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Drops of Humanity in Hatred: Pak Air Force Pilot helps Indian counterpart escape torment


New Delhi: Since 1947, soil of India and Pakistan has barely experienced love between the two countries. The armies of both nations have seen decades of enmity.

But once in a while some exceptional cases do happen in this unpredictable world.

One such exceptional case is Air Commodore (retd) Kaiser Tufail, who was the Director of Operations of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) during the Kargil war.

The Jawans of Pakistani Northern Light Infantary had caught Nachiketa and his fate was going towards that of Captain Sourav Kalia, who was captured and subjected to gruesome torture before being shot dead.

Group Captain K Nachiketa to NDTV said “The jawans who had captured me were trying to manhandle me and maybe trying to kill me, because for them, I was just an enemy pilot who had fired on their locations from the air. And on-ground, I was firing at them. Fortunately, the officer who came was very mature. He realised the situation that I am now a captive and now I need not be handled that way. So he was able to control them, which was a big effort, because they were very aggressive at that stage” Nachiketa was a Flight Lieutenant during the Kargil war who had his MiG 27 crashed in POK near Skardu in July 1999.

But Tufail came out for his rescue and stopped his men from torturing the Indian Officer. Years later Nachiketa told media that Tufail took him to his room and discussed about his likes and dislikes.

Years after he returned to India Nachiketa told media “Tufail discussed about the heart problem of his father and about his sisters marriage as well. Not only that he also arranged vegetarian snacks for the Indians”.

“I was detailed to talk to Nachiketa and it was a most friendly talk between two gentlemen officers. We had tea and some snacks and we rambled about flying…my mandate was to strictly maintain the cordiality of a crew room and to find out the circumstances of his ejection and the mission he was flying,” Tufail was quoted inThe Indian Express in 2009, ten years after the war.

“I was so amazed to find that there are so many issues in common. I asked him what he was doing before the mission and he said he had taken leave to help arrange his sister’s wedding. It is the same thing that brothers are required to do here,” Tufail had told IndianExpress.

Nachiketa’s returned to India, after eight days of capture. Though the backdoor efforts of Indian Government save him, but it would not had been possible without the help of Tufail.

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