics issued needed his permission. In 1980s, Shamim took over the confidential and clandestine research and development projects of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission— country's national space authority — and initiated, and administrated the integrated missile programme, of which the first Hatf missile system was developed under his administrative supervision.

During his term as Chief of Air Staff, Shamim oversaw the induction and introduction of F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-5 Fantan and the creation of three regional (corps size) air commands, and the considerably expanded the air war operations in the country. After his retirement from Air Force, Air Chief Martial Shamim went to serve his life for the welfare and humanitarian issues, and further declined the government offices in later life.



Shamim was born in 1931 to an educated family and hails from Haripur (Hazara). He received early education in his native town, proceeding to Government College Campbellpur (Attock), and subsequently joining Dyal Singh College, Lahore. He became a member of the then functional University Air Squadron, to begin his childhood dream career that of a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force. He entered the Pakistan Air Force in the General Duties (Pilot) Branch on 14 March 1952.

However in 1952, Shamim entered in Air Force Academy where he gained B.Sc. in Mechanics, with a minor is aviation history in 1956. However, he was commissioned on 14 March 1952, as Pilot Officer (2nd Lieutenant) in 10th GD(P) Course but did not started his active duty, as the Air Force wanted him to finish his college courses first. In 1956, Shamim was promoted to Lieutenant and was selected to go to Australia to complete a jet training course there. After successfully completing an advanced flying training course at Royal Australian Air Force College, Point Cook, for which he had been selected by merit in 1958. Upon his return, he was promoted to Flight Lieutenant (Captain) as he was also completed a Jet Conversion Course from Australia. In 1960, Shamim attended the Air War College where he attained M.Sc. in War studies, and later forwarded to joined Combat Commmander's School. At there, he won the trophy for being one of the distinguished and best fighter pilots in school. In 1962, Shamim was Squadron Leader (Major) and attended the school with another fighter pilot Colonel Cecil Chaudhry. In 1965, Shamim had became Wing Commander (Lieutenant-Colonel) and commanded the Pakistan Air Force Sherdils. In 1973, as Group Captain (Colonel) Shamim returned Combat Commander's School where he served their as Chief instructor. At there, the PAF detailed him to attend the Command and Staff College to complete a Join-Service staff course. Shamim went to Quetta where Shamim completed a course on Joint Service and also gained M.S. in Military science. After completion of staff couse, Shamim was re-posted in Combat Commander's School as Chief Instructor along side with Colonel Cecil Chaudhry. Shamim was also promoted to as Air-Commodore (Brigadier-General) by the Air Force Promotion Directorate. In 1975, Shamim was promoted to Major-General (Air-vice Marshal) and throughout 1976, Shamim served as Research associate at the National Defence College while he carried out research in his academic discipline. While at there, Shamim completed a short-year course on International Defence Management Course in the United States Air Force.

Air Force Career

Shamim is one of the distinguish fighter pilot that country has produced.[2] One of the top graduate of Combat Commander's School, Shamim actively participated in the 1965 and 1971 Wars. During the Indo-Pakistan 1965 September war, Shamim, as Lieutenant-Colonel (Wing Commander) was second-in-command of the No.33 Fighter Wing, and actively participated in the Air war operations.[2] During this conflict, he was one of the junior OC at Sargodha Air Force Base.[2] After the war, he was honored with Sitara-e-Jura'at by the Pakistan Government. His award citation reads:

"Wing Commander Muhammad Anwar Shamim in his capacity as Officer Commanding, fighter-bombers wing, made significant contribution to the high morale and aggressive attitude of the pilots who flew from this station. He efficiently managed the changing air defence and other requirements and ensured, while fully meeting these requirements, that the pilots got sufficient rest and other comforts to enable them to fly intelligently and confidently. During the operation, he led 14 air defence/escort missions and 5 ground attack missions. His leadership during these operational missions was aggressive and confident and served as a very good example for his pilots to follow . He accepted long hours of duty, including operational sorties at odd hours of the day, with enthusiasm. Wing Commander Muhammad Anwar Shamim was, therefore, awarded Sitara-i-Juraat. "[2]

After the war, the PAF sent him to complete further staff courses. During the Indo-Pakistan Winter War in 1971, Shamim, now as Major (Squadron-Leader) was the Air-Defence Commander at South of the Central Air Defence. Shamim too went on to participate in the 13-day war but did not score any hits. After the war, Shamim was sent to Combat Commander's School as Chief Instructor.

Senior Staff Appointments

From 1970s and onwards, Anwar Shamim has held several senior command and staff appointments. During 1960, he commanded a No. 11 Squadron Arrows and the No. 33 Wing Dragnov of the Pakistan Air Force as Lieutenant-Colonel. He has flown a variety of airplanes and was always current on all fighter aircraft in the PAF inventory. He has served as Officer Commanding of three PAF Bases Masroor, Korangi Creek and Sakesar.

