Sunday, March 23, 2008

Chapter News - Lahore (2008)

This page was specially created in March 2008 to cover activities of Lahore Chapter (upto year 2008) - which was brought onto its feet by Zahir Khan, CC Arty - 4 Corps. Herein under are some of the get togethers with coursemates visiting Lahore from other stations besides local activities:

Well there is nothing new from Lahore since November 18 2008 - So No News is Good News ....

Last evening (Nov 18, 2008), once again, Men At Their Best got together in DeSOM. Malik Itbar Khan, member Provincial Assembly Punjab, was here in the city and that created an occasion; yes, we always look for occasions to get together to relive those days once we were together. Thanks to MZK, who as usual managed the evening in a way that everyone could feel the past. Images for this are coming. Stay tuned…  ( shared by SAJ Shirazi)
Beginning Nov, it was Ashraf Tabassum who on his way to Rawalpindi spent some time at Lahore. The Course Coordinator was quick to grab this opportunity and organized a dinner at the local mess for the couple which was joined by about a dozen colleagues and their better halves. Some of the photographs taken on these occasions are attached for sharing these with other friends. You might notice some new faces in these pictures; Abdul Rehman on his retirement from Sialkot has permanently moved to Lahore and Ahmad Najeeb Khan is permanently back from his overseas job. ( The third pic sent by ZK could not be displayed since it was too dark and blurred.)

Aug 30, 2008:
Earlier the same day, about a dozen course mates were invited for tea with Naeem Anwar Butt in Zahir Khan's office. Naeem is contemplating to help extending Wasif's security services in Islamabad. He was closely followed by Sardar Shoaib Mumtaz who on account of his politico-governmental commitments could only spare one odd hour for meeting his old friends over a cup of tea at the usual venue.
The Men At Their Best (55 PMA) and their families from Lahore got together Aug 30, 2008. Getting together is always the best of times for all of us. In addition to bringing back good old memories of 1975, it allows us to update about each other. What is happening to comrades in life and work. ZK (thanks to ZK for being the living spirit of 55PMA) gave an overview of what has happened since we last met. Presence of Sujah Ulla Tarar made the evening lovelier. Personal thanks to Athar for reminding me of that Story (Athar, somehow or the other you know what I mean). S A J Shirazi (Thanks Shirazi for sending the report instead of ZK, who probably got tired of his hectic routine and got away from Lahore for a while - Jalal HB). Shirazi also published the news on his blog at: http://sajshirazi.blogspot.com/2008/08/men-at-their-best.html

15 August 2008:
Malik Zuhr Khan was in Lahore coinciding with the Independence Day. He took some time out to join some of the colleagues over a cup of tea in Zahir Khan's office on 15 Aug. Going with the tradition, a group photo taken on the occasion is attached. Sitting from right to left are Mahmood, Zahir ( the smart guy in town ) , Zuhr, Ashraf and Sultan. Standing from left to right are Maan, Abbass, Sher Zaman ( nice to see Sher Zaman attending tea breaks lately ), Iqbal and Tariq Fazal. (seen you after a long time Zuhr Khan). Thanks God Zahir has decided to wear T-Shirts - makes my job easier.
The beginning of Aug saw some activities picking up in the social circle of the 55 Group. First one to visit was Tariq Sher who on account of his commitments, could only spare some time for a game of golf with Zahir. He was closely followed by Wasif Ali Mahmud who is in the process of extending his business to Lahore. A good number of colleagues joined him for a tea break on 6 Aug at the usual venue. A group photo taken on the occasion is attached for viewing by all. Wasif in the centre is flanked by Azhar Butt and Ateeq H Shah on his right and Zahir and Sikander Munem on his left. Waqar, Mamood Tariq, Sher Zaman, Alizai and Abdul Rauf are standing in the rear.

22 July 2008:
Jalal visited Lahore on 22 July and as usual there was a get together arranged by Zahir in his office. The occasion provided an opportunity to meet some of the retired course mates besides Zahir and Nadir Mir still with boots on ( forgive me for the hurriedly applied cosmetics ). Sir Samad and Athar took me off guard and let out their grievances against me using the word "original" which they considered offensive as it did not cater for the relegees of 53/54 Long courses. Apologizing for my mistake, I promised to make amends, but wherever have I used the term "original" it means the fresh intake in May 1975 and the relegees. But a few cadets joined us in 2nd term which leaves out their mention. I will try to get details of those relegated in the final term of 54 Long Course and make a special mention of them as soon as possible. We had a good tea and gossip - after which the gathering disappeared in the noisy Lahore.

9 Jun 2008:
The evening  saw another small assembly of the Course over a dinner at Defence Officers Mess. This time it was done in the honour of Mumtaz Bajwa who was on a visit to Lahore. After a relaxing golfing game in the evening with Zahir Khan, Bajwa joined some of the course mates to recall the three decade old friendship while all enjoyed the sizzling Chinese cuisine. Those present included Iqbal, Noman Siddiqi, Shahid Aslam, Akram, Waqar, Maqsood and of course the organizer of the event, Zahir Khan. A group photo at the occasion was taken preserving the history.

