Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chapter News - Islamabad (Up to 2012)

This page is specially created for events at Islamabad, starting 25 October 2008 with the Rawalpindi get together. The events thereafter move up with this last post created on 22 December 2012. For the remaining period of coverage, please follow the post: Chapter News - Islamabad (2013-2015)

22 December 2012:
A brunch was arranged by Zaheer ul Islam at his village Matore near Rawalpindi on 22 December 2012. All course mates in/around Rawalpindi/Islamabad were invited accompanied. 
The reaction time though was very short and some could not make it because of it. I could not attend as my wife was unwell - this photo is shared by Akhtar Nawaz Janjua on Facebook and has been taken with all credit to him. You can see for yourself who all attended. Nice gesture by Zaheer. Now it is time that Shoaib Mumtaz also reciprocates and arrange a brunch at Wah..

On 18th December 2012, some of the platoon mates of Abdul Qadir Khan Shahid called on him at his residence in the Parade Lane, Rawalpindi to enquire about his health and talk of the good old days.
The evening was planned by Sir Arshad, who coordinated with Ikram, Mujeeb, Shahid Noor and Murad Khan for the call on. Jalal coordinated the call on timings with Shahid's SO and Sir Arshad kept reminding everyone to be punctual and be on time. And this excellent coordination resulted in everyone right there at the given time. Shahid Qadir was certainly very pleased to have all of us around and we remained with him for almost an hour. Murad Khan was as talkative as ever and made us laugh with his anecdotes dramatically. As can be seen, Shahid Qadir was smiling, talking and laughing with us and we hope and pray that he gets well sooner than before.
Our platoon mates from Lahore, that is Nauman, Khalid and Tassawar, are also planning a trip to Rawalpindi to call on Shahid Qadir. When it happens, Sir Arshad takes upon himself to collect everyone from the platoon so that we collectively visit Shahid Qadir.

On 3 November 2012, there were two weddings taking place simultaneously: the weddings of daughters of Shahid Ahmed (AWT Mess) and Mumtaz Ahmed Bajwa (Jacaranda Club, DHA Islamabad). Due to simultaneity of the events, t participation of course mates got divided between the two functions. 
Most of the course mates first came to convey their good wishes to Shahid at the AWT and then proceeded to attend wedding of Bajwa's daughter. When I reached AWT Mess, a large contingent of course mates was leaving for the Jacaranda Club and only a few remained behind. Herein under are the photos taken by me at the wedding of Shahid's daughter.
However when after attending the wedding of Shahid's daughter and I reached at Jacaranda Club, I was too late as everyone has left and only family members from both sides were left, preparing for the departure of the barat. I was lucky to have met Bajawa and conveyed my best wishes on the wedding of his daughter.  

The wedding of daughter of Munawar Ahmed Sulehria was held on 1 November at Jacaranda Club, DHA Islamabad. 
The wedding was well attended by a large number of course mates. Even course mates from as far as Karachi (Wasif and Zahir), Lahore (Farooq and Abbas) and Nowshera (Rashid) had come to attend the ceremony. Herein under are some of the photos of those present:

21st April 2012:

Marriage of Ghazanfar's daughter - An occasion was created on 21st April at the Jacaranda Club, DHA-Phase II, Islamabad for a get together of a select group of course mates invited by Ghazanfar on the eve of marriage of his beloved daughter. It was raining outside but the marriage hall was cozy, noisy and almost packed to its capacity with guests.

18th September:
Aman Ullah hosted the walima of his wedded son with the daughter of Ghouri. For those who do not remember Ghouri, let me explain that Ghouri had joined us in the first term but had to bid farewell to arms just after the first term as his future was somewhere else. He is well settled now and lives in Islamabad.
A sizeable gathering of course mates got together at 1969 restaurant under the foothills if Shakarparian Hills, Islamabad. The first three photos are from my cell phone camera. The remaining photos from herein under were shot by Asif Ilyas.

19th february 2011:
Jamil Bravo in Pakistan: I received a phone call today (19th february 2011) and the caller identified him as Jamil. Since I do not any Jamil in Pakistan, I asked for more identification. The caller said he had come from a "cold region" outside Pakistan. And I didn't take a second to identify Jamil Bravo as only one Jamil that I know who lives in a cold region, that happens to be Canada, and I guessed right. 
Soon after Jamil Bravo with his wife arrived at my house. It was good to see him accompanied at my doorstep. And for the next almost an hour we chatted and laughed and photographed. He is in Pakistan and as a surprise has not informed anyone, even his own near and dear ones.  Due to his hectic schedule, he declined any get together and said he would try to meet individually some of the course mates as time allowed. So don't be surprised if you get a call from him as he is here for a few days more. Jamil also called on Farrukh Hayee and both are seen smiling above right (though Farrukh from behind his beard).

