Tribute to Pilot Muhammad Asim Jawad: A Death Evokes More Than Tears

Published: 13 May 2024

Navigating through the pervasive challenges of corruption, one still finds in Bangladesh human beings whose exceptional qualities are destined to capture the wider world’s attention. Squadron Leader Muhammad Asim Jawad was one such individual.

His tragic death did more than evoke tears; it brought about a profound sense of loss and deep reverence for his steadfast commitment to safeguarding his fellow countrymen and national assets. Facing imminent danger, he made the ultimate sacrifice—not to save himself but to steer his failing aircraft away from populated areas, thus saving people and their properties. This act of profound selflessness and expansive courage marks him as an extraordinary human being.

In the serene rural expanses of Manikganj, a blanket of solemnity descended upon the community as they confronted the grim reality of a profound loss. The story of Squadron Leader Muhammad Asim Jawad, now forever etched in the annals of valour, stands as a poignant testament to the ultimate sacrifice. His life, tragically cut short in a fighter plane crash in Chittagong, Bangladesh, became a vivid emblem of heroism that extended well beyond the call of duty.

On that Friday afternoon on May 10, 2024, as the sun dipped low and cast elongated shadows, the air was thick with mourning. Following the Jumu’ah prayers, a palpable sense of communal grief drew people from all walks of life to the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium. Men and women, young and old, some who knew Jawad personally and many who knew him only through his deeds, were united in their sorrow and respect. The turnout was immense—a vast sea of mourners driven by a compelling need to witness and participate in the final rites of a true hero.

This gathering of collective sorrow and respect at the stadium not only underscored the profound impact of Squadron Leader Jawad’s untimely departure but also celebrated the indelible mark he left on his community and the nation through his noble actions. His legacy of bravery, sacrifice, and unwavering dedication to the protection of others solidifies his status as an inspirational figure, whose heroism resonates deeply across generations.

Squadron Leader Jawad is survived by his grieving family, who are emblematic of his spirit and values. His father, Amanullah, a physician, and his mother, Nilufa Khanam, a retired teacher, instilled in him the virtues of service and sacrifice from a young age. His wife, Antara Akhtar, together with their two young sons and a daughter, now carry forward his legacy, embodying the resilience and courage that he exemplified. His family’s strength in the face of such adversity continues to inspire those around them, serving as a beacon of hope and endurance in the community.