Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chapter News - Lahore (2009-2013)

23rd March 2013 - Last reported event of 2013:
Daughter of Lt Col Muhammad Iqbal (Retd) got married at Garrison banquet hall, Garrison golf and country club, Lahore. The photograph taken on the occasion is as above.

27 January 2013:
Group photos of course mates taken at the walima reception of Tassawar's son Aneeq.

4 Nove 2012:
Marriage ceremony Son of Brig Ali Raza Qizilbash was held at Rangers Officers Mess Lahore on Nov 3, followed by Walima on 4 Nov. 
Course mates present at the occasion to greet the newly wed are seen in these pics.  HEARTIEST CONGRATULATIONS TO QIZILBASH FAMILY [photos shared by Tariq Fazal on Facebook]

November 2, 2012:

Reported by SAJS: Almost whole 55 PMA members and their families in Lahore (including Wasif from Karachi) gathered on the eve of Baarat Reception of Muhammad Athar’s daughter on the lovely evening of November 2, 2012 in the lush green lawn of Askari IX, Lahore. 

12 May 2012:
Since departure of Zahir Khan from Lahore, the Lahore chapter has been rather inactive and one could see gatherings only at weddings. However, lately, there was a good get together at Lahore, reports Asghar Javed Shirazi:

Course get together is such an occasion where you need not prove anything to anyone. Everyone knows everyone and everything, more so in case of 55 PMA Long Course who got together on May 12, 2012 in DHA to commemorate the anniversary of their togetherness. We all joined PMA on May 12 long time ago. Another thing you note in any informal course get together is that people don’t change; same jokes, same tones, same level of nearness and relationship. Yes, some are still sensitive and edgy on topics they used to be long time ago.

2012 - Sargodha - wedding of Javed Baloch's daughter:
Not in Lahore, but closer to Lahore, was the wedding of daughter of Javed Baloch in Sargodha and an open invitation was given for all course mates to be part of the wedding. A sizeable number of course mates went to Sargodha to bid farewell to Javed's daughter to her new home. Aslam had come from Bahawalpur, while Wasif and Zahir from Karachi came via Lahore and brought along a surprise guest - Tahir, who was visiting Lahore from Canada.
Many course mates from Rawalpindi and Lahore also attended. Kalyar offered his house for those staying overnight and even arranged a breakfast the next day.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Wasif presented a gold set to Javed Baloch on the happy occasion - a tradition that he carries along in Karachi and it was a delight to see him replicating the same at Sargodha.

6 March 2011:
Khalid Pervez son got married recently in Lahore. The above photos have been shared by Saeed Mirza on Facebook. We see a hearty and smiling Sibtain here in the photos. Who knew just after few months he would depart from us forever on 14 September 2011.

21 February 2011:
Sons of Haider got married on 21 February 2012 in Lahore. Almost all Lahorites attended the reception as seen above. Had Samad attended the reception, it would have become a memorable occasion as the next morning Samad departed for his heavenly abode.

14-16 February 2011:
I went to Lahore to attend the marriage of son of Ghulam Abbas from 14-16 February 2011. The mehndi ceremony coincided with the Valentine day - or was it planned as such? This provided me an opportunity to meet members of the Lahore Chapter. On mehndi day, I met Shirazi, Athar, Tariq and Khalid Javed. Following photos were taken by Shirazi'son on the mehndi day (and also appear on his blog: Changing marriage reception timings )
On Walima day, the attendance grew tremendously and we had a larger crowd. Those who came included Nadar Mir, Khalid Javed, Tariq, Kalyar, AJ Khokhar, Nauman, Iqbal, Tariq, Tariq Fazal, Javed, Tariq and others.

2 October 2010:
I was in Lahore on the weekend to attend the wedding of Khalid Javed's daughter. Although I was invited for Mehndi as well on 30th September, but could not attend due to studies of my sons. The Mehndi function was well attended and I was told that Tassawar, Nauman and abbas had attended. as for the wedding , which wa held in the Crystal Hall of the Lahore PC on 2nd October, a sizeable number of coursemates from Lahore and outstation were present.
Ashraf Tabassum, Mushtaq, Ali akbar and myself had come from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, while Younis, Shirazi, iqbal, Tassawar, Khalid, Haider, Abbas beside others were from Lahore. Due to recent order of the Punjab government, the rituals were marred by the lights off by the hotel management much to the dismay of the relatives and guests.

