Friday, April 15, 2016

16th April 2016: Fifty Fivers Celebrating 39th Passing Out Day

One just wonders how quickly the time flies - it was just 39 years ago that on this day and about this time we all the Fifty Fivers in the Drill Square of Pakistan Military Academy slow marching away to the stairs behind the Battalion Mess of the First Pakistan Battalion to become commissioned officers in the Pakistan Army. And while sitting back as a veteran in my study, a film starts to flash from the day we joined the academy in May 1975 till the day we all started to hang our uniforms at various times of our military life.
Group Photo of the course with the chief guest General Muhammad Sharif, CJCSC

Some memorable moments down the memory lane:
Malaysian brothers Ismail and Ramli with Imran and Athar
Ex Yarmuk

Friends with Shaffi Luk Luk after his withdrawal 

Janjua sitting on top of the world with Tahir and Agha Ali Imam 

Boxing Second Term

At Para School

Para Firing at Tilla Ranges

The D-Day: 16 April 1977

Tariq Gets the coveted Sword of Honour

The Convocation
After 16 April 1977, the course withered away in units spread all over Pakistan, to be united once again at the School of Infantry and Tactics to attend the OWJOL. We were to meet again en masse at Command and Staff College from 1987 to 1991 and then a handsome number at the National Defence College for prestigeous War Course and some joining later for the NDC. Thereafter, it was the thinning out from the rans of majors upward while four of us rose to be the three stars. And then by year end 2014, we had all reverted to the civvies from where PMA in 1975.  Thus ended a abeautiful ear for all of us in uniform - and now we enjoy and share the fond memories of the days we all have spent together and Insha Allah continue to celebrate the day as we do each year.

Here is a rundown of some of the events after PMA:

At Hanna Lake while doing OWJOL at Infantry School

Tariq Khan showing his bayonet fighting skills and winning

Young captains at Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Janjua on a course in USA

Attending Staff Course, Quetta

Flanked by Iranian officers at Iranian Staff College

A memorable photo of Javed Baloch and Jamil at Kharian

A memorable photograph: Major Alvi and others with Afghan leader Gulbadin Hikmatyar 1988

Javed Sultan days before his shahadat

The Malaysian Host: Ramli hosting Solehria, Zaidi and Ashraf
 The four Three Stars
The lone ambassador: Umer Farooq addresses gathering in Nigeria
Along this beautiful journey clad in the uniform of one of the most prestigious armies of the world,  we witnessed rise of some of us to the prestigious higher ranks, while we also painfully bid farewell to some of our dear friends  who left us for their heavenly abodes - our dear friend Javed Baloch to be the last.

Here is recollection of get together since 2008:
Abbottabad 2008
Abbottabad 2009
Rawal Dam 2010
Mangla 2011
Mangla 2012
Abbottabad 2013
Gujranwala 2014 
Nathiagali 2015 - when Javed Baloch attended his last get together

This year we had a rather early celebrations, last month in Lahore, courtesy Zahir Khan and the Lahore Chapter, mainly due to rising temperature of Lahore, and it was good to see the young spirits of all of us caged inside apparently old looking appearances. The festive mood at Lahore will continue to be replicated in years to come to keep the bondage stronger and alive. 
So happy 39th Passing Out Day my dear friends and let us pray for the longevity, good health and happiness of all of us and our families. And while doing so, let us not forget our good old friends not with us anymore and also for the well being of their families. May Allah continue to shower His countless blessings on all of us. Aameen

Related Posts:
16 April 1977: The D-Day of 55 PMA Long Course
Time Passages


Muhammad Zahir Khan said...

Thanks Jalal for putting together lovely moments of this day of 1977. While we all have been through ups and downs of career as well as of life, the spirit of comradeship never faded. The bondage of friendship rather kept getting stronger with every passing day. We are certainly proud of our 'sprit de course' and cherish this wonderful forum.
We miss our colleagues who left for their heavenly abode too early and pray for their 'bakhshish' as well as wellbeing of their family members.
We also pray for good health and wellbeing of all our colleagues and their family members.

TARIQ said...

Feel deeply indebted to Jalal for rekindling the fond memories since 39 years until today. Thanks to the modern communication technology and selfless efforts of our technology savvy friends like Jalal, today we standout as a well knit caring and loving community fondly sharing our thoughts and experiences. Happy passing out anniversary to all, hope we all rejoice this day for many more years to come.