6 accidents in a row

Kids of the PAF masthead
Hashir Abdi
It was the sixth Pakistan Air Force crash in seven months and the second in a week, according to reports. (Seriously????)

Hashir Abdi I know my Dad was involved with Flight Safety in the 70’s… does such a branch even exist any more in the PAF?…

Moiz Ali The Chief needs to resign.

Zahid Husain My dad set up the Flight Safety Directorate in the early 60s n they got really tough with all elements, including I might add, giving talks to the Ladies (wives) to drive home the point of ensuring that the husband was in a good positive frame of mind whenever he left for his work/job that they were very important in carrying Flight Safety forward!!!

Aisha Mirza ‎??

Zahid Husain The Chief needs to do something and be visible n vocal about it, not just leave it to PROs n ISPR or whatever!!

Aamer Bashir AOA Everyone, Its premature to start finalising the inquiry here on FB yet. I mourn the loss of precious life as any Pakistani & Comrade. However, free expression also demands a sense of responsibility from every individual before he puts his thoughts into gear and releases the clutch. PAF is a responsible & mature service with all the inherent tentacles of modern air forces across the globe. YES there is flight safety……it can be best exercised if you don’t fly..unfortunately that’s not an option here. All accidents are thoroughly researched before arriving to conclusions. End Game …. you cannot practice with wooden swords …unfortunately its a risky business. May Allah grant them eternal peace & give courage to their dependents to bear the loss. Aameen

Fauad HatmiAamer Bashir I agree…….

Umar RafiAamer Bashir Fauad Hatmi…both of you are, obviously, the best qualified to comment on the subject…..since you are the experts…..there is quite a bit of civilian and private sector expertise here, on this site (and outside) from which the paf could benefit…i think two things need to happen:…first of all an objective statistical comparison should be made between paf and other air forces, carrying out similar flying….to see if the crashes/fatality ratios are the same….number two, i think there needs to be far more interaction between Pakistan military and the private and civilian sectors (including non-aviation) at a professional level (management, technology, etc.), so that both can learn from each other and exchange best practices.

Samina Rizwan An Air Force that has a “takkar” of a C130 on the ground, loses its Chief of Air Staff and 15 others in a VIP flight air crash, then goes and bangs two Mashak together – not to mention a dozen other crazy mishaps – resignations are the least of the requirement. In many “pretend” conversations with my Shaheed husband I have screamed at him “Rizwan, had you lived, I would have court martialed you on poor flight safety!”. At the end of it all, we will continue to be emotionally blackmailed by the Glorious Shaheed syndrome, by the memory of our loved and lost ones whom we would like to think of as above any professional error and – most of all – by our undying love for a now dysfunctional organization – the Pakistan Air Force. There, Ive said it – cant tell you how much it hurts!

Zahid Husain I know how it hurts! I understand what each of you above have noted! Yes we must wait in the meantime we have to vent our emotions! But these are all events that ONLY the professionals can address n handle! There is much that can always be learnt! May the departed Rest in Peace!

Murad Moosa KhanSamina Rizwan– it takes moral courage to say what you have said. I applaud your courage. The first step towards rectifying any weakness in a system is acknowledging and accepting your mistakes. Without this essential element we cannot make any progress. PAF was recognised by the professionalism of its officers and airmen- at least a critical mass of such people that maintained high professional standards. I am not sure we can make that claim for the present PAF. That is not to say that there are not honest, dedicated officers and airmen in the present set up. Its just that I am not sure there is enough of them to form a critical mass…..

Umar RafiZahid Husain …if one looks at how military organizations function in developed democracies, and how private sector companies function (in Pakistan also), i think there is one big missing piece, from a governance point of view, when it comes to Pakistani military organizations….(i am not saying to put them down, just trying to analyze from management practices, since lives are involved):
that missing piece is that there is no governance oversight of the executives of Pakistan military…….in the private sector, if a company starts decaying, it will go bankrupt in a few years due to competitive market forces…prior to that, its shareholders, usually (rather ruthlessly) fire the executives, and bring in new executive management……since the shareholders money is involved, via stocks…..
in developed democracies, the military is governed by civilian oversight committees, which monitor its efficiency and report it to the voters…and the press has access to the military, which highlights the military’s strengths and weaknesses……this keeps the military executives (generals, air marshals etc.) on their toes…..
……in case of Pakistan, i think no one really knows whether the executives of the military are doing a good job or a bad job….the executives are their own governance system…..is the military being run efficiently or inefficiently?……is money being wasted or being well-spent…..are the employees (and their families) happy or unhappy?……..are so many crashes understandable and a part of the risky profession, or are they a sign of poor executive management?…….there is no mechanism of finding out and rewarding (or firing) the executive management………

Murad Moosa Khan Absolutely right Umar Rafi– couldn’t agree with you more! There is no system of governance and accountability in developing democracies like Pakistan. “Internal’ investigations are just that- ‘internal’. They are never shared or critiqued by external agencies or forums-hence we remain in the dark. And any lessons to be learnt are never learnt. Hence even at the most basic level the audit cycle is never closed. The lack of introspection in developing democracies is what makes them different from mature democracies- which are far more open, transparent and accountable. Until this changes precious young Pakistani lives will continue to be lost, conveniently plastered over by what Samina Rizwan calls the ‘Glorious Shaheed Syndrome”….

