Our Beacon Forum

Not so Sharif !
By:Muhammad Rafi
Date: Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 7:15 pm

Received this mail from Zahiruddin Babar that revives the happenings of 12th Oct. when Nawaz Sharif was adam,ant in killing so many inocent people just to remain in power. At the moment his graph is going down rapidly alongwith that of brother and all the PML (N) part members have once again started shouting against Gen. Musharraf.

Muhammad Rafi

My aim is social activism and to purge the society of social injustice, exploitation, corruption, and nepotism.

My ultimate goal is good governance and an egalitarian society.
Also my focus is on ecology and the day to day problems of Pakistan.

I will be sharing with you my experiences and would be asking you for your comments and suggestions.

This is a social service any one can become a member and any one can opt out of the group by simply emailing us and asking us to remove his name from the mailing list.

Please visit my blog: http://punctiliouspakistani.blogspot.com

And also post your comments and pictures.

Best Regards

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

Remember it is your silence which makes the difference.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Dr. Babur Zahiruddin
Sent: Wed, March 17, 2010 8:33:26 PM
Subject: Recalling - 12th Oct 1999 - Flight PK 805

This E-mail has been forwarded to me....

Please make your own assumptions.


Dr. Bbaur Zahiruddin


I was often asked about that fateful day when Gen. Musharraf took over. This is what happened as narrated by an eyewitness. I could not have written a more riveting account and I can vouch for its authenticity. I myself had talked to Capt. Sarwat at one time and he substantiated what is essentially written here.
The aircraft highjack case is under appeal in Supreme Court and Nawaz Sharif's Liar (lawyer) has been talking crap about what took place. All the Court has to do is go over the statements of the Pilot , evidence of the approver and the record of the Court which convicted him.



(Remembering 12th October, 1999)

October, 1999 Capt Sarwat of Pakistan International Airlines
Airbus-300, an old buddy, and I had gone to Colombo, Sri Lanka for
Airlanka Golf classic tournament.

On the 10th October, after returning from the 18th hole (towards the
finish of the game) that I saw General Pervez Musharraf (chief of
Joint staff and Chief of the army staff) teeing- off with the
Bangladeshi COAS for a friendly match. Gen Musharraf had gone to
Colombo to represent Pakistan on the 50th anniversary of Sri Lankan
armed forces. On the 12th October we were to return to Pakistan
and our flight route was Colombo-Male (Maldives)–Karachi. The flight
time between Male and Karachi was almost three and a half hours. Capt.
Sarwat was Commander of the flight PK/805 and I was traveling as a
passenger in the club class but being cockpit crew of PIA I could
visit the cockpit, of course,with the consent of the Capt. in seat. The
First officer of the flight was Mr. Shami {who was on his first
clearance check flight to Sri Lanka and the flight engineer Mr. Amir.
Gen Pervez Musharraf boarded the plane with his wife and two of his
personal staff officers. Gen. Musharraf and his wife were seated in
the front extreme right hand side seats and the PSO’s occupied the
last two seats on the same side. There were a total of 198 persons
aboard, out of which almost 50 were children from the
American school with six foreign teachers.

The flight to Male was bumpy due to rain and clouds. At Male, which
was a transit stop, Gen. Musharraf, his wife and the PSO’s disembarked
to see the strange looking island which had nothing but just a runway
strip. At Male, Capt. Sarwat after getting the weather information of
Karachi and Nawabshah decided to refuel the aircraft, keeping
Nawabshah airfield as an alternative (Nawabshah airfield is almost 110
nautical miles north east of Karachi). It meant that the aircraft
could reach Karachi and in contingency could divert to Nawabshah and
keep flying in air for another 45 minutes before landing at Nawabshah
which is normally the fuel policy of the airlines throughout the

The departure from Male was uneventful. The airplane started cruising
at 29000 feet, I was sitting in the cockpit jump seat and occasionally
would stand up to stretch and walk in the cabin. During the flight,
the air guards and the cabin crew requested Gen Pervez Musharraf for
individual and group photographs. Capt Sarwat also came to the club
class from the cockpit to greet the VIP..

