Friday, January 1, 2010

Chapter News - Karachi (2010-2011)

26 December 2011:
A dinner was hosted by the Karachi Chapter of 55th Long Course in the honour of Asif Alvi who, having spent two and half years in the banking sector at Karachi is moving back to the Islamabad. He shall be on board with a Saudi Investment company as Director Strategic Investment. It was a very cool evening of Karachi which is very unusual. He was congratulated by all on becoming Nana on 26th December 2011. A very sumptuous dinner was arranged by Wasif.
Asif has requested beforehand that he will leave early as he has to travel by road from Karachi to Islamabad but, when we sat together suddenly the atmosphere changed. All became young and started breathing in the air of 1975. All our brothers of 55th were remembered and the naughty things we used to do together were recalled. Nobody wanted that the evening should finish. We wished that the time should stop here.
Surprisingly, my camera malfunctioned but still I was able to save some of the photographs for all those who were there but physically not present. Please do excuse the low quality. However, if you see it from special effects point of view, you shall enjoy the moments. Asif very generously offered that all course mates coming to Islamabad should not bother for staying at a hotel. They are welcomed to stay with with him at his place. [ reports Zafar Iqbal Durrani].

18 September 2011:
Wasif created a moment of Course get together on 18th Sep'11 as his Son and Daughter were married. All the Course mates from Karachi less Asim Jilani and Omer Farooq attended. Omer because he lost his father in law and Asim because he is lost in his new wife and shy to bring her to the course functions. Surprise guest were Salim Nawaz, Shahid Maqbool, Javed Baloch, Naeem Butt (whom I remember is the first time attending any such course function).
Special to it is also Asif Alvi, who is appearing first time in any course function with his Mrs and Lovely daughter, who can be seen riding on the shoulders of his father. Both the newly wed can be seen with all the 55th Uncles and then in another group with all the Aunties of 55th.Then are the second generation i.e., Sons of Qizilbash with the Son of Salim Nawaz. General SP Shahid can also be seen in the family group photo. As per Karachi chapter tradition, a gold set was presented to the daughter of Wasif from course side (Karachi chapter) by Mrs General Zahir Ul Islam and a wrist watch from the course side (Karachi chapter) by General Zahir Ul Islam. (More photos as mentioned in report above will be added as and when made public by ZID).

20th July:

Asif Ilyas was on a visit to Karachi. Came yesterday and will leave today in a while. Tahir Sheikh was also visiting. A dinner was arranged for them at Creek Club Karachi by Wasif on 20th July at 2100 hours. Tahir could not make it. Few of us gathered and had a wonderful evening.

10 July 2011:
Wedding of Imran Nadeem Khwaja's daughter (reported by Durrani): The wedding was arranged at Marina Club Entertainment area DHA Karachi on 9th July 2011 at 10 p.m. A nice gold Jewelry set was presented from the course side (Karachi Chapter) to the Bride. A gift was also presented on behalf of ZahirUlIslam. Ali Raza Qizilbash presented the gift from the course side. Zahir Ul Islam Could not make it because of his official commitment.
Qizilbash, Wasif, Zaffar Iqbal Durrani, Gulzar, Zahid Khan, Zahid Akbar, Ch Rasheed, Rafaqat, Bukhari and Khalid Alizai, who came all the way from Sukkur, attended the very nicely arranged ceremony and gave their blessings to the newly wed couple. Another newly wed couple in town did not attend that is Asim Jilani and his wife, due to reasons best known to them.

Younis in Karachi
Major Wasif arranged a mini get together at Creek Club Karachi in the honour of Major Younas, who was on a Tufanee visit of Karachi from Lahore. Seen here are Brig Inam Karim, Major Younas, myself, Major Omer Farooq and Major Wasif the great. Brig Kizilbash and Col Zahid Akbar also attended but hurriedly left due to their official commitments before even the photo session.

Walima reception of Durrani's son: Here are some pictures of the course get together (mini) of the Karachi chapter on the occasion of the Valima ceremony of my Son Captain Shoaib Hassan Durrani. This is the first time that Lt Gen Muhammad Zahir ul Islam, the Corps Commander 5 Corps, could not make it due to his some unforeseen commitments. 
However, a nice bouquet with a gift was sent. Zahir Khan could not attend due to he being out of country. Imran Khawaja was admitted in hospital due to some ailment. Rafaqat and Asim Jilani could not make it due to reasons best known to them. The news is that Asim Jilani is after all married some 5 months back and is back to Karachi about ten days ago. 

3 May 2011: 
Today Hashim provided us another opportunity to get together of the Karachi Chapter. The Valima ceremony of his son was conducted at Jade Hall of The ARENA. ALL attended less Tariq Zaidi, Zahir (due to his back problem) and Zahid Ali Khan. A very well arranged dinner. Zahir ul Islam made himself available. I would say that Karachi chapter get together is in a way unique that a three star general is present in all gatherings so far. 

