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Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed (Urdu: تنویر محمود احمد; born 1952) is a retired air officer of the Pakistan Air Force who was the Chief of the Air Staff from 2006 to 2009. He was succeeded by Rao Qamar Suleman on 18 March 2009.[1]

Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed

تنویر محمود احمد
11th Chief of Air Staff
In office
March 18, 2006 – March 18, 2009
PresidentPervez Musharraf
Asif Ali Zardari
Prime MinisterShaukat Aziz
Yusuf Raza Gillani
Preceded byKaleem Saadat
Succeeded byRao Qamar Suleman
Personal details
Born1 February 1952
Lahore, Punjab Province, West Pakistan
AwardsSitara-i-Basalat. Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military). Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military). Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military). The Legion of Merit of the Turkish Armed forces (Republic of Turkey). Order of the Aeronautical Merit (Republic of Brazil). Emirates Medal of the First Order (United Arab Emirates). Oman Military Medal of the Second Class (Sultanate of Oman). King Abdul Aziz Royal Medal of Highest Honour from Saudi Arabia.
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/service Pakistan Air Force
Years of service1969–2009
RankUS-O10 insignia.svg Air Chief Marshal
UnitNo. 16 Squadron Panthers
CommandsChief of Air Staff
Vice Chief of Air Staff
Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations)
Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Administration)
AOC PAF Base Sargodha
Comdnt. Pakistan Air Force Academy
Cmdnt. Combat's Commander School
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff
War in North-West Pakistan

Initial training and educationEdit

Tanvir Ahmed got his initial education in Lahore, and did his high school from PAF Public School Sargodha where he belonged to 15th entry (767 – Fury House). Thereafter, he joined PAF Academy, Risalpur in 1969 and was commissioned in Pakistan Air Force as a fighter pilot on 15 April 1972 in the 53rd GD(P) Course.

The air marshal is a graduate of Turkish Air War College and National Defence College, Islamabad from where he did his masters in Strategic Studies.

Air Force careerEdit

Air Marshal Tanvir is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and a graduate of Combat Commanders School (CCS). He has commanded the CCS Mirage Squadron, No. 38 Wing, PAF Base Sargodha and his alma mater the PAF Academy, Risalpur. He has flown the American F-86 Sabre and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft and other aircraft of Chinese and French origin in the PAF inventory.

The Air Marshal has also served in United Arab Emirates Air Force as a fighter instructor pilot.

Staff commandsEdit

In staff jobs, the air marshal has served as deputy director in Operations Branch, personal staff officer to two air chiefs, chief project director of F-16 Project and senior air staff officer at Northern Air Command, Peshawar.

At senior staff assignments, the air marshal has the unique distinction of having served as deputy chief of air staff administration and then operations. Before taking over the PAF, he was the vice chief of air staff.[2] He took over as VCAS on 13 October 2003.[3]

Tanvir M. Ahmed was promoted to air vice marshal in January 2000 and to air marshal on 7 August 2002.[4]

Chief of Air staffEdit

He took over as the 11th Chief of Air Staff (CAS) on 20 March 2006, when the previous chief completed his three-year term. Among his achievements are the successful induction and upgradation of ex-Libyan Mirage III's to make the 27th squadron of the PAF.

The air marshal has also introduced a new rank scheme for the Air Force officers, soon after taking over, which exactly mimics the Turkish Air Force rank insignia.[5]

Criticism of US Drone Attacks inside PakistanEdit

Air Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmad has expressed PAF capability to be able to stop US drone attacks inside Pakistan as a violation of Pakistan sovereignty. However, such military actions need approval from the government, before PAF goes on to take such action.[6] Saying at one point: "The decision as to whether or not we want to start a war [with the US] will have to be made by the nation and the government."[citation needed]

Demonstration of strategic acumen in estate planningEdit

A hallmark of his tenure as Chief of Air Staff was his involvement in the planning and execution of the Al-Hamra Avenue (Al-Hamra (Islamabad)) housing society under the aegis of the Shaheen Foundation.[7] He took a personal interest in the sizing and distribution of plots followed up by meticulous and detailed discussions with the builders.

National Girl Child Day PhotographEdit

Air Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmad appeared in a full-page newspaper advertisement (see External Links below) taken out by the government of India's Ministry of Women and Child Development to mark the National Girl Child Day. Krishna Tirath, Minister of Women and Child Development, apologised on behalf of her ministry for publishing a photograph of a former Pakistan Air Force chief in a government advertisement and said an inquiry will ascertain who was responsible for it.[8] Ahmed, upon learning of the publication, "..wasn't aware about this [and felt it was] an innocent mistake."[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Rao Qamar Suleman appointed new air chief" The News, 8 March 2009
  2. ^ 'Tanvir Ahmed named new Air chief'
  3. ^ "New vice chief of air staff ' Daily Times, 14 October 2003
  4. ^ "Tanvir Ahmed promoted to Air Marshal" Dawn, 8 August 2002
  5. ^ 'Appointment of New Air Chief'
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]

External linksEdit