Air Marshal Azim Daudpota HonCRAeS
14 September 1933 - 3 April 2017
Azim Daudpota was born in Bombay on 14 September 1933. He received his early education at St Patrick’s High School and D J Science College, Karachi. He was commissioned as a pilot in the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) in 1955, after receiving his initial training at Royal Australian Air Force College, Point Cook.
He commanded the elite No 17 Squadron of PAF, flying F-86F fighters during the Indo-Pak War in 1965 and was awarded Sitara-e-Juraat, a gallantry award equivalent to the DFC. Later, he served as Air Adviser at the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi. On return from Delhi, he commanded two PAF front-line bases.
He attended the PAF Staff College at Karachi and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London. Being a hard-working officer, he climbed the career ladder without a hitch.
On deputation from PAF with a team of 50 officers and men, he assumed command of the Zimbabwe Air Force (ZAF) in 1983. During his three-year term he led from the front and reorganised ZAF as an effective fighting force. The force successfully conducted an important air campaign against RNM rebels of Mozambique shortly thereafter. In recognition of his stellar services he was awarded the Zimbabwe Order of Merit in the Class of Commander by the Republic of Zimbabwe.
On return to Pakistan he was appointed Managing Director and Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIA) in 1986. He retired from PIA in 1990 and was appointed Chairman of Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). He was sworn in Governor of Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh in 1999.
Air Marshal Daudpota was elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1998 and served as President of the Pakistan Division from 1998 to 2010. He was awarded Honorary Companionship of the RAeS in 2014.
Daudpota also made substantial contributions in the field of higher education in Pakistan. In 1999, he founded the Karachi Institute of Economics and Technology, an institution accredited by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, and served as Chairman of its Board of Governors till his demise on 3 April 2017.