Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Javed Baloch departs - making December 2015 gloomier

December always comes with a gloom. For us the bitter memories of 1971 and then the APS massacre of 144 students at the hands of terrorists last year is already too much to go through December without feeling at ease. But perhaps these events were not too many for us to feel the gloom of December as a shockwave waited for us right on 1 December 2015 - the departure Muhammad Javed Iqbal Baloch: one of the finest officers of our course and Pakistan Army. Javed suffered a heart attack and was evacuated to AFIC, Rawalpindi where he breathed his last around 10 PM.

For those around him this was a total shock as he has been hale and hearty and was everywhere whenever a course meeting of local chapter was called or meeting a few close friends over a cup of tea. And we who were away from Lahore were equally taken aback by the news for one could never think of a man full of life suddenly called upon for his heavenly duties above.

Like all of us of 55 PMA Long Course, Javed, then a fragile and lean young boy from Sargodha was among us going through the rigours of PMA training, showing his extraordinary intelligence in every field of training and was in the front runners.I did not have much of interaction with Javed except for usual exchange of views and handshakes during classes for he was in another company. But there came a day when he walked over to me at the fag end of our training when the units had freshly been announced for the passing cadets of our course. Unknown to me, he too had given the choice of the unit which I had - but while I had given the choice of 6 Light Air Defence Regiment as advised to me by Abdul Qadir Khan Shahid, for his father had served in an air defence regiment and he too was following the footsteps of his father. So for me, the number 6 was just a number which I got. 

On the other hand Javed had given the same unit as his first choice for he knew that the unit was to move from Karachi to Sargodha within six months and being from Sargodha the unit suited him well. And when he walked over to me, he said: You have robbed the unit of my choice and a chance to be near my village. And from then on, whenever we met, he would always recall our conversation in hearty and light mood and even tell others around, specially his family that 'this is the man who robbed me of my first choice in PMA.' And we would laugh remembering our PMA days. And instead of 6, he was commissioned in 15 SP Medium Regiment Artillery, which at that time was stationed in Multan (if I remember correctly).

Javed standing fourth from right - Final Term Ghaznavi Seniors - II PMA

Javed's intelligence and hard work made him rise high and was placed on prestigious appoints throughout his army career. It was bad luck that he was not promoted a general officer, something he very rightfully deserved, but was then compensated by his posting as DG Coast Guard - an appointment that made him command the coastal areas of Pakistan for over two years. Thereafter, he held senior positions in NADRA and had recently retired as DG NADRA, Punjab.


 Javed making a forceful point to course secretary during 2012 get together at Mangla 
Javed with Alamgir and Israr

During his tenure of Coast Guard, my elder brother Gul Hameed Bhatti fell critically ill due to cancer and Javed was there to provide me his mess both when I visited my brother and second time on my brother's demise (though at that time he had relinquished his appointment but still asked his staff to accommodate me and my family). We would often meet thereafter on marriages and course get togethers. 

The wedding of daughter of Javed Baloch in Sargodha (2013) was a mini get together of the course mates who had come from all over the country and join Javed in bidding farewell to Javed's daughter to her new home (Photos above and below).  Nobody knew at that time that a few years from hence, many would be coming again to Javed's ancestral village to bid him farewell forever to his heavenly abode.

 Good days dinning together

Javed at the marriage of Ghazanfar's daughter [21 April 2012] Jacaranda Club, DHA, Islamabad

Javed sitting extreme right between Siddiqui and Khokhar

Javed was with most of us at Nathiagali course get together April earlier this year and attended the course get together for the last time (though unknown to him and to us then). He and Zahir Khan vehemently floated the idea of holding the 2016 course get together at Lahore which was applauded by all of us. And we all have been looking forwards to the hospitality of Lahore chapter - never knowing that Javed himself will not be there to be one of our hosts. 

Javed standing fifth from the right in the first row

Azhar Ali Shah lays floral wreath on behalf of 55 PMA Long Course after handing over out great friend to mother earth for his onward flight to the heavens

As reported by Tariq Fazil on Facebook, a large number of course mates made it to Javed's native village chak 36 nb Ballochan Bhalwal road Sargodha. From Lahore chapter Zahir Khan , Tassawar, Ali Akbar, Ghulam Abbass, Sultan Khan , Saeed Akram, Azhar Shah , Muhammad Athar, Rashad Javeed , Arshad Khokhar and Syed Ali Baqar, from Rawalpindi chapter Muhammad Asif , Asif Ilyas, Muhammad Iftikhar Mansoor , Zahir-Ul - Islam, Ikram Kayani, Mumtaz Ahmad Bajwa , Akhtar Nawaz Janjua, Shahid Maqbool, Mukhtar Hussain, Shahid Noor, Ghulam Murtaza , Saeed Raja , Munawar Solehria, Mohsin Amir , Arjmand Iqbal and Muhammad Tahir , while Asghar Kalyar arrived from Sargodha. Several hundred mourners had arrived from far and near to offer Numaz-e-Janaza of this very exceptional human being loved and admired for his splendid qualities of head and heart. At least half a dozen floral wreaths were laid on his grave including one from 55th.

Today when I write this post and add yet another thumbnail to our friends who have already taken the flights for their heavenly abode, I really do it with a very heavy heart - like always and continued looking at the faces of those who have been with us - had the same aspirations and expectations from life. But they did not have enough time. While I pray that all above be blessed and may their souls rest in peace in their heavenly abode, let us all start packing up for one never knows when the clock stops ticking!!


S A J Shirazi said...

You will be missed Baloch. Missed very much. Rest in Peace.

Asif Alvi said...