In 1976, as Major-General, Shamim was made Deputy Director of the Directorate for the Tactical Air War Operations (TAWO) at the Combatant Air Headquarters (AHQ) of Rawalpindi. However, he was replaced by Hakeem-Ollah and was posted as Director of Air War Operations (AWO). In 1977, Shamim was finally promoted to Air Marshal (Lieutenant-General) and was made Assistant Chief of Air Staff and Director General of the Air Research and Plans (ARP), Air Headquarters. The same year, the Air Force appointed Shamim as Air attaché at the Pakistan High Commission to the United Kingdom but the PAF notified Colonel Shamim that he has not been cleared. He was immediately advised to go the General's Headquarter (GHQ) to see General Zia-ul-Haq.

On July 23, 1978, the PAF Promotion Directorate promoted Anwar Shamim as a four-star air chief martial, overseeing three or so[clarification needed] senior officers.[1] The promotion was brought under the executive presidential order of General Zia-ul-Haq, Chief Martial Law Administrator during this period.

Chief of Air Staff

As Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Shamim supervised the modernization programme of Pakistan Air Force. Major reforms, intelligence operations, fighter training, strategic programmes were supervised under his command. His long tenure was notable for acquisition of F-16s, A-5, and other fighter jets in the Air Force.

Operation Sentinel

The Operation Opera played a psychological role in Pakistan as it was a success operation commenced by Israeli Air Force.[3] The Establishment and the Pakistan Intelligence Community began to worry about the symmetric operation will be launched near Kahuta with more advanced weapons will be used on the facilities.[3] The Naval Intelligence learned that suspicious activities has been seen near the coastal cities of India, and Indira Gandhi has motives against the nuclear development in Pakistan.[3] As he was made a four-star general in the Air Force, Shamim served as one of the most and closest confident of General Zia-ul-Haq.[4] In 1979, while in private, General Zia told Air Chief Marshal Shamim that ISI had reliable intel that that Indian Air Force, ordered by Indira Gandhi, Indian Premier, has plans to attack and destroy the Pakistan's nuclear research facilities at Kahuta, notably the Engineering Research Laboratories.[4] While asking the capability of retaliation, Air Chief Marshal Shamim acknowledged that Indian Air Force could reach the area in 3 minutes whereas the PAF would take 8 minutes, allowing the Indians to attack the facility and return before the PAF could defend it.[4] Because Kahuta is near borders and to effectively defended it was decided that the best way to deter an Indian attack would be to procure new advanced fighters and weaponry.[4] But in meanwhile, Air Chief Marshal told General Zia to use diplomacy by sending Munir Ahmad Khan to Indian diplomatic mission in Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency.[4]

During this meantime, Pakistan Air Force was put on high-alert with alert level 7. The PAF jets began to take sorties, equipped with missiles, on regular basis.[3] The other day, Air Intelligence confirmed the report about the intel and recommended the acquisition of Mirage-2000 or F-16 Falcon Fighters at an emergency level.[3] Shamim advocated for the F-16s and acknowledged General Zia about the plans.[3] In 1981, the Air Intelligence became alerted of suspected F-16s jets landed near at the Indian borders.[3] Therefore, the Shamim alerted the PAF, and a counter operation was launched, Operation Sentinel.[3] The PAF jets intercepted the suspected F-16s and confirmed their Israeli identity.[3] The PAF jets took aggressive measures and their tactics surprised the IAF F-16s.[3] Panicked and surprise, the mission was cancelled and IAF F-16s were pulled off immediately.[3] Pakistan then used Munir Ahmad Khan and a high level delegation was sent to India where both countries signed a pact not to laid attacks on each others facilities.[3]

F-16s acquisition programme

During the democratic regime of Prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the American-Pakistan relations were at its worst and severed.[5] The United States had launched a secret diplomatic campaign against Prime minister Bhutto and his colleagues.[5] Major embargo on Air Force was imposed, and the Air Force's modernization programmes were either halted or set backed.[5] After receiving convincing intel that a proper attack, roughly equivalent to that Operation Opera, General Shamim made tremendous efforts to get the F-16 Fighting Falcons from the United States. After the success of Operation Fair Play, the American-Pakistan relations were improved and strengthened.[5] General Shamim then launched the F-16 acquisition programme to induct F-16s in the Pakistan Air Force. In 1983, after two years of convincing the United States Government, the first batch of F-16s were inducted in the Air Force.[3] The day the F-16s were introduced, Air Chief Marshal Shamim wrote to General Zia-ul-Haq that, "now we [PAF] in a position to confirm that Indians will not attack Kahuta because it is amply clear to them that we will retaliate and launch an attack on their atomic station in Trombay, and knowing that they will suffer much more devastation than us, will desist from taking any unwise action".[3][4]

