Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Dialogue with an Aviator Kaiser Tufail

I have always had special corner for Pakistan Air Force in my heart. Visiting Air Bases, meeting people there, capturing fighter jets, observing things and learning about life in PAF have been part of my quest since long.

On June 19, 2011, I met Retd. Air Cmdre Kaiser Tufail at his place in Lahore. Meeting him was a lifetime experience since I was so much fond of him due to his commendable career with PAF and his master piece “Great Air Battles of Pakistan Air Force”. Kaiser Tufail is one gem of a person I have ever come across in my life. He is well known for his caliber, demeanor, and intellect which made him ‘top notch’ fighter pilot of PAF. I would never forget a cup of coffee and three hours long discussion with him which quenched my thirst for knowing more and more about fighter aircrafts and the way GDPs do wonders in the air.

(In olive-green coverall with F-16 patch on the shoulder)

On August 22, 2011, we concluded our discussion in the form of an interview which is going to be part of my 1st publication “In Dialogue with Aviators of Pakistan Air Force”. I’m sharing the conversation with you and hope it will entice you.

Faisal Riaz: Tell us something about yourself.

Kaiser Tufail: Pre-partition, my family belonged to East Punjab. After partition, with my father being in the Army, we roamed all over Pakistan’s cantonments. I joined Cadet College Hasanabdal in 1967 and soon after completing my FSc, joined the PAF in 1973.

Faisal Riaz: Did you have other family members in Pakistan Armed Forces?

Kaiser Tufail: My father was in the Army and he retired as a Lt Col. A cousin of mine was in the PAF. My wife’s father and several of her uncles were also in the PAF. One of her uncles, Gp Capt Ata Rabbani was the Quaid’s ADC. He is presently 93 years old and is the oldest living PAF officer.

Faisal Riaz: You were doing MBBS from King Edward Medical College before joining Pakistan Air Force. What made you leave MBBS and run for a soldier’s life?

Kaiser Tufail: I stayed in KEMC for a few months before I got selected in the PAF. In our days pre-meds could join as a flier. I thought a fighter pilot’s career was very thrilling. Now when I look back, I think it was one of the best decisions I made in my life.