Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An evening with Lieutenant Colonel Talat Umer SJ

Many course mates outside my original Khalid - 4 platoon, later Tariq-1 would not know that presently I am in the process of finalizing a memorabilia that I have voluntarily conceived, composed and written to pen down the memories of those two rough and tough, yet memorable days we all spent in PMA and life thereafter.
Majority of platoon mates have actively supported my effort and have even sponsored its printing so that each one of us could have a copy of it to reminisce the good old bygone days of yester years since the fateful day of 12th May 1975.

Other than input from my platoon mates, we also contacted our platoon commanders and spent evenings with them to get their input and guidance in finalizing this memorabilia. I have already shared the evening spent with Captian (Brigadier) Ghulam Nabi in Rawalpindi on 23 July.

Nauman along with Tassawar, Khalid Javed and Younis proof reading the first draft 

But before that, a month earlier, I sent the draft of the memorabilia to Nauman Siddiqui and other platoon mates of Lahore chapter for their input, corrections and photos. Under Nauman Siddiqui, Khalid Javed, Younis and Tassawar got together in Shirazi's office and Lahore School of Economics and not only read over each page but also provided valuable information and interesting anecdotes of the PMA days to be added to this document.

Thereafter, as I was visiting Lahore in connection with my installation ceremony as colonel of the regiment of  the unit I have the honour to raise, Nauman Siddiqui arranged an exclusive evening with Major(Lieutenant Colonel) Talat Umer SJ, our final term platoon commander, at the Defense Club, Lahore on 20th June.

Iqbal - Tassawar - Jalal - Colonel Talat Umer SJ - Nauman - Khalid - Shirazi

Iqbal, Tassawar, Khalid Javed and Shirazi were also there beside Nauman, myself and the honourable Colonel Talat Umer. It was a good session and Colonel Umer talked of the days when he had taken over our platoon which was under severe turmoil and distress. And it was his very exclusive leadership qualities, honesty and dedication that we not only came down from the ropes and sailed out of PMA on 16th April 1977.

While talking of us, Colonel Umer confided: 
When I recollect about this platoon, one thing is very glaring that in collective sense they were a dedicated lot of people with potentials to deliver with hard work in years to come. An in-depth experience and later tracking their records they have delivered as expected out of them. The other glaring attribute remains their strong bondage of friendships that they still maintain with each other.

He further added:
What one cherishes in life is the excellent moment and associations with others, the bondage of friendship and the memories of hard times spent together. I at this stage having a close link with them feel very proud of this lot and commend their efforts and attainment that Almighty Allah could give them and still bestow upon them with even greater blessings in life.
We are grateful to Colonel Umer for these kind words for us and we too cherish the memories when he took control of a fragile part of 55th PMA Long Course and steered it out of the turmoil we were in.