A-5 Introduction Programme

General Shamim, as intensifying his role to modernize the Air Force, negotiated with People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) for the sell to Pakistan Air Force.[6] After test-flying a A-5 Fantan, General Shamim advocated for the aircraft to be inducted in the Air Force.[6] On 20 October 1981, Pakistan had had placed order for A-5C modified export version.[6] In 1983, the first A-5C Fantan was introduced in the Air Force, and the deliveries were completed January 1984.[6] In 1985, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) launched programme to electronically upgrade the programme and in 1986, modern Westernized technology was integrated in the A-5C aircraft by the PAC.[6] In 1986, General Anwar Shamim launched an upgrade programme for the A-5C to have a capability to carried out the naval and air operations simultaneously.[6] The programme was completed in 19 February 1991.[6]

Air Force Strategic Command

General Shamim was a close confident of General Zia-ul-Haq and had inner circle access in the most confidential programmes.[7] Shamim also developed extremely cordial relations with Munir Ahmad Khan, weapon scientist and nuclear engineer.[7] As Munir Ahmad Khan played an influential and administrative role in Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), General Shamim decided to established the Air Force command that took over the space science operations for the military industrial use only.[7] In 1980s, under General Shamim, the Air Force Strategic Command was established, with primary objectives to give aerial and external protection to senior academic scientists and the clandestine nuclear deterrence development.[7] Per request of Munir Ahmad Khan and dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistan Government launched the Integrated missiles programme.[7] However, as General Shamim was able to convince General Zia-ul-Haq that missile operations would be better off under the Air Force.[7] The programme was put under the Air Force Strategic Command. The Air Force then authorized and administrated the Hatf missile system (HMS) programme, and the programme was directly reported to General Shamim.[7] The missile was developed as a highly mobile missile for tactical use only. The Air Force Strategic Command then completely took over the space research and development programme ran under the Suparco.[7] The programme, launched and culminated under General Shamim, its first developed missile was successfully launched in 1989 by the Pakistan Air Force.[7] In 1986, just before General Shamim's departure, Pakistan Air Force and the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) launched a guided-missile programme under which the tactical weapons were developed and could be dropped by using the toss-bombing method, a method which PAF pilots are reported to be mastered.[7] The programme was completed in 1991 under Munir Ahmad Khan's supervision.[7]

Other awards

He has received the following awards — Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military), Hilal-e-Imtiaz Military), Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Military). His foreign decorations include: Al Istiqlal from Royal Jordanian Government and Legion of Merit from the United States of America. Air Chief Marshal Shamim is widely traveled and is a keen sportsman." He won several cups for Tennis, and Soccer as a young officer. "He likes Squash, and" he was very involved in the further development of the athletes and the game when he was "the President of Pakistan and Asian Squash Rackets Federations."[8]

Legacy in the PAF

Anwar Shamim was the second longest serving PAF chief since Asghar Khan in the 60s. He was CAS for nearly seven years. After President Zia-ul Haq insisted on his extension as Chief of Air Staff, he had to continue his duty. The next officer was as yet junior, and the President wanted him to oversee the full induction of the F-16 before he retired.[9] While there were several allegations of nepotism[10] and improper conduct, But this has been fervently denied by his family[11]

Air Chief Marshal Shamim is also legendary for inducting state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets into the Pakistan Air Force. This accomplishment was one of the biggest achievements in the history of the Pakistan military. Under Shamim's leadership, the PAF became one of the most operationally efficient air forces in the world.

Personal life

Air Chief Marshal M. Anwar Shamim was married in July 1958. His wife, Begum Tahira Shamim was an active social worker and President of Pakistan Air Force Women’s Association, with a professional dedication to welfare work, spanning over twenty-five years. She is a published poetess of four Urdu poetry books. He has three children: two daughters, who are attorneys; and a computer engineer son.

Post Retirement

Post retirement Shamim has been offered several ambassadorships, but has declined them, preferring to focus on family life.

Published works

DAWN: Saturday March 12, 1988
Afghanistan Problem: The End In Sight?....I

DAWN: Sunday March 13, 1988
Afghanistan Problem: The End In Sight?....II

DAWN: March 27, 1988
Implication’s of India’s Naval Build-Up.

DAWN: April 4, 1989
Dilemma of the Bureaucracy.

DAWN: Saturday May 20, 1989
What Does Agni Portend?