After two and half hours of flight and now cruising at 33000 feet, we
established contact with Karachi air traffic controller. The first
thing the Karachi radio controller asked was how much fuel was on
board? What was our alternate airfield? And how many passengers were
on board? I was standing behind the flight Engineer’s seat and
listening to the whole conversation through the cockpit speakers. On
hearing this I did point out to Capt. Sarwat “Isn’t it strange for
Karachi to be asking this?” to which he nodded “yes”. It was a clear
night and probably the third of moon was out but we could later on see
Karachi very clearly. The initial approach given to us was direct
Marvi (shortest route) but after a while Karachi changed the clearance
via Nansi (the longer route) and gave us descent clearance to 10000ft.
As the airplane reached almost within 60 miles the Karachi tower said
“PK /805 you are not cleared to land at Karachi”. “Can we proceed to
Nawabshah?” Capt Sarwat asked ATC after pondering for a little while
as to what must be going on down below. “Nawabshah is also closed”
came the reply. “But Nawabshah is our alternate!” said Capt Sarwat
forcefully. Karachi ATC said “you will land at your own risk you
cannot land in Pakistan. All airfields are closed”. “We do not have
fuel for any other airfield!” Capt. Sarwat replied once again but
there was complete silence from the ATC.

The Karachi ATC was questioned thrice but all in vain ---- there was
no answer. During the ATC conversation it seemed quite obvious that
someone behind the controller was passing the instruction because more
than three or more persons could be heard in the background .
A KLM flight which was somewhere in air and listening to
this conversation also shouted, "Karachi why don’t you give the reason
to the PK 805". While the commotion was on, Capt Sarwat assumed that
perhaps it may be due to the VIP sitting aboard. Sarwat knowing my
air force background asked me and the other crew “Partner what do you
think, should I tell the general about this?” I butted in and said why
not, let’s get whatever help we can!”

Capt called the purser and asked him to inform the personal staff
officers of the General. Both the PSO’s were informed and they came
rushing into the cockpit. After listening to the Capt. they went to
inform the General. Meanwhile, Capt Sarwat asked the flight engineer as
to how much fuel was left, and if we could make it to Muscat. “No way,
we have only five and a half tons of fuel left at this 10000 feet
altitude” he calculated. Meanwhile General Musharraf had entered the
cockpit. During the discussion between the flight crew members, two
other alternate airfields for diversion were considered. Chahbahar in
Iran and Ahmedabad in India. After a little discussion with the flight
engineer regarding remaining fuel and new airfield and night landing
facility, Chahbahar was not considered as an alternate airfield. “Do
we have the approach and landing information on Ahmedabad? Please open
and consult Jeppesen (the flight crew bible} immediately” Sarwat asked
the co-pilot.

General Musharraf was listening to the conversation and he asserted
“We will not go to India, that is not an option”, to which Capt Sarwat
said “okay General as you say.” Now the Gen said that he wanted to
talk to the Corp commander Karachi, immediately. After a while the PSO
gave the mobile telephone number to the flight engineer and wrote the
land telephone number of the Corp. Commander. Karachi. The flight
engineer Amir tried many times to dial the telephone but there was no
dial tone. In this hurry and in presence of the general, the flight
engineer mishandled his flash light and broke its glass. The flight
engineer Amir said we are not getting the connection through and it
seems as if the telephone lines have been cut. The general then asked
as to why we couldn’t speak on the long range radio- the high
frequency. The flight engineer tried to establish contact through
company high frequency phone patch but it was all quiet, and no answer
was received.

The other aeroplanes flying in Karachi vicinity were instructed by the
Karachi ATC to divert because Karachi airport was closed. An aircraft
of Pakistan Air Force which was inbound to Karachi from Islamabad
was instructed by the Karachi air traffic controller to land at
Nawabshah, immediately. But the PAF Captain was not willing to accept
this order and asserted that the PAF flight would go back to
Islamabad. While the argument between the PAF aircraft and Karachi ATC
were going on, Capt Sarwat changed the radio frequency. However
later on I investigated about the PAF flight and I found out that it
was a Boeing 737 VIP aircraft, which was on routine maintenance trip
to Karachi but was forced to land at Nawabshah airfield. The police at
Nawabshah, with special instructions was waiting for the two engine
jet aircraft. Since it is difficult for a common man to distinguish
between a Boeing 737 and an Airbus A-300, therefore, Nawabshah police
cordoned off the aircraft after parking. But as the doors were opened
Pakistani Army soldiers rushed to the aircraft and shouted at the
police to buzz off otherwise they would be shot at. The Police
dispersed and now the army took charge of the aircraft. An Army
officer entered the aircraft. To their dismay, they found the wife and
children of the PAF Capt sitting inside, “Where is the General?”
inquired the army officer. “What General?” asked the crew? PAF crew
told them that they were going to Karachi from Islamabad. “But we were
told that you are coming from Colombo” said the officer surprised

In the air at the same time, the first officer of the aircraft
saw two blips on traffic collision avoidance system and shouted “We
are being intercepted; probably there are two fighter aircraft”.

