Air Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman is a former Air Force Chief of Air Staff who retired on 17 March 2012. He was appointed by President Asif Ali Zardari after consultation with PM Yousuf Raza Gilani. Air chief Rao superseded three senior air marshals; Shahid Lateef, Khalid Choudhry and Hifazat Ullah Khan. later however, Air Marshal Hifazat was appointed vice chief of air staff (VCAS) on 29 March 2009.
He was admitted at PAF Public School, Sargodha and susequently he joined the Pakistan Air Force Academy, Risalpur in 1972. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Air Force as a fighter pilot on 1 June 1975.
Rao Qamar is a graduate of Flying Instructors' School, Combat Commanders' School, PAF Air War College and National Defence College, Islamabad from where he did his masters in Strategic Studies.
He is an accomplished fighter pilot with rich experience in fighter aircraft. He has been an instructor at prestigious Combat Commanders School. He has commanded an Elite Fighter Squadron, PAF Base Peshawar and Southern Air Command. He has also served in United Arab Emirates Air Force on deputation.
In staff jobs, he served as directing staff at PAF Air War College, where he later served as deputy director at Operations Branch; assistant chief of staff (plans), assistant chief or air staff (evaluation) and deputy inspector general of Pakistan Air Force at air headquarters.
In senior staff appointments, Air Marshal has the distinction of having served as Director-general Air Force Strategic Command and Deputy chief of air staff (operations) at the air headquarters, Islamabad.
Rao Qamar was promoted to air vice marshal on 9 October 2003 and to air marshal on 15 November 2007. In recognition of his meritorious and exceptionally dedicated services, he has been decorated with awards of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-e-Basalat, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military).
He is also the recipient of 'King Abdul Aziz Medal Class I' by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and 'The Legion of Merit of Turkish Armed Forces' by Republic of Turkey. He also received 'The legion of Merit (Degree of Commander)' by United States Of America, 'Medal of Merit Santos-Dumont' by Federative Republic of Brazil and 'Legion of Honor' by French Republic.
Rao Qamar Suleman led successful aerial operations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA against Pakistani Taliban groups. Under ACM Suleman's umbrella, the PAF successfully achieved its objectives, mainly sabotaging the Taliban infrastructure, and killed the most wanted Taliban figures in the aerial operations.
Several new types of aircraft and capabilities were added to the PAF fleet and operationalized during his tenure. He started JF 17 aircraft production at Pakistan Aeronautical Complex Kamra and raise two JF 17 aircraft Squadrons. He introduced JF 17 aircraft to the world by sending it to various air shows such as Farnborough Air Show, Zhuhai Air Show (China), Dubai Air Show and Turkish Air Force Centenniel Celebration.