Cutting Edge PAF: A Former Air Chief's Reminiscences of a Developing Air Force[12] Vanguard Books (2010) ISBN 9789694025407 HB


  1. ^ a b c (PAF), Pakistan Air Force (Updated). "Chiefs of Air Staff Gallery". Pakistan Air Force Directorate for Public and Media relations. Directorate-General for the Inter-Services Public Relations of Pakistan Air Force. Retrieved 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e (PMC), Pakistan Military Consortium; Pakistan Defence Information (Updated). "Citation of PAF Heroes". Pakistan Air Force Divisional Research Section of the Pakistan Military Consortium. Directorate for Public Press of the Pakistan Military Consortium. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Anwar, PAF, General Shamim (2010). "§ Critical Years: Intelligence and Deception". Cutting Edge PAF: A Former Air Chief's Reminiscences of a Developing Air Force. Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Vanguard Books. pp. 351. ISBN 9789694025407. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Anwar, PAF, General Shamim (May 17, 2007). "Threat to destroy indian N-plant stopped attack on Kahuta". General (retired) Shamim Anwar, Chief of Air Staff of Pakistan Air Force. Dawn Newspapers. Retrieved 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Anwar, PAF, General Shamim (2010). "§The Lost Decade". Cutting Edge PAF: A Former Air Chief's Reminiscences of a Developing Air Force. Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Vanguard Books Publishers. pp. 351. ISBN 9789694025407. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g PMC, Pakistan Defence Information (Updated). "Nanchang Q-5/A-5". Technical Research Directorate of the Pakistan Military Consortium. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anwar, PAF, General Shamim (2010). "§21st century Air Force". Cutting Edge PAF: Reminiscences. Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Vanguard Books Publishers Co.. pp. 351. ISBN 9789694025407. 
  8. ^ History of Pakistan Air Force from 1947-1982, First Edition, May 1982, by Syed Shabir Hussain and Squadron Leader M. Tariq Qureshi, p.220-222. PAF Press Masroor Karachi
  9. ^ PAF s' Chief of Air Staffs
  10. ^ Cecil Choudhary Interview
  11. ^ S Iqbals Response at Chowk
  12. ^ Khan, Iftikhar A. (Friday, 28 May 2010). "Threat to destroy Indian N-plant stopped attack on Kahuta". Pakistan: The Dawn Media Group. Retrieved 28 May 2010. 

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Zulfiqar Ali Khan
Chief of Air Staff
1978 – 1985
Succeeded by
Jamal A. Khan

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muhammad Anwar Shamim — Infobox Military Person name= Muhammad Anwar Shamim caption= born= died= placeofbirth= placeofdeath= nickname= allegiance= PAK branch= air force|Pakistan serviceyears= 1950 1985 rank= Air Chief Marshal unit= commands= Chief of Air Staff battles=… …   Wikipedia

  • Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq — General Muhammad Zia ul Haq Urdu:محمد ضياءالحق General Zia ul Haq (on right), PA 6th President of Pakistan …   Wikipedia

  • Pakistan Air Force — For other uses, see PAF (disambiguation). Pakistan Air Force Pakistan Air Force Ensign Founded 14 August 19 …   Wikipedia

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Pakistan — In March 1976, the Government of Pakistan adopted the recommendations of the White Paper on Higher Defence Reorganization. A formal committee was established, the membership of which comprised the three service chiefs and the Secretary of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sitara-e-Jurat — Infobox Military Award name= Sitara e Jurat caption=Sitara e Jurat awarded by= Pakistan status= Currently awarded type= Military Decoration eligibility=Military only (Conferrable on all ranks) for= ...for gallant and distinguished service… …   Wikipedia

  • Haripur District — Infobox Pakistan district district = Haripur District area = 1,725 km² population = 803,000 pop year = 2005 density = 466 per km² caption = Location of Haripur District (highlighted in red) within the North West Frontier Province. region = North… …   Wikipedia

  • Haripur, Pakistan — Infobox City official name = City of Haripur nickname = motto = flag link = flag size = image shield = shield link = shield size = flag link = flag size = image shield = shield link = shield size = |thumb|200px map caption = subdivision type =… …   Wikipedia

  • Chief of Air Staff (Pakistan) — Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force Incumbent: Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman since: March 19, 2009 First …   Wikipedia

  • Cecil Chaudhry — was a Pakistani Christian pilot with the rank of Flight Lieutenant who fought in the 1965 Indo Pakistani war. Chaudhry was one of many distinguished Pakistani pilots. During the 1965 war, Chaudhry, and three other pilots, under the leadership of… …   Wikipedia

  • Air chief marshal — Sir Richard Johns in RAF No 1 Dress uniform Air chief marshal (Air Chf Mshl or ACM) is a senior 4 star air officer rank which originated in and continues to be used by the Royal Air Force (RAF).[1] The rank is also used by the a …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.