The conversation in the cockpit became tense and was
blended with other actions in the cockpit, which had become rather
demanding. I noticed that at no point any of the crew or the VIP
lost their cool. The general insisted several times that we land at
Karachi. He also inquired as to why we couldn’t land at the air force
runways at Karachi. But probably due to the fighter aircraft and no
knowledge as to what was happening below on ground, with no runway
lights landing at PAF Airfields was considered as the last option. If
we could not land at Karachi or at Nawabshah due to runway blockade
with tractors and bulldozers etc then Shahrah-e-Faisal or Masroor was
the last option anyways. At this point Capt Sarwat changed to PIA
company radio channel. Sarwat was asked about the remaining fuel.
Someone at the company channel directed PK805 to proceed and land at
Nawabshah, then refuel the airplane with 30 tones of fuel and once
again get airborne and wait for further instructions.

After a few minutes, the Karachi ATC came on air and cleared PK805 to
divert to Nawabshah. . Capt Sarwat then heaved a sigh of relief and
said “Let’s go to Nawabshah”. The Airbus climbed like a missile to
20000 feet in no time since there was hardly any fuel left in the
aircraft and it was rather light. At about 60 miles north of Karachi
PK805 was redirected to come and land at Karachi by the Karachi ATC. A
quick turnabout and descent was initiated. Someone from the ATC asked
to speak to the general. Capt Sarwat gave his microphone to the
general and said, “Sir please speak”.

“This is Pervez Musharraf, who is there?” the general inquired very
assertively. “I am Gen. Iftikhar sir, your retirement was announced
two hours before but we are in control. Please land at Karachi “Where
is the Corp Commander?” the general questioned “He is in the next room
waiting for you “was the reply. Both the PSO’s were listening and the
younger PSO (a Major) said” Sir, ask him the name of his dog".
Probably he wanted to be sure in recognizing the GOC, but the general
who had kept his cool all along said confidently, “He is my man, don’t
worry!”(Later on, this officer on ground happened to be a friend of
mine who told me that General Musharraf had given him two puppies and
that’s how the PSO wanted to determine his identity)

Meanwhile, as the plane was reaching for its final approach. Suddenly the
low fuel warning light of right wing fuel tank came on with an audio
chime. The cockpit was dead silent and everyone was waiting to feel
the touchdown as soon as possible. We had waited almost one hour and
ten minutes in the air. The remaining fuel of 1.2 ton in the wing
tanks, if reliable, was enough for approximately ten minutes
of flying time. At twelve miles short of landing, the left wing fuel
tank warning light also appeared with chime.

After touch down PK 805 was asked to park at the remote area (Bay 66)
and was informed that no other person than the VIP will come out of
the aircraft. After the engines shut down, the army soldiers, who were
almost two hundred, cordoned-off the aircraft. The General was looking
from the cockpit window and seemed relaxed.. Before disembarking from
the aircraft the general shook hands with all of us and said, "Thank
you, don’t worry all is well, he’s my man.” And he immediately passed
his very first order through his PSO, “Tell them I don’t want anyone
to leave the country.”

The General, his wife, who was trying to control her tears, and the
two PSO’s disembarked from the plane and were greeted by the Corp.
Commander and the GOC with salutes from the soldiers. They all went
inside a building for a short conference, which took almost 15 min
after which the whole contingent drove away very fast. PK805 was not
allowed to start the engines perhaps because of the security and
almost no remaining fuel and was thus towed to the international
arrival side (Bay 23). During the whole episode I was the quietest and
the closest observer in the cockpit and was thoroughly impressed to
watch total professionalism from Capt Sarwat and his crew. Not to
mention the way the General carried himself and remained confident and
totally composed throughout the whole episode.

Capt. Tariq

My aim is social activism and to purge the society of social injustice, exploitation, corruption, and nepotism.

My ultimate goal is good governance and an egalitarian society.
Also my focus is on ecology and the day to day problems of Pakistan.

I will be sharing with you my experiences and would be asking you for your comments and suggestions.

This is a social service any one can become a member and any one can opt out of the group by simply emailing us and asking us to remove his name from the mailing list.

Please visit my blog:http://punctiliouspakistani.blogspot.com

And also post your comments and pictures.

Best Regards

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

Messages In This Thread

Not so Sharif !
Muhammad Rafi -- Wednesday, 17 March 2010, 7:15 pm
Re: Not so Sharif !
Rumi -- Thursday, 18 March 2010, 6:28 am