Islamabad: Air Commodore (retired) MM Alam, one of Pakistan`s best-known military heroes and a veteran of the 1965 war with India, died on Monday after a prolonged illness at the age of 78.
Alam, who had been in poor health for several months, died in Karachi, said a statement from the Pakistan Air Force.
President Asif Ali Zardari, the supreme commander of the armed forces, expressed sorrow at the death of Alam and paid tribute to his contributions towards defending the country.
"Alam was a source of inspiration who made the people proud through his valour and unmatched bravery," he said.
Muhammad Mahmood Alam was born in Kolkata on July 6, 1935.
He was given the Sitara-e-Jurat, one of Pakistan`s highest military awards, for reportedly downing five Indian jets in less than a minute during the 1965 war.
The claim has long been disputed by the Indian Air Force.