Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt, Chief of Air Staff
Ladies & Gentleman
I am pleased to witness the Roll-Out of the 50th JF-17 Fighter aircraft from Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra. Today’s ceremony marks a glorious milestone in the history of Pakistan aviation industry, as well as, in our national quest for development and progress. I heartily congratulate Chief of the Air Staff and his team on the successful completion of in-country production of first batch of 50 JF-17 aircrafts – which is rightly Pakistan’s Pride.
The history of Pakistan Air Force is marked with proud accomplishments of bravado, commitment and courage. I am filled with immense joy when I see these ‘falcons’ flying in the air. Their skill and their passion to conquer the skies assure me that our aerial frontiers are safe and secure.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The proficiency of PAF is not limited to the air alone, but it is equally competent to show its mettle in the fields of aircraft manufacture, radar and even the drone technology. The whole world acknowledges the acumen and potential of our soldiers. It was because of this potential that I approved the JF-17 project in my previous tenure. Today, I feel immensely pleased and proud that this project has successfully reached its completion, and the PAF professionals have met the expectations of the nation. The JF-17 aircraft has not only strengthened our defence but has also led to the growth of aviation industry in Pakistan. There were several political and economic compulsions that came our way during our last tenure when we wanted to embark upon the JF-17 project. But we approved this project disregarding all those pressures as the needs of our armed forces and the defence of the country was our priority. I reiterate my word of honor that even today the defence of the country is as dear to me as it was at that time.
Ladies and gentlemen!
We want that our defence forces should be ever ready for any contingency.
For this reason, we want to ensure that our forces are alert, active and fully equipped with necessary professional skills. Presently, there has been an unprecedented change in the philosophy and strategy of war, and so has increased the importance of the air force. In the same manner, the objective situation has undergone a change due to new research and innovations. . Today, one can enter any territory sitting thousands mile away without physically moving one’s armed forces. This has been possible only due to the capability of air force and the new technology. We know very well that no battle can be won with outdated technology and discarded strategies. Pakistan’s defence strategy is therefore being devised under this scenario. I am happy that our military leadership is fully cognizant of the changing environment and is following an agreed and well integrated approach. Our soldiers also believe that Pakistan is not merely a country but a country based on ideology. Our forefathers had envisioned a modern welfare state. The new technology and modern expertise have transformed our defence into a great force. And when, with help from Allah, such an army advances for defense of the country, then even death is not an obstacle in its way.
Ladies & Gentlemen
The JF-17 aircraft development and production is a major flag bearer in our journey towards self-reliance and industrialization and adds a glorious chapter in the history of Pakistan’s friendship with People’s Republic of China. We have achieved a number of milestones in a short period during the journey of our enduring friendship with China. These include projects like Gawadar Port, Chashma Power Project, Karakoram Highway, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex and the recent Karachi Civil Nuclear Power Plant. During my recent visit to China, several agreements of strategic nature were reached between both brotherly countries. The most prominent amongst them is establishing an economic corridor, linking Gawadar to China through Khunjrab Pass, which would have far reaching impact on the future our country and the region. I take this opportunity to thank our most valued and trustworthy friend for the support in JF-17 Project and in several other joint projects countrywide.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Pakistan Air force has a glorious history. When I decided to attend this grand ceremony, I recalled the speech of Quaid-i-Azam that he delivered at the occasion of his visit to the PAF Academy at Risalpur on 13th April 1948. I would like to end my speech by quoting the Quaid who said;
“There is no doubt that any country without a strong Air Force is at the mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build up her Air Force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient Air Force second to none and must take its right place with the Army and the Navy in securing Pakistan's defence.”
This is what I commit today that we will meet demands of our defence forces so that their long standing traditions attain perpetuity.
Pakistan Air Force Zindabad