Cecil Chaudhry

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Cecil Chaudhry
Cecil Chaudhry.jpg
Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry
Born August 27, 1941 (1941-08-27) (age 74)
Dalwal, Punjab, British India, now Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Air Force
Years of service 19581986
Rank US-O6 insignia.png Group Captain (Colonel)
Unit No. 5 Squadron Fighting Falcons
Commands held Masroor Air Force Base
Sargodha Air Force Base
No. 32 Fighter Ground Attack Wing
No. 38 Multi-Role Wing
Combat Commander's School
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Operation Eagle Stike
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Operation Chengiz Khan
Awards Sitara-e-Jurat (1965)
Tamgha-i-Jurat (1971)
Other work Educationist

Group Captain (retired) Cecil Chaudhry is a Pakistani Christian, educationalist, human rights activist and veteran fighter pilot. As a Flight Lieutenant, he fought in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 and later, as a Squadron Leader, in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. During the 1965 war, Chaudhry and three other pilots, under the leadership of Wing Commander Anwar Shamim, destroyed the Amritsar Radar Station in a difficult attack. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat (Star of Courage) for his actions during that mission.


Early life

Chaudhry was born on 27 August 1941 to the only Christian (Roman Catholic) family of the village Dalwal, located in the Salt Range. His father, Elmer Chaudhry, hailing from East Punjab and then based in Lahore, was chief photographer with The Times, Lahore, as well as physics and mathematics professor at St. Anthony's High School. Cecil was schooled at St. Anthony's, before pursuing higher studies at the Forman Christian College, Lahore where he received his B.S. in physics.

Air Force career

As an Air Scout, he was awarded his glider pilot’s wings in 1956 by the then President of Pakistan, Iskander Mirza, at a ceremony in Karachi. He was admitted into the Pakistan Air Force Academy on March 12, 1958 and was enrolled in the engineering program. In 1964, he received his double B.Sc. in Aeronautics and mechanical engineering from the PAF Academy. After being denied promotion because of his religion,[1] he retired from the air force as a Group Captain in July 1986.[2]

Later life

Cecil Chaudhry became an educationalist after leaving the air force and is affiliated with the Punjab Education Foundation. He served as a principal of St. Anthony's College for many years, before becoming principal of Saint Mary's Academy, Lalazar, Rawalpindi, succeeding Sister Eileen Ann Daffy.[3] He retired from this post in July 2011.

Chaudhry is an influential, independent human rights activist, as well as working for the betterment of children with disabilities and for educational reform. He advised and worked closely with the late Shahbaz Bhatti from the early nineties onwards and has been Executive Secretary of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA) since its inception. He is also affiliated with the National Commission for Justice and Peace and was instrumental in leading the fourteen year campaign that led to the restoration of Pakistan's joint electorate system in 2002.[4]

See also

External Links


  1. http://religioncompass.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/blasphemy-laws-and-the-persecution-of-minorities-in-pakistan3.pdf Benedict Rogers, 2009
  2. "Interview with Group Captain Cecil Chaudhry, SJ, 2001". http://www.chowk.com/articles/5080. 
  3. "Children from St Anthony’s High School, Lahore, in city August 1, 2006". http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060802/chd.htm. 
  4. http://religioncompass.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/blasphemy-laws-and-the-persecution-of-minorities-in-pakistan3.pdf Benedict Rogers, 2009

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