4 OCt 2010:

The wedding of Mujeeb's son was the second event after Khalid Javed's daughter's marriage at Lahore. I had to rush back to Rawalpindi and barely made it in time. The venue was Topi Rakh auditorium, sandwiched between Rawalpindi Golf Club and the Ayub Park. These was a large gathering of the course mates, as can be seen from the two sets of photos above and below. Mujeeb also told me that Tassawar and Nauman had accompanied the barat to Pakpattan (Mujeeb's hometown).
Seeing me in all photos will bring smiles to Munawar, Arjumand and Tariq Sher. Seen not in the photos is Shahid Maqbool, whose photo unfortunately became blurred and has not been added.

On 7 August 2010:
Although it was my birthday, but the get together on the lush green Golf Club of Islamabad Club had nothing to do with it - but was routine get together. A large number of course mates along with their lady wives attended. Although many more had confirmed their attendance, but as usual to the agony of the course secretary did not turn up.
After the pleasantries and usual hello-HIs, the dinner was served. The food was good and plenty and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it.
Thereafter, the course secretary Col Asif got the male participants fall-in outside the dinning hall for the update on accounts. He also informed that the dinner was arranged due kind courtesy of Ghori and the hall booking charges had been waived off by Arbab Zahid Pervez (few would remember him - he was from 54th PMA and joined us and later bid farewell to the arms after our first term) who is presently the Captain of Islamabad Club. Asif also apprised the participants about the birthday of Jalal (that's me), to which everyone sang the opening verses of "happy Birthday to you...." (thanks all for that), though Akhtar Nawaz Janjua reminded me that I was now a year closer to my final journey.

Any event in the twin cities of Islamabad / Rawalpindi becomes a venue for a mini course get together. After the course get together at Rawal Dam recently, the wedding of Ashraf Tabbasum's daughter was yet another occasion for many of us to join the event spread over two days. The "Mehndi" was held at the Rawalpindi Golf Club and was attended by a few of us. The pleasant presence of Jamal Zia from Lahore gave new colour to the occasion.

The wedding attracted, beside many senior officers, a large number of us. Presence of Khalid Javed (from Lahore) was a surprise. Zahir was missed as he chose to be in foreign lands. Regretfully, the photos from my mobile were hazy and blurred. Khalid Javed and Mushtaq took a few snaps and were requested to send these for inclusion in the site. The above photos are courtesy Mushtaq Khan and am obliged.

(Delayed) Eid Milan Party: So finally it did happen on the night of 22 November at Islamabad Club. Asif had arranged a wonderful dinner beside ensuring a good gathering. Almost fifty course mates, mostly accompanied, attended. There was everybody who are usually in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and counting everyone would be difficult (counting the absentees was easier).However, one can see most of the attendees in the photographs. Everyone was willing to be "shot" to immortalize the event (Munir should be happy). After pleasantries, dinner was served and it was really good.
On dinner tables, everyone ate and chatted.  After the dinner, Asif called for a half-circle conference to apprise everyone of the situation of course fund and donations. Three venues for the next course get together were discussed ( Peshawar as inviteby Tariq Khan, Nathia Gali and Murree). Although, Peshawar should have been selected as Tariq Khan had sent in the invitation long ago, but due to security situation, it was the opinion of the majority that attendance would be thin at Peshawar. So Murree was finally selected for which  Zaheer  will be making all the arrangements. And then the house was open for a lighter mood and jokes. And it was after a long time that Alamgir got a chance to corner Sami Ullah Khattak, who was equally offensive to shoot back all NRO type allegations. And amid laughing and smiling, the party came to an end.

