An award distribution ceremony was held on the occasion of Defence Day on 6th September 2020. The ceremony took place at the President House in which President Arif Alvi conferred Sitara-e-Jurat to Wing Commanders Noman and Hassan Siddiqui of Pakistan Air Force. Federal ministers, senior military and civilian officials also took part in the ceremony.
The awards distribution ceremony was initially scheduled to take place on March 23, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony happened on September 6.
According to the ISPR, the president had announced Sitara-e-Jurat for one, Tamgha-i-Jurat for two, Sitara-e-Bisalat for eight, Tamgha-e-Bisalat for 88, and certificates for 94 forces’ personnel.
Wing commander Noman Ali Khan received Sitara-e-Jurat for shooting down an Indian Su30 during Operation Swift Retort. On the other hand, wing commander Hassan Siddiqui received Tamgha-e-Jurat.
Hassan Siddiqui shot down Abhinandan’s plane embarrassing India
The two pilots shot down two Indian planes on February 27, 2019. One of the jets had crashed into an Indian MiG in Pakistan. It was Siddiqui who shot down the Indian fighter jet plane. This led to the capture of Indian pilot Abhinandan. The Indian officer attempted to violate airspace along LOC on February 27, 2019. Abhinandan later released on March 1 as a “peace gesture”.
Siddiqui got praise across the country soon after Pakistan’s retaliation to India. Originally from Karachi, got a hero’s welcome as soon as his plane touched down.
PAF officials surrounded his aircraft as soon as he landed after successfully engaging the Indian planes. Three years ago, squadron leader Hasan Siddiqui featured in a video paying tribute to the bravery and professionalism of the PAF.
WATCH: Wing Commander Noman Ali Khan reveals how he shot down Abhinandan’s plan
Other recipients of the awards
Formed after the Pulwama attack, the Operation Swift Retort team were among 70 soldiers and officers who received military awards for their services to safeguard the national frontiers.
GP Rana Ilyas and Air Vice Marshal Zafar Aslam received Sitara-e-Basalat for their respective roles in planning the Operation Swift Retort. W/C Omar Chaudhry got Tamgha-i-Basalat posthumously.
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