We saw the happiest parent on earth last evening. They were no other than Col and Mrs Maqsood. Reason: it was marriage reception of their daughter Tuba. And this gave an excuse to Brig Zahir Khan, Nadir  Mir,  Col Athar, Ateeq Shah, Nauman Siddiqui, S A J Shirazi from 55 PMA and their families  to be at Dulah Bagh (very aptly named marriage lawn for Canal View society) to join Maqsood and his family. Congratulation Maqsood and Mrs Maqsood). 
Ambience at Dulah Bagh was absolutely gorgeous. We enjoyed the aesthetically laid out colorful decor, live music and slide show of the happy moments of the couple.  On the erudite side, a little information for Men at Their Best is that Brig Zahir is leaving for world tour in early April. Nadir says, “A time has come for Zahir when he can relax and enjoy.” Zahir is planning to visit half of the world before he returns back home. Happy voyage Zahir Khan! (report courtesy Shirazi at his blog Light Within - Can Someone be this Happy?)

Feb 19, 2010:
Wedding - Sheikh Khalid Masood's Daughter (Report Courtesy Shirazi - Men at their Best) Spring and marriage season has come together this time. Yesterday was a wonderful evening , Brig Zahir Khan, Nadir Mir, Col Athar, Khokhar, Attique, Nouman Siddiqui, Younis, Maj Sikandar, Abbas, Iqbal, Tassawar, Khalid came to attend the marriage reception (Baraat) of Sheikh Khalid Masood’ daughter. After greetings and congratulating Masod, Nouman Siddiqui took us to the farthest corner of the beautifully laid out hall of Garrison Officers Mess. He had something important to share. He always has. 
Usually Khokhar keeps holding the attention of all present but this was Nouman evening. Thanks Nouman for affording an opportunity to laugh our hearts out. A day earlier on Feb 18, 2010, Brig Nadir Mir, Col Atiqe, Col Athar, Maj Tiwana, Maj Sikandar, Maj Tahir, had gathered at a colorful and very heavily cultural Mehndi function of Col Khalid Masood Sheikh’s daughter. In addition to cultural rituals, we all shared the jubilations with happy Masood – kuri da pyo – father of the bride and his family including Masood's elder brother - a senior comrade in arms followed by a traditional and sumptuous dinner. And yes, we discussed modalities for course Annual Get Together scheduled on April 18, 2010 in Murree. Have you confirmed your attendance yet?

9 December 2009:
Lahore Get Together ( Report by SAJ Shirazi - Light Within ): This time it was in spanking new Defense Club FF Block, DHA Lahore. Most of us had not see the place that was discovered and selected by Col Athar for December Get Together 55 PMA Lahore Chapter. The facility is nice and you still can have it to yourself.  Lahore is one of the cities where we have largest number of 55 PMA officers living (it is number 2 after Rawalpindi). The attendance was good. By 9 PM, around 30 members along with their families (Bring Zahir Khan, Athar, Najeeb, Baqar, Maqsood, Nauman, Hafiz, Abbas Khan, Waqar, Shafi, Tariq Fazal , Attiq, Tasawar, Khalid Javed, Sultan, Jamil and kids) had arrived. In addition to the same “you too,” “me too,” updates, still some more recollection of memories, we all had a very sumptuous and hot dinner.
The high point of the evening was Muhammad Jamil Akhtar and his wife (very loving couple) who had come from Canada and joined us for the evening. Plan of the get together in the middle of the week (Dec 9, 2009) was for Jamil because he is leaving back on Dec 11, 2009. Some of us took a chance to tell Mrs Jamil all the good things they could remember about him while he distributed his business card and some gifts for us. She was genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see the amount of love among the members of 55 PMA and for Jamil and she shot some of the moments with video camera. Jamil says he will send the video and if he does, you will see it here.

Mother of Col (R) Hafiz Shafiq passed away today (10th Nov) at Lahore. May God bless the departed soul and grant her family members the strength to bear the loss. Namazi-Janaza was attended by a large number of course mates. A wreath was also laid on behalf of the Course.

Mother of Maj (R) Javed Iqbal Phalia passed away in her native village. May God bless the departed soul and grant her family members the strength to bear the loss. Ameen

Our course mates (55 PMA Long Course) always look for an excuse to get together (sometimes they meet without an excuse though). Last evening Brig (Retd) Muhammad Zahir Khan, Col (Retd) Athar, Col (Retd) Maqsood, Abbas Niazi, Waqar and Shirazi met at DeSOM. It was wonderful evening and open expanse of the club was very inviting. What started as a casual chit chat turned out to be a meeting to discuss future get together, how to insure maximum participations and how to continue those collective good traditions that have become a hallmark of the 55 PMA. Also, it was decided that Zahir Khan will continue to be the President of the Lahore Chapter with Athar as a secretary and they will be assisted by Maqsood and Abbas. (Congratulations to these gentlemen who all are very energetic and go a very long way to keep the spirit of the course alive). Courtesy: SAJ Shirazi

