Sunday, May 1, 2016


 This section is exclusively created to cover obituary news of our close relatives 

Rawalpindi - 11 May 2016:
Rawalpindi visiting ZID with others at Hayee's mother funeral
Mother of Farrukh Hayee expired on 10th May and was buried on 11 May in their ancestral graveyard in Satellite Town, Rawalpindi. A large number of course mates attended, including ZID who is presently visiting Rawalpindi.

Lahore: 28 April 2016
Father of Tassawar Ali Rana expired in Lahore and buried in Lahore. Those who attended can be seen in the photo above. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

17 April: Celebrating our commissioning day at reception by Munawar

I do not know whether it was exclusively planned to happen on 17th April or it was just a coincidence, but the walima reception of Munawar Ahmed Sulehria's son held today at Jacaranda Family Club, DHA Phase-II, Islamabad turned out to be a course get together on our day of commissioning.

I was late arrival, but when I entered the Imperial Hall, I was amazed to see a large number of course mates already present in one of the corners, incidentally near the food tables for obvious reasons. And what a gathering it was - may be around fifty or a few less. But the walima reception made the day both for the groom's family and the family of Fifty Fivers.
If I start to count who always was there, the list would be very long. The first glimpse of the gathering is the group photo shared above - the Tariqites (2) getting together for an exclusive group photo.

Before I share the complete group photo, I just want to leave a small point: When I am taking photos and then share these and someone's photo is missed out, I get a prompt 'explanation' of why so and so has not be covered. But when it comes to others, no one bothers to take my photo as can be seen from the photos shared above. Just a small observation - no offenses desired or intended.

The following group photo (as and when received by Sulehria) will reveal the secret of who all attended, in addition to those visible in the group photo already shared.

So stay tuned for the group photo ... I hope Munawar reads it and sends it to me !!

Friday, April 15, 2016

16th April 2016: Fifty Fivers Celebrating 39th Passing Out Day

One just wonders how quickly the time flies - it was just 39 years ago that on this day and about this time we all the Fifty Fivers in the Drill Square of Pakistan Military Academy slow marching away to the stairs behind the Battalion Mess of the First Pakistan Battalion to become commissioned officers in the Pakistan Army. And while sitting back as a veteran in my study, a film starts to flash from the day we joined the academy in May 1975 till the day we all started to hang our uniforms at various times of our military life.
Group Photo of the course with the chief guest General Muhammad Sharif, CJCSC

Some memorable moments down the memory lane:
Malaysian brothers Ismail and Ramli with Imran and Athar
Ex Yarmuk

Friends with Shaffi Luk Luk after his withdrawal 

Janjua sitting on top of the world with Tahir and Agha Ali Imam 

Boxing Second Term

At Para School

Para Firing at Tilla Ranges

The D-Day: 16 April 1977

Tariq Gets the coveted Sword of Honour

The Convocation
After 16 April 1977, the course withered away in units spread all over Pakistan, to be united once again at the School of Infantry and Tactics to attend the OWJOL. We were to meet again en masse at Command and Staff College from 1987 to 1991 and then a handsome number at the National Defence College for prestigeous War Course and some joining later for the NDC. Thereafter, it was the thinning out from the rans of majors upward while four of us rose to be the three stars. And then by year end 2014, we had all reverted to the civvies from where PMA in 1975.  Thus ended a abeautiful ear for all of us in uniform - and now we enjoy and share the fond memories of the days we all have spent together and Insha Allah continue to celebrate the day as we do each year.

Here is a rundown of some of the events after PMA:

At Hanna Lake while doing OWJOL at Infantry School

Tariq Khan showing his bayonet fighting skills and winning

Young captains at Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Janjua on a course in USA

Attending Staff Course, Quetta

Flanked by Iranian officers at Iranian Staff College

A memorable photo of Javed Baloch and Jamil at Kharian

A memorable photograph: Major Alvi and others with Afghan leader Gulbadin Hikmatyar 1988

Javed Sultan days before his shahadat

The Malaysian Host: Ramli hosting Solehria, Zaidi and Ashraf
 The four Three Stars
The lone ambassador: Umer Farooq addresses gathering in Nigeria
Along this beautiful journey clad in the uniform of one of the most prestigious armies of the world,  we witnessed rise of some of us to the prestigious higher ranks, while we also painfully bid farewell to some of our dear friends  who left us for their heavenly abodes - our dear friend Javed Baloch to be the last.

