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Air Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt to be new Pakistan Air Force chief

Islamabad, Wed, 29 Feb 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Feb 29 (ANI): The Pakistan government has decided to name Air Marshal Tahir Rafiq Butt as the next chief of the Pakistan Air Force.


Raffiq Butt will succeed out-going Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman, who is due to retire on March 18, after completing his three year term.


An official announcement said that Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has advised President Asif Ali Zardari to appoint Rafiq Butt, being the most senior official, as the new Chief of Air Staff of the PAF, The Express Tribune reports.


According to the report, five air marshals were in the race to become the next PAF chief.


The government, however, has upheld the principle of seniority, like it did for the appointment of Naval Chief last year.


Air Chief Marshal Suleman has overseen a successful term, which involved key inductions into the PAF.


This includes the serial production and induction of the JF-17 fighter aircraft that Pakistan co-developed with China.


Suleman will, however, be most remembered for famously remarking that, contrary to government claims, the PAF had the capability to shoot down US operated Predator drones, which seem to strike in Pakistan with complete impunity. (ANI)


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