31 May 08:
The Lahore chapter members got together for the second time during the week to share an evening with three of their ʽshining stars. It was a fantastic setting in the flood-lit lawns of the Garrison Golf and Country Club where a sizzling BBQ dinner was enjoyed by twenty stags. It was organized in the honour of visiting colleagues from Bahawalpur, Pano Aqil and Karachi namely Ashraf Tabassum, Rashad Javeed and Abdul Qadir Shahid in the same order.

Those who took time out to re-wind their clocks included Shahid Aslam, Mehmood Tariq, Athar, Javed Iqbal, Sultan Khan, Tariq Fazal, Khalid Javed, Asghar J Shirazi, Azhar Butt, Ijaz, Mustafa Maan, Haider Raza, Waqar Aslam, Tassawar Rana (Gwadar fame), Tariq Mahmood, Maqsood (MinTin fame) and of course, the local coordinator Zahir Khan. To keep the history, a group photo was taken in the lovely setting of the golf course which is attached to demonstrate the united spirit of the course.
15 May 08
After a brief pause, the Lahore Chapter got another reason for getting together. On 14 May, it was a dinner in the honour of Ali Raza Qazilbash, who was on a visit to for couple of days. About a dozen colleagues came over at Defence Services Officers Mess to enjoy a sumptuous meal. Those attended included Tahir Khan, Noman Siddiqui, Khalid Javed, Maqsood, Sher Zaman, Iqbal Badar (new entry), Ateeq Hussain Shah, Azhar Butt, Tariq Fazal and of course the local organizer Zahir Khan.

Get together with somewhat forgotten colleague Mr Saeed ud Din (sitting in the centre in photo below) ex Tariq 4 who migrated to USA and got settled in Dallas, Texas. He is currently visiting Pakistan and joined the occasion with the kind courtesy of Noman Siddiqui.  (Zahir's uniform artfully concealed by Jalal)

30 March 08: 
Taking advantage of the presence of some of our colleagues at the station, Lahore Chapter organized golf cum brunch at Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club. The golf game was participated by Mumtaz Bajwa, Ashraf Tabassum, Tariq Sher, Khalid Alizai and Zahir Khan. Tariq+Zahir team gave tough time to Bajwa+Ashraf team all along but finally the game’s heavy weights put all their skill, 'authority' and ‘command’ to neutralize the lead. It was an honorable draw and happy ending for all. 

As the golf game culminated, Agha Farooq and Shahid Maqbool had also joined the waiting members of the local cadre which included Numan Siddiqui, Saeed Akram, Hafiz Shafiq, Ateeq Hussain Shah, Sultan Khan, Haider Nadeem Qadri, Abid Qadri, Iqbal, Ashraf, Khalid Javed, Tariq Mahmood, Mustafa Maan, Ghulam Shabbir, (Sir)Tariq Mahmood, Sher Zaman and Tahir Khan. It was a great fun once again to enjoy the company of a good number of friends.

17 March 08:
Zahir's office was once again the venue of a hurriedly called get-together for Jalal who was in Lahore to attend a funeral of a relative. Despite no reaction time at all, Zahir arranged accommodation for Jalal and his family (through courtesy Jamal Zia). A group photo  taken on the occasion is as under.  
3 Mar 2008:
Tariq Sher’s presence in Lahore provided a reason to the old colleagues to flock together. The event was organized at Zahir Khan’s office which was joined by Akram, Maan, Iqbal, Maqsood, Azhar Butt,Hafiz Shafiq, Mehmood Tariq, Khalid Masood, Abdul Rauf, Javed Iqbal and Tariq Mehmud. It was a great fun to revive the decades’ old associations. The history was preserved for the sake of reference and sharing.
28 Feb 2008:
Tea Break with Mumtaz Bajwa  organized in Zahir Khan’s office. It was graced by Jamal Zia, Numan Siddiqi, Ateeq H Shah, Sultan Khan, Ali Akbar, Nadeem Qadri, Iqbal, Abdul Samad, Tariq Mehmood, Mustafa Maan, and Waqar Asif. Do you believe that some of them had not met the visiting gentleman since PMA days! It was a very rejoicing reunion for them in particular. The others too had not been in communication with the ‘men from Pano Aqil’ for quite some time. 
4 February 2008
The first reported activity of Lahore Chapter: A special get-together was arranged for Jalal. In all 15 officers attended and were served with hefty "tea-break". MJK also shared his PMA photos which have been included in various sections of the site. It also provided an opportunity to have a group photos, besides individual photo session.
(Zahir's uniform artfully concealed by Jalal)

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