Zahid Husain Gentleman you have both very accurately described the malady! Now to get the powers that be to begin a soul searching exercise?!

Murad Moosa Khan You wish…!! Easier said than done Zahid Husain! You know it and I know it as Umar Rafi knows it and all our fathers knew it that ‘the truth that sets men free is the truth that most men do not want to hear..” !!

Samina Rizwan There will be no searching Zahid. Otherwise brilliant minds and generous hearts are overwhelmed with ambition and aversion to personal risk. “Yaan but-shikan bohot hain koi khud-shikan nahin…Torey jo khud ko apne Paseeney mein doob kar”.

Umar RafiZahid Husain…it is perhaps an unsolvable problem….Pakistan civilian leadership is too weak (and perhaps too unqualified) to carry out oversight duties of the military leadership…..the military executive leadership is too powerful to allow such governance of itself…..and, obviously, unlike private sector companies, there are no shareholders to do oversight….and militaries must have discipline, hence its employees cannot form unions etc…..hence there is no oversight mechanism…..
….the best thing any chief could do for the military and its employees is to voluntarily agree to complete civilian oversight of all military affairs…this could be done by the parliament, the press, civil society groups and by perhaps a team of private sector professionals……this will actually strengthen the military and not weaken it…..as new ideas will come in and mistakes will be caught and generals will be judged on performance…..
….this will require the military executives to give up a great deal of power (and perks) and trust the civlians (who are supposed to be the employers of the military)….judging by the civilians reaction to the deaths in Siachen, and reaction to obl raid, i think civilians have a good idea of where to give credit to the military and where to demand better performance……

Hashir AbdiSamina Rizwan: May God Bless You….What a relevant, timely and a Powerful perspective… I am speechless and can only hope that it is being aired in the corridors of PAF leadership…. Umar Rafi, I am completely in agreement with you here regarding the abject lack of soul searching around this series of unfortunate incidents as well as the reasons behind this lack of introspection… Pakistan owes it to those who risk their lives every day that legitimate inquiries be made in order to avoid such tragedies in the future… I know that statistically, incidents like this are unavoidable, however it is the frequency with which they have been happening for a while now that should be the cause of alarm…. Something very fundamental is broken and surely the Blood Of Our Guardians is too precious a commodity to be squandered this way… I work everyday to ascertain problems in major corporations here in the US and it always amazes me how callously the interests of the pawns are brushed aside in a blaze of rhetoric and pretense of necessity… All organisations are subject to this folly and it is only through a comprehensive oversight regimen that they can be rescued from this self defeating spiral of denial. The Second To None legacy is Only Ours to Squander away and I very Sincerely Hope that the concentric Green and White continues to be the bearer of the Legacy worthy of Those On Whose Resolve it first Found Wings…

Ayesha Farooq In such tragic situations the share holders or the people who get ”bankrupt” ( emotionally and otherwise) are the families, the young wife, her children and the old parents – they just want peace of mind and heart so that they can raise the young kids in a relatively normal environment – I don’t think any of them, initially, is in a state of mind to actually ask for serious accountability.

Farhan Ansari The flight safety record of the record was far from good but in recent times it has proved that it is appalling ! . If such was the frequency of ‘occurrences ‘ in any other organization of any ‘reasonable’ country, a few heads would have rolled. There is talk of resignation. Yaar yahaan kabhi kisi ko resign kartey dekha hey?? Prime Minister down to John Doe, sub apni jaghey duttay just hain. Kaash ye mustaqil mizaji kaam may bhi nazar aati.
Its just another breed of people who resign when the bullet train was late by a few minutes ( and the Japanese Railway minister resigned in embarrassment )

Murad Moosa Khan We do not have a culture of accepting responsibility for our actions or holding those responsible to accountability-hence no will resign nor fired and no heads will roll. They never have. Sadly it will be business as usual. The names of a few more young men would be added to the list of Glorious Shaheeds and Allah Kee Marzi would explain the rest….!

Hashir AbdiMurad Moosa Khan: Agreed. Allah Ki Marzihas become a synonym for Kismet…. Just a cop-out

Murad Moosa Khan The same explanation is used to cover the incompetence and negligence of many physicians and hospitals in Pakistan. Some of what we are witnessing in Pakistan (whether it is death of patients in hospitals or the deaths of our young fighting men in flying and other ‘accidents’) verges on criminal negligence. So many precious lives lost. Who is responsible?

Nafees Asghar and I still wait for the report on the tragic crash of a C130 that took place near Bahawalpur on Aug 17, 1988.
Pakistan has gradually become a nation of f.. ups and cover ups.(excuse my French). The buck does not stop with any one in Pakistan. I fail to understand a midair collision of two trainer aircraft. This is not the country and not the Air Force that my father gave 42 years of is service for.

Zahid Husain Folks I am thinking, could I copy n paste each of our comments on this chain to my blog?! Would that be acceptable to each of you?! Yes credits for all comments also! What say you all?

Murad Moosa Khan Certainly! The more open discussion we can have on this the better.

Samayah Abdi I second, its time to make a difference. Our country has been hijacked by illiterate so called self proclaimed kings

Hashir AbdiZahid Husain: You absolutely should

Jehangir Rehman I call it….. “THE REIGN OF THE PYGMIES”

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