Meeting Islam ul Haq:
There have been no news lately to keep the website active except the other day when a "Fauji Truck" ripped my car's bumper which finally led me to the Akbar Market near Mareerh Pull, Rawalpindi for repairs on this Saturday. The mechanic, denter and the painter announced a time frame of 4-6 hours for the job. To while away the time, I just got on to the Murree Road for a stroll (though at 1 pm it wasn't any time for any such adventure specially without a headgear for a half bald person like me). And at that time I remembered that Islam (Ul Haq)'s office was nearby (he being the MD WASA), so I decided for an unplanned call on. 
Since I wasn't dressed up for the occasion, his reception staff eyed me with curiosity and suspicion as I did not spell out my rank with the name. Reluctantly, I was ushered in and was met with hearty smile and big hands. I was served with a cold drink, followed by a KFC burger and then tea with biscuits. It was a delight to be there in his office recalling old days in an office overlooking Liaquat Bagh. While he was busy in his office work, I snapped him with my mobile phone for those who haven't met him since long. After spending sometime with him, when I announced my departure, he asked his staff car wala to drop me back to the workshop (which saved me from another stroll under the scorching sun).

The marriage of Tariq Sher's daughter on 12 March 2009 at AWT main banquet hall was the venue of a mini course get together since a large number of serving and retired course mates attended. Agha Umar Farooq from chilling Quetta (on vacation as "his school" is closed), A-Z Shahid from Karachi, smartly  dressed Zahir from Lahore and Ghazanfar from chilly Abbottabad were among those who came from out satiation. 

Locals included Ashraf Tabbasum, Shahid Maqbool, Farooq, Munawar, Azhar Ali Shah, Mumtaz Bajwa, Rashid Javeed, Shahid Ahmed, Munir, Dr sahab (Mukhtar), Javed Ashraf Bajwa, Sheikh sahab (Tahir), Qayyum, AA Janjua, AN Janjua, Mansur,  Zuhr Khan, Fahim Khawar, Jahangir, Rizwan, Raja (Jinn), Allah Dad (Kurd??), Hayee, Asif, Zafar Masud, Asim Jilani, The WASA man (Islam), Shigri, Shoaib Mumtaz (the election man), Akram, Alamgir - anyone left. Yes of course Jalal HB (Myself). The function ended with a good dinner amid chats of yester years and discussions on future plans and prevailing situation.

Mini get together was held in Rawalpindi on the eve of marriage of daughter of Lt Col Mujeeb. Many course mates attended. Zhair and Younis had come from Lahore. 
Vincent Samuel who is currently in Pakistan was also there. Others included Shahid Maqbool, Farooq, Tariq Sher, Asif, Ali Akbar, Mansoor, Naveed Akbar, Zafar and of course myself. The picture quality is not very good as I shot these with my mobile phone. The event was well attended and all of us had a good chat - specially with Vincent Samuel whom we met almost after passing out from PMA.

Rawalpindi Get Together : And finally there was a get together of the Rawalpindi Chapter on 25th October 2008 at the Rendezvous Restaurant, Saddar, Rawalpindi. I walked in at around 8:15 as against 8.00 PM and found a number of course mates already in the open lawn of the restaurant, gossiping and welcoming anyone who dropped in. And soon it was all packed with some 47 of us.
The get together was basically aimed at welcoming the three two-stars who have recently been posted to Pindi and in all we have five two stars, namely Bajwa, Solehria, Shahid Maqbool, Zaheer and Rashid. Of the recently retired one stars, we had Qayyum, Kahlon, AN Janjua (AA Janjua and AI Janjua were absent), beside myself. Of the serving one stars we had the roaring Tariq Sher, Mansoor and Sheikh Tahir.

The gossiping and photographing by me to add pictorials in the otherwise stale website of the course continued till a call for the dinner was made by the course secretary, Col Asif. The dinner was very lavish, tasty and everyone who wasn't watching his weight had plates full. After the dinner, Col Aisf got us all together and apprised all of course fund details, donations by some of the course mates (including announcement of Rs. 10,000.00 by Sir Basharat right there on the spot). He also apprised us of the settlement of  late Javed Sutan's family on Peshawar Road and education of his children.
He appreciated the efforts of some of the course mates, specially Munawar A Solehria in his efforts to look after the settlement phase of late Javed's family. Asif also spoke of my concern about the stalemate in the website and everyone readily agreed to participate in providing me some news to rejuvenate the site (However this never happened). 

It was also decided by a unanimous vote that the we will once again give the opportunity to Ghazanfar to host the 2009 Annual Course Get Together at Abbottabad. Although Ghazanfar proposed a two night stay at Abbottabad, but it was finally decided to have a one night show as was done in 2008. The get together finally ended with a Three Cheers by Munir for Asif for being a very effective course secretary and for his efforts to keep everyone onboard and well informed about everyone.

Page created: 25 October 2008