Service and Diplomacy: A Tribute to a True Patriot

A lionhearted pilot with ambition and excellence, from earning flying wings at RAF College, Cranwell to serving as ADC to Pakistan's third president and prime minister.

Maheen Waheed
By Maheen Waheed - Writer 3 Min Read
Left of Rizvi Dutch Prince Claus, right of Rizvi actor Omar Sharif, and right of Omar Sharif is Dutch actor Huub Stapel
Left of Rizvi Dutch Prince Claus, right of Rizvi actor Omar Sharif, and right of Omar Sharif is Dutch actor Huub Stapel

The life cycle continues under the bombardment of joy and grief; the arithmetic of emotions is always driving life’s roller coaster. However, the calculation is sometimes quite puzzling when someone is missing from the equation. On 30th January 2022, my world came crashing down as the news blasted my ears: “Muhammad Aslam Rizvi passed away at midnight due to chronic illness.” Aslam Rizvi — a name of inspiration and a living character who captured the minds and conquered the hearts of many. The news left people in utter astonishment and dissolved them in tears. A year has flown by in the blink of an eye, and here we stand with his cherishing memories.

To begin the story of his ticket to success, in 1964, the fire of ambition lit in his heart, making his selection possible at the renowned UK-based RAF College, Cranwell, where he earned his flying wings. After completing the course, he joined PAF as a multi-role pilot in 1965. In 1966, he leapt to the rank of Squadron leader. More successes were to shower him; his desire to stand out from the crowd set him apart from his peers.

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Luxuries could not punctuate his working spirit. Observation speaks. He would enter the soul of work solely and excel in his sphere. That’s why his exceptional service got him the rank of ADC (Aides-de-Camp) to the president. He fulfilled his role immaculately with the third president of Pakistan, the late General Yahya Khan, and then to the prime minister of Pakistan, Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, from 1969 to 1971, to mention at least. In 1971, the nation was showered with mishaps as the Pak-India war began, and Bangladesh came into being. Tough times for Pakistan, our lionhearted army stood firm to cope with the situation. Proudly, Rizvi showed up there; he flew the fighter F-86 and gallantly fought, thus contributing his share of defense for the dear motherland. The marked aggravation of war simmered down via the peace treaty termed the “Shimla Agreement,” where Mr. Aslam participated actively as the ADC to Bhutto. Satisfying consequences of the treaty on humanitarian grounds surfaced as 93,000 prisoners were recovered.

Rizvi was a multi-role pilot in the Pakistan Air Force, serving as ADC to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan, and later as Pakistan’s ambassador to various countries.

Prevention of war and peace, avoidance of cultural clashes, respect, keeping disagreements at bay, and amicably settling them are some of the advantages of diplomacy. While he grew and mastered his career with ample experience, he rendered zealous service as Pakistan’s ambassador to different countries, Holland being an example. Every good thing must come to an end, so was his official services case. However, he continually illuminated his experience as an analyst in talk shows, usually appearing on PTV mainly. He would talk about Pakistan’s ties across the globe and pour out his thoughts on current affairs, war, and diplomacy, as the list continues. Besides being a political consultant, he attained the rank of Director-General at the Foreign Office Foundation, where he continued to heighten his duty.

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The sports arena demands an effort of will and muscle that is healthful for body and soul; character and health go hand in hand. To pay off the mundane routine, he indulged himself in different sports: skiing, scuba diving, paragliding, and wind-surfing, to name a few. In fact, in the late 60s, he won the Ski Naltar championship.

With vibrant ambitions and ideas at odds with dull traditions, Mr. Aslam Rizvi has received recognition for his outstanding work from his ordinary 9-5 employer. His magnetic personality lingers in the minds of everyone he meets, from world leaders to the layman on the street. May Allah grant him high ranks in heaven.

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By Maheen Waheed Writer
Writer at Aware Pakistan, who enjoys putting everything down on paper and writing for her share.
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