Here in the pictures you can see a visitors face also. That is the lovely face of Akhter Nawaz Janjua, who achieved pleasant surprise. He was on a visit to Karachi and ensured his presence. A TESSORI wrist watch was presented to the Bride Groom from the Karachi Chapter by Zahir ul Islam, as can be seen in the photo. The Bride and the Bride groom also cut a cake at the ceremony (Photos/report by ZID)

Naveed Akbar in Karachi:
Taking advantage of Naveed Akbar's presence in the town,a small group of the Karachites gathered over Sunday brunch on 6th Mar at a local hotel. Beside the man from Toronto, three stalwarts of the 55th namely Zahir Khan with his son, Wasif and Imran spent good part of the day together discussing mainly the nostalgic stories. We appreciate Naveed's offer of an organized visit to Canada for the course mates. Despite being so far away, he has always been in touch with with the friends and finds some good reasons to visit them off and on.
For quite sometime, there have been news of Naveed Akbar visiting Pakistan on the FaceBook (Jamil's very own 55 PMA Long Course page). In response to my earlier e-mail on updation of course website in which I hinted someone from a Cold Region visiting Pakistan, Naveed replied that he too is presently in Pakistan. And today I received a mail from ZID about Naveed's visit to his place. ZID writes, "Dear Jalal, Naveed Akber Khalid is here and has come from Canada. He rang me up and we met at my new place at Karachi. He is here till 10th of March. Please find attached Photos of the get together."

12 February 2011:
On 12 Feb 2011, we have a get together of the Karachi chapter at Flag Staff House. It was Arranged by Lt Gen Muhammad Zahir Ul Islam. I had snapped the occasion for you with my camera but, due to some technical fault, most of the photos were deleted.
Few, though not of good quality were left and are attached. Imran Khawaja, the General himself and another camera was also working of which Zahir Khan shall be sending you the photos. (Photos and report by ZID)

21 October 2010:
It was wonderful to see the glittering faces on the party night at Islamabad Club. A day earlier, it was done at a small scale at Karachi with Agha Umar Farooq at the center of attention. The technology has made it possible to feel closer despites being miles away. Thanks to you (Jalal HB) for making it possible.
The other news from Karachi is of the 'moving out' of Javed Baloch who is shifting to Lahore to enjoy his newly constructed home. We wish him and his family a healthy and prosperous living there. Whereas he would be a welcome addition to Lahore, we at Karachi would be missing him.  Zahir Khan (Manchester, UK)

Amidst some very disturbing and depressing times in Karachi, the stalwarts of 55th PMA are making conscious efforts to be closer to each other. On 21st Oct, they flocked around Agha Umar Farooq who was in the town for a brief personal visit. They was a visible excitement in the air while offering felicitations and good wishes for the guest on his rise to the coveted three star rank. It was a perfect exclusive setting organized by Zahir Khan at one of the DHA Clubs. 

Those present included Inam Karim, Wasif (the life line of Karachi Chapter), Tariq Zaidi (guest artist), Umer Farooq, Rafaqat, Zahid (Hit...), Khwaja Imran and of course the host, Zahir Khan. Other than enjoying the food delicacies, the conversation mostly remained focused on PMA days. They recalled some of the 'not so often discussed' stories of the 'young times' and the remarks of Pl Comd Shuja ullah Tarar about the potentials of GC Agha were shared by him. Overall, it was a wonderful evening that the participants enjoyed to their best. The Karachi Chapter is anxiously looking forward to the arrival of Zaheer ul Islam. They also expect other visiting colleagues to share some moments with their life long associates while they visit the town. (Thank you Zahir for "First" ever photos from Karachi Chapter Jalal HB)

The Karachi chapter is quite active these days but fails to report its activities to the course website moderator. In June, a dinner was organised to welcome Zahir Khan on his joining the new assignment at Fauji Fertiliser Bin Qasim Limited followed by wedding of daughter of Qazilbash. Both the events were well attended. A dinner was again organised in the honour of Munawar Solehria on 21 Jul at Creek Club which was joind by Javed Baloch, Qazilbash, Zahir, Khwaja Imran, Umar Farooq, Zahid (Hit--) and of course the host, Wasif. It was another opportunity to share all sorts of 'gup-shup' ranging from PMA days to the coming up three star promotions beside number of other hot topics.

5 February 2010:
The Chapter News of Karachi open up with two tragedies: the deaths of elder brother of Jalal Hameed Bhatti and death of mother of Qizalbash.

Jalal's elder brother Gul Hameed Bhatti (editor Jang Group of Sports, prominent cricket analyst and ex-editor of The Cricketer and The News) expired after prolonged illness in Karachi on 4th February and was buried on 5th February after Jumma prayers. Javed Baloch, Wasif and Waheed were there on the funeral. And Wasif, Imran, Zahid also attended the qul. 
Here it may be added that Wasif hosted a complimentary dinner for the entire gathering at Jalals's brother's residence, which is a great thing to do and Jalal is specially grateful and thankful to Wasif for this. Jalal is also grateful to all course mates who found time to ring him up. Mujib was the first one who heard the news on TV followed by Abbas (Lahore, who also came forward to help JHB when the ATM at Lahore air port was not being helpful). 

Those who followed on telephone were Solehria, Asif, Shirazi, Athar, Shahid Qadir, AN Janjua, Rasheed, Khalid Javed, Umar Farooq and Qayyum. Javed Baloch and Wasif also provided all possible support to Jalal and his family while they were there in Karachi. Jalal HB is grateful to all.

Qizalbash's mother died on 5 February and a few course mates also attended the funeral. Jalal HB tried his best to reach the funeral site but due to very heavy traffic couldn't make it in time.

Page Created: January 2010