KARACHI – The JF-17 Thunder has been formally inducted in the prestigious No 2 Multi Role Squadron of Pakistan Air Force at a ceremony held at PAF Base, Masroor. A PAF statement on Monday said Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the chief guest at the ceremony, where Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman was also present. The chief guest awarded Squadron Colour to the No-2 Multi Role Squadron. JF-17 Thunders presented a fly past on the occasion. A documentary on the history of No 2 Squadron was also shown during the ceremony.The Air Chief said since its inception No 2 Squadron has commendable achievements to its credit. He paid tribute to Shuhada, veterans and predecessors of No 2 Squadron who displayed exceptional professionalism and valor. “JF-17 Thunder is a pride of PAF and the nation of Pakistan. It is a proof of our abilities and a testimony of our dedication and evidence of smooth progress on the road of indigenization,” he said. The Air Chief reiterated that induction of JF-17 remains the top most priority. Induction of JF-17 in No.2 Squadron would help create a strategic balance, he added. No 2 Squadron has an added responsibility of ensuring the protection of sea lines of communication and also defend the coastal areas with all out support to Pakistan Navy in their offensive operations. While speaking at the occasion, the chief guest said that it is a historic moment that PAF is progressing in the right direction, at a right pace in line with the vision of our great Quaid. PAF enjoys the status of being one of the most respected air forces across the globe, Khawaja Asif said, adding the PAF has played a pivotal role to effectively counter the threat of terrorism, especially in ongoing operation Zarb-e-Azb. Induction of JF-17 aircraft in PAF started in 2007 and has continued during subsequent years. Today, Pakistan Air Force is operating four JF-17 Squadrons which are actively engaged in all types of operations, the PAF statement said. No 2 squadron was raised at Mauripur in June 1956 and started operations as a fighter conversion unit. In the early days of its inception it played an important role in 1965 and 71 wars when it carried out close air support missions. The squadron has the unique honor of being the heirs of Pilot Officer Rashid Minhas (Shaheed) who laid down his life for our beloved motherland. In August 1990, the Squadron was equipped with Chinese built F7P aircraft in its arsenal and it was renamed as No 2 Air superiority Squadron with the call sign Minhas. To enhance its operational readiness in the maritime security, it has been taking part in various maritime exercises which include Exercise Sea spark with Pakistan Navy and Exercise Inspired Alert with US Navy. No 2 Air Superiority Squadron flew the time tested F7P aircraft which has been replaced by the state of the art JF17 Thunder aircraft.