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Mushaf Ali Mir was born in Lahore, and was one of nine children of a middle class Kashmiri family of Shia Muslim origin. His father, Farzand Ali Mir, was a calligrapher who died when Mushaf was young. He attended Government Wattan Islamia High School, Lahore.
Initial military training
Mir was commissioned in the PAF on 21 January 1968 in the 45th GD(P) Course. He was a graduate of Flying Instructors School (FIS) and Combat Commanders School (CCS). He took his staff college course at PAF Staff College (now PAF Air War College), and his NDC course at National Defence College, Islamabad.
Command and staff appointments
Mir's key command appointments included: Officer Commanding, CCS Mirage Squadron; Officer Commanding, No. 33 Wing at PAF Base Minhas; Base Commander, PAF Base Sargodha (now called PAF Base Mushaf); and Air Officer Commanding, Southern Air Command.
His staff appointments included: Director Operations, Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Plans) at the Air Headquarters, Chief Project Director of Project Falcon (F-16) and Green Project Flash (Mirage 2000-5).
His final assignment before promotion to CAS was Chairman of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Board at Kamra.
Chief of Air Staff
Mir superseded five senior Air Marshals to become the Chief of Air Staff. Those air marshals were: Muhammad Farooq Qari, Vice Chief of Air Staff; Zahid Anis, DCAS (Operations); Qazi Javed Ahmed, DCAS (Personnel); Pervez Iqbal Mirza, AOC Southern Air Command; and Riazuddin Shaikh, DCAS (Administration), all of whom sought premature retirement.
During his tenure, the PAF's F-6 aircraft were retired from service. Some of them were given to the Bangladesh Air Force.
Death in the air crash
On February 20, 2003, Mushaf Ali Mir died along with his wife, Bilquis Mir, and all 15 other officers on board, when their Fokker F-27 crashed during a routine flight to PAF Base Kohat.
Among the casualties were other high-ranking officials of the Air Force, including two Principal Staff Officers – Air Vice Marshal Abdul Razzaq, DCAS (Training) and Air Vice Marshal Saleem Nawaz, DCAS (Administration) – and the air crew.