Shahzaz Ud Din was a Wing Commander of Pakistan Air Force. He was regarded as one of the best fighters in the air for Pakistan. In an unfortunate series of events, he died on 27th February when he was lynched by his own people in POK. It is tragic to note that his death is yet to be recognised by the Pakistani establishment. This deliberate humiliation to sustain lies on the surgical strike by India by the Pakistani government should not befall any fighter pilot, even if he is from the enemy's camp.

An alumni of National Defence University, Islamabad, Shahzad Ud Din was flying an F-16 A/B fighter when was leading the combination of 24 jets that tried to attack Indian military installations in retaliation for the Balakot surgical strikes by the Indian Air Force on 26th February. While returning, he was chased by a MiG-21 Bison of Indian Air Force by Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthamanam. Abhi's MiG-21 locked onto the F-16 by a R-73 short-range air-to-air missile and was downed within seconds. The MiG was also hit (probably hit by the falling F-16's debris) and few minutes later both Shahzad and Abhi were parachuting down to the earth after ejecting from their respective jets.

Shahzad fell down in a semi conscious state. He was thrashed by locals who thought him to be an IAF commander as his jacket was torn beyond recognition. At the same time, Abhinandan was also being beaten by another group of POK locales at an entirely different location. 

Pakistan Army, in fact, believed the initial rumours that the other pilot is also an Indian and had made declaration to the media. Few hours later, they realised the blunder. Shahzad died at the CMH. Hope his death will be duly recognised soon by a duplicitous Pakistani administration who is always reluctant to acknowledged any kind of  Indian win even if they are forced to dishonour/disgrace their own.

Our Bureau