Air Commodore M. Zafar Masud - A Pioneer of the Pakistan Air Force
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More About This Title Air Commodore M. Zafar Masud - A Pioneer of the Pakistan Air Force


"The late Air Commodore M. Zafar Masud helped to mould the Pakistan Air Force into an effective fighting machine. Pakistan will remember him as one who made a great contribution towards the development of the Pakistan Air Force..." - Air Marshal (Retd.) Asghar Khan

"An exceptional fighter pilot... Masud...was widely respected and regarded as a probable future air force chief." - Air Chief Marshal (Retd.) Jamal A. Khan


Air Commodore Mohammad Zafar Masud is among the pioneers of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). At the time of the partition of India in 1947, he was already an air force pilot and became the youngest founding member of the newly born Royal Pakistan Air Force (later Pakistan Air Force). In the PAF, he was affectionately known as "Mitty Masud" and is remembered as a top-rated fighter pilot and "the most brilliant planner and professional commander ever produced by PAF" (Retired Air Marshal Inam-ul-Haq Khan). Masud was also posted to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and held the positions of Air Officer Commanding and Unified Commander of Eastern Military High Command at a time when Pakistan was confronted with great political turmoil in its East wing.

Air Commodore Masud's contributions to the Air Force were well renowned. He led a formation of Sabre jets that set a world record in aviation. As part of building the PAF, Masud also founded the Fighter Leaders' School (now known as the Combat Commanders' School). This institution has earned a reputation as the 'Top Gun' base of the Pakistan Air Force. He also authored The Story of the Pakistan Air Force - A Saga of Courage and Honour, which provided an account of the PAF from 1947-1988. A hero of the 1965 war, Masud was awarded the second highest military honor in Pakistan, the Hilal-e-Jurat. Many pilots under Masud's command also received honors.

This book tells the captivating story of Air Commodore Masud's career, elucidates on the circumstances that prevailed in East Pakistan before its breakup from West Pakistan, and sheds light on how the Pakistani leadership's handling of the grave situation in the East wing led to Air Commodore Masud's resignation.


Nasim Yousaf, a well-known scholar and historian, has been in research in the USA since 1996. He has thus far published 14 books and compiled many rare and historical works including the Al-Islah weekly newspaper of his grandfather, Allama Mashriqi, which was founded in 1934. His works have been published in the prestigious journals Education About Asia (a teaching journal published in USA), Harvard Asia Quarterly and Pakistaniaat (USA) as well as in the World History Encyclopedia (USA). He has presented papers at academic and scholarly conferences in the U.S. He has also published numerous articles which have appeared in newspapers in many countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Hong Kong (China), Pakistan, India, Japan, Norway, United Kingdom, and the USA. His books and other works are important contributions to the historiography of South Asia.