After the 1971 Indo Pakistan war. Libyan President Col Gaddafi asked Prime Minister Bhutto that he was purchasing 110 Mirage Air craft from France which were arriving in Libya in a month or so and he requested for sqn Ldr Farooq Umar with 5 senior combat pilots qualified on Mirage air craft who had participated in the 1971 Indo Pakistan War to come on deputation to Libya and help in making the first two squadrons of Mirages operationally inducted and then help us train the Libyan senior commanders and engineers and technicians to become operational. accordingly Prime Minister Bhutto and AM Rahim Khan sent me with 5 hand picked combat pilots to proceed to Libya as soon as possible and to start their training process and Farooq Umar was made the squadron commander of the Mirage -3 squadron to be called Sarbulquds . The Mirage -3conversion and training squadron at Okba bin Nafa air base tripoly . The program started with MTD on Mirage systems as well as General Characteristics of tail less delta Air Craft. During the lectures Col Gadafi The president of Libya along with Col Farjani the Commander Libyan air force visited the squadron a number of times. While the training was still on he wanted to show the world a fly past of 9 Mirage Air craft over Okba Bin Nafa. Which was bit early in the training phase. Any way that was done the world was surprised at the speed of induction of Mirages and the short time in which Libyan pilots and their commanders assimilated the flying of a 3rd Generation twice the speed of sound air craft.
President Gaddafi Also decided to hold a fire power demonstration at ALUTIA abandoned air to ground firing range not in use since the Americans left Libya over a decade ago. In spite of our warning that the range has to be reset with trained people and range safety officers and others would have to be sent from Pakistan Air Force in a hurry and all logistic arrangements made. But he insisted that he wants that completed within a month so that he can hold a fire power demonstration for the Arab world and the western world to prove that Libya can do it . and he also decided that Egyptian senior pilots will be trained on Mirage Air craft a long side the Libyan commanders and that commanders of the Egyptian air force and General Husni Mubarik will attend this fire power demonstration along with all the foreign ambassadors in tripoly . it appeared that he was in some sort of a hurry to prove something hidden from us. Anyhow Pakistani pilots held the fire power demonstration a show of the ability of the Libyan air force on time and the whole world was impressed and marveled as to how Baddoes who only know how to ride camels can learn so quickly probably not knowing that it was the result of experience Pakistani pilots training them.
Soon after the fire power demonstration the Egyptian senior pilots started to pour in for no-1 Mig-21 to into Mirage training and secondly senior Mig -21 squadron commanders for a dissimilar Mirage Vs Mig-21 dissimilar combat training. This made us wonder as to why Egyptian pilots are being given dissimilar training, because the only country in the middle east with Mirage Air craft in their fleet was Israel. Gradually it became clear that something serious was going on. But we were still un sure. After the Egyptian pilots training was completed General Husni Mubarik visited Tripoly and met me along with Col Farjani and the head of PMCG and asked us to shift one Mirage squadron Tanta Air base in Egypt. Which after due approval of authorities was done and air marshal Najib Akhtar then flt Lt Najeeb one of the instructors along with Col Ghafar and Col Kadiqi of the Libyan Air force was carried out safely and efficiently. Having done that the second squadron of Mirage 5 air craft in a similar way was also carried out. Having completed the Ferring and shifting of two Mirage squadrons we learnt that Syria , Egypt and Libya had formed Ithad E Tlata. Which was to stand together to resist Israel whenever required. Jordan was out of it the Ithad E Itlata was to be funded by Libya because Syria and Egypt had no resources to do much.
Soon thereafter we learnt that through a surprise movement Egyptian Army had launched a surprised attack on the bar lev line running along north south of the Suiz Canal and having Napalm fire defense. And invincible line of defense. Very well guarded. But in a surprise raid the Arab armies mainly Egyptian chose a religious day a holiday called the Yum Keeper like the Eid of Pakistan when the guards of Israel some were down. And the use pontoon bridges moved overnight with very successful. Secrecy Camouflage and surprise to do all that without being detected.
Because of surprise by the Egyptians they breached the bar Lev line and cross the Suiz canal and inspite of hurried resistance by Israeli army the Egyptian captured suiz canal and pushed forward towards Mitti and Gidla passes. The Israeli passes in the Sanai desert. A photo of Suiz canal and the passes is attached. At this time Israeli air force reacted and downed many Egyptian air crafts and also damaged many Egyptian tanks and APC’s but could not stop the Egyptian thrust. Egyptian captured the passes by defending themselves with Russian SA -7 missiles shoulder mounted and succeeded in capturing the two passes and pushed forward to capture Abu Rudais oil fields. Which was their second major target. Suiz Canal was the first target because both were important for Egypt to rebuild their economy having lost it to Israel in 1967 Arab Israel War.
Goldameer the Prime Minister of Israel for the first time was shaken by arab victory and she asked united states for help which united states provided and as usual in an emergency all professional army navy and air force retired officers of the Israeli armed forces all over the world rushed to help Israel. Simultaneously America launched high altitude SR -71 intelligence and recee air craft to update the status of the Egyptian army. She ordered Gen Sheron to capture the Syrian Golan heights which he did.
In the mean time Russia also jumped in and to counter the American support they provided and all out aid to the Syrians and Egyptians so the tempo of war escalated. Jordan remain silent. There were causalities on both sides but in the humdrum Gen Sheron pushed the Syrian army to capture the Golan heights which were critical for Syria and having done that without wasting time very silently and quietly he removed his armour from Golan front and at great speed he shifted it to the Suiz front a long distance across the Sanai desert towards Egypt. And impossible thing to do but he did it. Egyptian first thought that these were a few stray Israeli tanks that had lost the way did not bother about them. In fact the Americans SR-71’s had picked up a gap of 10KM between the 2nd and third Egyptian army and Sheron wisely and silently try to penetrate through this gap and every day the gap was wedged by more and more armor in flux from Golan heights and by the time the Egyptians realized it was too late and the Israeli thrust pushed through and encircled and captured the city of Suiz. Thus the fighting came to and end due to world pressure so after the initial success which the Egyptian peers through to win back Suiz Canal and Abu Rada Es oil field which was main objective. They lost further momentum and due to Sheron tactics and the flexibility of Israeli armor they stopped making any further gains till a stale mate. At the suiz city. Pakistanis were not allowed by the Govt to go a cross Israeli territory and do anything other than air defense of Libya which was done. And that’s why Israeli’s didn’t’ attack Libya or the main air force base at Okba Bin Nafa. The End situation is shown in the attached pictures and maps.
Pakistan’s role as matter of policy was to assist and train the pilots that is fighter pilots of Libya and Egypt on Libyan soil and to ferry and help in the movement in Mirages from Libya to Egypt and to deter Israelis from raiding into Libya but not to cross the Israeli border and carry out only air defense operation and to remain in strong position to deter Israeli Air force as well as Israeli Navy from attacking Libya in the air or at Sea which it achieved successfully .