Rashid Minhas belonged to a famous Minhas clan of Rajput. Rashid Minhas was born on February 17, 1951 in Karachi. He belonged to a family that had settled in Gurdaspur from Jammu and Kashmir. After the creation of Pakistan the family migrated to Pakistan and lived near Sialkot. Some had migrated to Sialkot, stayed in the previous locations, or moved to Lahore. Rashid was part of the family group that migrated to Lahore. Mostly they are found in the NorthWest of Lahore, among other places. Rashid spent his early childhood in Lahore. Later the family shifted to Rawalpindi. Rashid had his early education from St Mary's Cambridge School Rawalpindi. Minhas was fascinated with aviation history and technology. He used to collect different models of aircraft and jets. He studied from Saint Mary's Cambridge School, Murree Road, Rawalpindi and completed his Matriculation at the age of 17. He also attended St Patrick's High School, Karachi and then attended Karachi University where he studied Military history and Aviation history.
Having joined the air force, he was commissioned on 13 March 1971 in the 51st GD(P) Course; on August 20 of that year, he was getting ready to take off in a T-33 trainer in Karachi when a Bengali Instructor pilot, Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, gained his way into the back of the plane. He had been reported to have been watching Minhas closely for many weeks for his being new, young and inexperienced. In mid-air, Rahman knocked Minhas out with the intention of defecting to India to join his compatriots in the Bangladesh Liberation War, along with the plane.
In mid-flight, Minhas regained consciousness, and realized that his plane was being hijacked. He desperately communicated to the PAF Masroor Base at 11:30AM, about his hijacking by Rahman. In his last words which is the conversation between Rashid Minhas and control tower, he gave information about the hijack. The last conversation between control tower and Rashid Minhas was:
0:23 “166 is Hijacked” (Rashid Minhas? Shaheed.
0:30 “166 Hijacked” (Rashid Minhas Shaheed).
0:38 “Hijacked by whom, over” (Control Tower).
0:40 “166 is Hijacked” (Rashid Minhas Shaheed).
0:42 “Hijacked by whom” (Control Tower).
0:50 “By whom, over” (Control Tower).
0:52 “166 is Hijacked” (Rashid Minhas Shaheed) Last Words.
Failing to overcome Matiur Rahman he crashed his own plane to avoid any security breach. The crash site of the T-33 was later found 40 km from the Indian border.
Minhas was posthumously awarded Pakistan's top military honour, the Nishan-E-Haider, and became the youngest man and the only member of the Pakistan Air Force to win the award. He also became a national hero. The Pakistan Air Force base at Kamra has been renamed in his honour. In Karachihe was honored by the naming of a main street, Rashid Minhas Road, after him. He is one of the most prominent and honored pilots in Pakistan. He has been honored by the Pakistani Media and numerous documentary dramas and films have been made on him. Since his childhood he used to write in his dairy that "We cannot live forever then why don't we sacrifice ourselves on our dear homeland, yes it is an easy job".