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Musharraf appoints air chief

March 19, 2003 21:35 IST

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf on Wednesday appointed Air Marshall Kaleem Saadat as the air force chief of the country.

The post was lying vacant since the death of former air force chief Mushaf Ali Mir in an aircrash on February 20.

Saadat called on Musharraf to thank him for his promotion, an official statement in Islamabad said.

Saadat, born on December 12, 1951, was commissioned as a general duty pilot in 1971. Before his appointment he was the deputy chief of staff (personnel) at the air force headquarters in Islamabad.

Mushaf Ali Mir was killed in the aircrash at Kohat near the Afghan border while on an inspection trip to an airbase in the region.

The crash also caused the death of several top officials in the Pakistan air force.

The cause of the crash is still not known. An air force official said on Friday that investigators are examining the debris of the plane.

The air force had earlier said that there was no reason to believe that the flight was sabotaged.

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