Lahore chapter is always buzzing with social activities; looking for opportunities to meet. Farewell to Brig (Retd) Zahir Khan and Brig (Retd) Nadir Mir was planned during Ramadan at Iftar Dinner by Col (Retd) Athar. Since then, everyone waited for the evening together eagerly. Evening was very nicely planned by Athar (thanks to Athar for the nice food and beautiful venue). DIG (Police Welfare) Abid Qadri, Brig Zahir Khan (thanks for these images), Brig Zaka, Brig (Retd) Ghazanfar (who is in Lahore for a small course), Baqar, Tariq Fazal, Ghulam Abbas, Tariq, Khokar, Maqsood, Khalid Sheikh, Atiq, Najeeb and some more were there. Seating arrangement was indoor but wiser out of us suggested took chairs and brought outdoor in the law. Lady wives stayed indoor, rightly wondering ‘what all these people talk’ when they are together?  (It is good to see Najeeb after a long time - Jalal HB says)

24-26 September:
Wedding of Ghulam Abbas's daughter was planned from 24-26th September and I was cordially invited to attend all three functions of the wedding. So I along with my family was there in Lahore. On 24th September, the Mehndi Day, I just had to descend from the stairs of the Garrison Officers' Mess and moved into the main wedding hall - it was the first glimpse of old faces like that of Sir Athar, Ali Akbar and Sir Tariq. Soon w were joined by Zahir Khan - his first public appearance after the death of his father-in-law.
On 25th September, as I entered the DeSOM main banquet hall, there was a big roar from the left corner occupied by the Lahore's galaxy of the course mates. I wont say who all were there since all were there except a few. There was Iqbal (perhaps the only course mate with his virgin black hair), Nauman, Sir Athar, Khalid Javed, Ali Akbar, Khokar, SAJ Shirazi ( I saw him after decades and he looked smart without his beard in which I saw him the last time), Tariq, Crazy Hamsafar (Tariq Fazal), Shabbir, Rauf, Ali Zai, Sultan Golden and Mustafa Maan (who chose to stand away from the gathering for unknown reasons). Then came nadir Mir in his smartly attired style followed by Abdul Rehman. So in all myself, Ali Akbar and Abdul Rehman were three attendees from Rawalpindi/Islamabad. This was a great gathering and a symbol of love, support and affection for Ghulam Abbas and his family. Nauman made us laugh with his juicy SMS messages. 

The Walima Day on 26th September was thinly attended, that included myself, Athar , Shirazi and Khokhar. The event provided me a rare chance to chat informally with Khokhar and listening to his life experiences - wow!! what a man out there who has done so much but remains unsung.

22 June 2009:
Col Farooq along with a team of NUST examiners visited Lahore last weekend to take the test of prospect candidates. He made a brief call to Zahir Khan on Mon the 22nd before leaving for Rawalpind). He was closely followed by Maj Wasif who was on a hectic business trip which kept him away from meeting any of his colleagues.
The Lahore Chapter is all set to meet on this weekend along with their kith and kin to formally bid farewell to nadir Mir and Zahir Khan who are taking their boots off on 15 July 2009 after a long marathon of 32+2 years. Nearly 75 (all inclusive) people are likely to enjoy the evening together. ( JalalHB would certainly miss Zahir Khan's active participation in maintaining the website as he was able to get together anyone visiting Lahore - I wish both the very best of luck and hope Zahir Khan will find out some methodology to keep the Lahore Chapter alive, lively and vibrant.)

This time news from Lahore are from me as I was there in Lahore on Abdul Rehman Dogar's son's Walima on 2 May 2009. Many of us were there - Nadir Mir, Zahir Khan, Ch Fazal, Akbar Ali and vice-a-versa (i.e. Ali Akbar), Iqbal, Haider, GA, Saleem, Tariq and Tariq Fazal.
The function was good amid two very noisy generators just outside the venue - food was excellent and everyone had his plate full followed by Kulfa and Firni - all very delicious. Zahir Khan and Tariq Fazal came late as they had to attend another function and missed the feast ( Jalal HB )

Wedding of the daughter of Alizai with Zuhr Khan's son on Fri, 23rd Apr was a good occasion for the 55th family to celebrate. A large number of colleagues turned in to wish the new couple a happy future. We wish both the families a joyous and lasting relationship.

The news from Lahore is that Tahir Khan has flown to Toronto on 17 Mar with bag and baggage. He is setting up his business in Canada and trying to settle down there. We wish him success in his venture.

14 Feb 2009:
First reported event of the year - Wedding of Daughter of Arshad Khokhar, which was well attended by a large number of local as well as visiting colleagues. They joined to express their good wishes for the bride and groom. A photograph taken with the newly weds is attached. Those who are missing from the picture were Hashim and Noor Shinwari from Karachi and Tahir Khan, Kalyar, Khalid Alizai and Abid Qadri.