Chief Marshal Abbas Khattak, NI(M), SBt, (born 16 July 1943)
served as Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force from
8 November 1994 to 7 November 1997.
Khattak came from the humble beginnings in his village of
Jehangira near Peshawar. One of four children, he graduated
from Cadet College Hasan Abdal and then joined PAF Academy.
He entered the Pakistan Air Force on 20 January 1963 in the
35th GD(P) Course. Thereafter, he went to the United States
Air Force where he got commission from Maxwell Air Force
Base, Montgomery, Alabama.
During his career, Khattak took part in three wars. The
first was the 1965 war, in which he was one of the eight
fighter pilots who took part in the famous attack on
Pathankot airfield led by Squadron Leader Sajjad Haider from
the No. 19 Squadron (Sherdils). During the 1971 war, he was
based in Sargodha Airbase.
Khattak is a graduate of Pilot Training Course, USA; Flying
Instructors' School Course, Risalpur; Air Command and Staff
College, USA; Armed Forces War Course at National Defence
College, Rawalpindi; and Royal College of Defence Studies,
His command appointments include; Officer Commanding No. 15
Squadron; Officer Commanding, No. 33 Wing; Officer
Commanding, Combat Commanders' School; Base Commander,
Faisal Airbase and Masroor Airbase; and Air Officer
Commanding, Southern Air Command.
His staff appointments include; Director of Flight Safety,
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans), Deputy Chief of Air
Staff (Training) and Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations).
Abbas Khattak was appointed as Chief of Air Staff on 8
November 1994. At promotion, he superseded at least two
senior officers; Air Marshal Shafique Haider, then Vice
Chief of Air Staff and Air Marshal Dilawar Hussain, then
Chairman Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. During his tenure as
the Air Chief, Khattak tried to acquire the French Dassault
Mirage 2000-5 as an alternative to the F-16, after U.S
military embargoes. Unfortunately for him and the then
Government, the President of Pakistan dissolved the national
assembly on charges of corruption - a major arms deal was
averted. During his tenure, Pakistan worked with China to
develop the K-8 Karakorum. After his retirement he was
succeeded by Air Marshal Parvaiz Mehdi Qureshi.
He is married and has two sons.