It is a great loss to all of us. I started knowing him well during 1988 Staff Course. There was a quick mutual liking. And the years ahead were on a good relationship. The next time we were togather in GHQ. And we both got superseded togather in 2006. I had no such career to claim for the next rank. But, it was definitely an act of injustic towards him. He took lot of time to reconcile with this poor judgement of our selection system. Actually, i have the honour to go to him and explain that rank is not every thing in life.

After leaving army i joined a bank in Karachi. He was too gracious to me. I was grated a guest room by him for almost two months. His personal courtesy and care towards me was great and i shall remain indebted to him always.

We generally say when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will "lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant. This has been one of the sadest days of my life. Javed you will always remain in my heart as a grrat friend. fare thee well.

Jamil said...

Javed Baloach, I always remember him due to his Rosy smile, Humorous style n humble nature. Had great time while he was commanding a unit at Kharian n I was OC OSDD Kharian. Though I never visited him as Commander Coast Guards but all the course mates who visited him praised his hospitality, care n love. My last meeting with him was at Engineers Mess Saddar Rawalpindi, while he was about to depart for Lahore n I was at Rawalpindi for few days trip. Though it was a brief meeting but we quickly cherished old memories, laughed, exchanged numbers n departed with smiles. Who knew this was our last meeting. Yesterday I was just trying to say hello to Tariq Fazal who informed me of the sad news of Baloach. May Almighty Allah rest his soul in in peace and grant his family the strength to bear this irreparable loss, Aameen. Javed Baloach my friend you will always be missed n remain in our prayers n thoughts. Major (R) Jamil Canada

Akhtar Janjua said...

Thanks JHB for paying tributes to a brother who thoroughly deserved each word you have written. It is extremely painful to reconcile that HE IS NO MORE. Javed was full of life, hugely intelligent, witty and knew HOW TO LIVE and his immigration to the eternal abode tells us that he knew HOW TO DIE as well. He was a master at the games of Chess and all categories of Card games ... Every master has to quit the game one day but he did it when he could still go on for 25-30 years more thus surprising us all, A HALLMARK OF CHAMPIONS.

Looking back .... He remained amongst the forerunners for better part of his professional career... It was only in early 2006 that I found him feeling defeated first time, like an athlete who had just lost a close race ... I did my bit to pull him up but that loss probably set in motion the decline as he had to visit AFIC first time in his illustrious journey... He recovered well to BE THERE in the ROLES YOU DESCRIBED ABOVE and did it with aplomb ....

A winner most of his life .... ALAS couldn't pull it off in the final game on the Chess board of life .....

Ghalib had said about his JAVED which I repeat for our JAVED who like Ghalib's Javed has gone too soon....

تم کون سے ایسے تھے کھرے داد و ستد کے
کرتا ملک الموت تقاضا کوی دن اور ۔۔۔


Akhtar N Janjua Tariq-4.

mujeeb khan said...

My intimate relationship began after our retirement. I am working in a security company & he was DG NADRA. He granted us a security guard contract & looked after my interest. Whenever we met, he had a peculiar smile, never saw him depressed. A highly spirited course mate lost by 55PMA L/C. May Allah SWT grant him janatul firdous.

Syed Ali Baqar said...

Condoling someone's death or writing an obituary is most difficult task, I feel, one has to do. Not always because of language being a barrier where one does not find suitable and justifiable words to express real feelings, but also most of the times one is overcome by emotions that freeze his ability to produce something worthwhile.

Mine is also a similar case with regards to Brig Javed Baloch. My Tariq-4 platoon mate for two terms - I always enjoyed his company for many reasons. He was well read even in that age when most us only restricted ourselves to reading course books (that too only halfheartedly), Javed was very knowledgeable and could discuss on many topics including religion - which was his very strong area due to his brought up in the family and his interest too. I recall, at one occasion during our 2nd term when TT was our platoon commander and was trying to teach us to take bath (in mostly western style), Javed very boldly and straightforwardly said "Sir, I don't agree with, this is not the Islamic way and we being Muslims should follow only the Islamic ways". And then explained the whole procedure.

In the longer run, at the senior ranks, I think he suffered due to his quality of calling spade a spade, otherwise I don't think he fell short anyone of our comrades who crossed the mark to make it to two stars.

We had a long break and probably never met during service except at the course reunions. But after our retirement we met more frequently at different occasions like mini reunions and children's weddings in Lahore.

Javed will always be missed on many occasions that will come in our lives.

Rest in peace Javed, may ALLAH SWT bless you with choicest place HIS jawar-e-rehmat. AAMEEN

Mustang Global said...

Just came to know about such a sad news; big loss, Can’t write anything except saying we have lost one of our dearest course mate and very good friend. He had been all out for course mates. We will miss him a lot. May GOD grant him Jannat ul Fardous and Sabbir to the family.Ameen.

Saeed Mirza said...

ایک بہترین انسان ، ہنس مکھ اچھی عادات والا -" یا اللہ اس شخص کے ساتھ رحم کا معاملہ کرنا "-آمین

aghafarooq said...

A man of great tributes and friend of friends. Am saddened by his loss but know for sure we are all in line to Join him sooner or later. My best wishes and prayers for him.

aghafarooq said...

A man of great tributes and friend of friends. Am saddened by his loss but know for sure we are all in line to Join him sooner or later. My best wishes and prayers for him.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful effort to pay tribute to an exceptionally fine officer, a true friend and an excellent human being. My platoon mate and close friend throughout our service and even afterwards when he followed me as DG NADRA Sind. Words cannot express the feelings but it would be well to say, " Well played my friend. You were among the best." Allah grant you a high place in the eternal abode. Aameen.

Tariq Sher said...

May Allah bless his soul. Ameen.