Here is recollection of get together since 2008:
Abbottabad 2008
Abbottabad 2009
Rawal Dam 2010
Mangla 2011
Mangla 2012
Abbottabad 2013
Gujranwala 2014 
Nathiagali 2015 - when Javed Baloch attended his last get together

This year we had a rather early celebrations, last month in Lahore, courtesy Zahir Khan and the Lahore Chapter, mainly due to rising temperature of Lahore, and it was good to see the young spirits of all of us caged inside apparently old looking appearances. The festive mood at Lahore will continue to be replicated in years to come to keep the bondage stronger and alive. 
So happy 39th Passing Out Day my dear friends and let us pray for the longevity, good health and happiness of all of us and our families. And while doing so, let us not forget our good old friends not with us anymore and also for the well being of their families. May Allah continue to shower His countless blessings on all of us. Aameen

Related Posts:
16 April 1977: The D-Day of 55 PMA Long Course
Time Passages

Friday, March 18, 2016

Lahore Get Together 2016 - Rangers Officers' Mess

The last event of the two days long annual get together, celebrating 41 years of comradeship (1975-2016), at Lahore was the brunch at the Rangers Officers' Mess. Unlike the previous day, the weather spared the organizers to look for the shelter - though the shelter was readily available. The weather wasn't that cool as the sun kept playing hide and seek with the clouds but in a dominating mood. However it allowed us a rollicking time to interact with each other freely, eat and dance on the drum beat of the Rangers' brass band.

By the given time, the lush green lawn of the mess was already full with us while the ladies were perched inside the coolness of the mess. It took us a while for the brunch to commence - enough to exchange pleasantries and snapshots.
Reception by Zahir Khan(above) and meeting other friends (below)

At the brunch tables

When Shirazi introduced his grand daughter Emaan to Brig Riaz and Col Talat Umar as his instructors in PMA, she asked them how was "he" as a student? - what a thoughtful question by this little philosopher!!
 Post retirement briefing by Ali Akbar to his ex-boss
 The following three photos show how a group expands when it comes to taking photos - watch closely:

  Good to see Najib (left) after a long time

With our platoon commander Col Talat Umer, SJ
 Luddi on the Ranger's band
Jamil with Major Sabih Ul Hassan's participation made us feel the presence of his late father, Javed Baloch all around us. May his soul rest in eternal peace. We certainly missed him a lot at the occasion.
Jamil preserving the moments for life
 Course secretary Asif's disposal - always challenging to listen to. But this time Lahore Chapter let him rest completely and absolved him of any responsibility except the accounts

 The last event of the course get together: The presentation of souvenirs, Courtney Lahore Chapter
More souvenir receiving photos as shot by son of Maj Kiani:

And before I forget, here are all those who attended Lahore Get Together (though some are missing who were there last night):
 60 in all including three guests - a great number indeed
So we thank you finally Zahir Khan and your team for getting this great number together at Lahore and arranging all events despite inclement weather. Arranging such a mega event specially when one is out of uniform and the response from various quarters is lukewarm - or even cold at times, Zahir and his team did a wonderful job by planning, organizing and hosting the get together - spread at three venues and on two days. Those who attended it will cherish the memories of Lahore Get Together 2016 for a long time and those who missed it would remember it through these posts which provide a pictorial coverage of each day.
A much relaxed Zahir Khan and his team after a wonderfully organized and hosted get together

While the show is over now, I sincerely believe that many more course mates could have made it, specially from Rawalpindi/Islamabad to honour the gesture of the Lahore Chapter to be their hosts. And this would have made the event more participative and wholesome. Those who did not attend would surely miss it..

Adios my friends till next year - when we meet on some other lawn at some other place. I pray we do not lose anyone from us as we lost our dear Javed Baloch after last year's gathering at Nathiagali. Stay blessed all and continue to pray for each other.

Related posts: