Why Khalid - 4? For one  it was my first platoon, and also because it was perhaps the largest platoon in the first term but clipped to a few in the final term. We were in all 31 (5 x relegees) and rest 26 fresh intake. and from here on the wings of the platoon started to be clipped. Seven were withdrawn ( Two relegees and five fresh). We shed away another four to 56 PMA Long Course - that left us with 20 by the third term.

The with the creation of new platoon (Khalid-5) and the re-shuffle after institution of the company system, the original platoon was further downsized and when we reached the final term (by this time the platoon was renamed as Tariq-Seniors-1) despite induction of five GCs from other platoons, Tariq Seniors-1 stood at 18. But that was not the final figure as we were to shed away one more original K-4 colleague Murad Khan Mahsud to 56 PMA Long Course just days before the passing out day.

So at the time of passing out we were only 17 (12 original K-4 and five later entries). However, all seven who were sent to Khalid-5 and later readjusted in various platoons, also passed out with the course. So in all 19 of original K-4 finally made it with 55th PMA Long Course.

Khalid - 4 with Captain Ghulam Nabi at Kot Najib Ullah RS during Ex Yarmuk

 The First Term Khalid - 4
 The Beginning
 The End in PMA - Tariq Seniors I

At the end of the fourth term, the 31 GCs heavy Khalid-4 had shrunk to just 18 - out of which there was to be one more casualty and finally 17 passed out. We owe our success to Captain Ghulam Nabi and then Major Talat Omar, SJ who finally protected us to his best and ensured we pass out with no more caualty..

14478 Arshad   - 14479 Asif (W) -   14484 Noor   - 14510 Naveed - 14513 Shigri (W) - 14799 Iqbal (R) - 14800 Naveed - 14801 Jalal

14802 Jamal (W) - 14803 Tasawwar - 14804 Waqar (W) - 14805 Masood - 14806 Tahir (W) - 14807 Inam - 14808 Khalid - 14809 Mujeeb

14810 GM, 14811 Shirazi - 14812 Tariq (R) - 14813 Younais - 14814 Razzaq - 14815 Murad (R) - 14816 Shahid - 14817 Aslam

14818 Zafar (W) - 14819 Jamshed - 14820 Fazal - 14821 Amir (W) - 14822 Safdar - 14823 Janjua (R) - 14824 Mushtaq (R)

 The Beginning

Well the enthusiasts, duly selected from the ISSB, finally started debussing at Abbottabad bus stand and I for myself was really overawed by a tall handsome middle aged man who wore extraordinary big moustaches and a strange smile who received me at the bus stand after I disembarked from the wagon I had got into from Rawalpindi. I was later to know that he was SM Bashir of First Pakistan Battalion - a lynchpin in boosting our morale and raising our spirits. However, for misspelling his appointment, I had to suffer - I will describe later. Our luggage was put into olive green coloured buses and the bunch happily started of its journey towards Kakul. All went well till we reached the main gate of the Pakistan Military Academy. We thought that we would be received and taken to our rooms straightaway personally by the man in charge of the institution. But soon the reality unfolded and a howling bunch of soldiers, smartly dressed in uniforms with a long stick in their hands almost fall on us. We later discovered that those were the drill staff and were to be addressed staff - still unable to "appreciate the situation", we were asked to take our luggage ourselves and march towards the back of a building, which we later came to recognize as the First Pakistan Battalion Mess. There in the lawn, we were asked to queue in behind a number of tables - here on our turn I was told that I have been assigned Khalid - 4 Platoon with the GC (gentleman cadet) number 14801. I looked in front of me and saw a building on which two boards displaying Khalid and Tariq were displayed. I was thrilled to see the building, but was soon to find out that Khalid - 4 wasn't that lucky and had been accommodated in three tin-roof barracks. So we were taken there and allotted rooms - and this was the place where Khalid - 4 was to stay till the second term when the company system changed and we were taken to the main building. Soon others start to pour in and we started shaking hands and asking each others' names and whereabouts. I soon found a young handsome roommate who introduced to me as Safdar Jahanzeb - what a fine gentleman he was and how lucky I was to have him as my roommate. Time was to tell how helpful and sincere he was and how he always helped me in packing the FSMO in seconds.

In the meantime another interesting episode was in the making. Razzaq and Murad who were from Military College, Jhelum were dressed in gray trousers and white shirts, the standard dress of PMA as well. While walking around the barrack after depositing their luggage, the found a rather confused looking person and hauled him. And started to "bull-shit" him well and proper. And when in the evening the entire lot of us was made to fall-in in front of our sergeant's room, GC GM found out what had happened to him. Perhaps this was the dose that made GM to revenge every junior he saw when he stepped into the shoes of Inters and thereafter. Sergeant Ithar (later Major General) and Corporal Javed Kamal and Lance Corporal Masood were appointed on us to transform us from the city/village boys into GCs.

At the company level our CSUO was Shafqat (later lieutenant general), JUCO Gardezi, CSM Majid Khan, CQMS Sajid Hussain and Sports Sergeant Zaka Ullah Butt. And the BSM - oh boy don't ask - he was BSM Jalil and what a fierce entity he was. His orders were that wherever a junior saw him , he should start to front roll till out of his sight. And how un lucky Khalid-4 was, since we used to dine in B_Mess and we had to pass in front of the Qasim Company lines where the mighty BSM had his abode and the OP. He knew exactly when our platoon was to be on the way to the Mess and there he used to be standing in the corridor window - which meant first front rolls and then rushing back to our rooms again to change as we could not enter the mess with dirty clothes on. While ASM Hassan Raffi was a class of his own, specially when munching very articulate English - yet taking one's air off.

As for our platoon commander, we had Captain Ghulam Nabi (later brigadier). I think he was one of the finest platoon commanders of our time - fierce, tough, humane and considerate. He spoke superb and flawless English and meant every word he spoke. He made our platoon bleed and succeed. It was a loss when he went away after first two terms and the interim arrangements made us suffer heavily when we had to shed away three more of our colleagues to 56 Long Course after the second term.

Now something about our very initial days experience - the hair cutting and the thumb size photos. The merciless haircut at the barber's shop was the first occasion when from dandies we became hair-starved cadets and certainly most of us were un-recognizable. The thumb sized photographs are a true testament of this - which even our parents refused to recognize. I still recall the good old "Chacha" who took more than half an hour for my haircut and while doing so, he confided that he is doing a mere five minutes' job in thirty minutes as once I left the shop, hell would lose on me. And how right he was - the moment I left the shop, I was cornered by a group of howling inters and what followed next in the form of front rolls and the frog jumps is another story. The cruel haircuts stayed with us as long as we stayed in PMA and twice a month we were to visit the shop, mostly on Sundays lest a hair dared to peep out of our berets. And related to the hair cut is the relegation of Murad Khan Mahsud just days before the passing out - I will describe the episode a little later.

The drill competition was a fiasco for Khalid-4. Although we prepared very hard for this, but somehow the platoon did not click and broke step - and was accordingly awarded the prestigious 8th position (not to mention out of how many). Our drill staff distanced from ourselves for quite a days till finally he came to terms with us once again.

The passing of the saluting test was an uphill task and for me it was more than that. And it had something to do with my misspelling the appointment of SM Bashir. For some unknown reasons, whenever I addressed him, I addressed him as "STAFF" instead of "SAHIB or as spoken SAAB" -this always infuriated him and he paid back in the same coin - whenever there was a saluting test, before I could even start walking, he would shout, "Bhatti Sahaib, OUT" - and it took me just near the mid term to soften his stance towards me and to clear me of the test and proceed on the mid term break.

Khalid-4 went in to Ex Yarmuk for which the inters had warned us that half of the platoon would die scaling up  the mountains - although nothing of that sort happened but there are lot of tales to remember. At one point, GC Zafar (later withdrawn after first term) fell sick or pretended to and laid down and refused to walk. GC Jalal volunteered to carry his big pack ( in addition to his own) till some pint where he could be off-loaded into transport, while the platoon marched off. We too crumbled forward, specially GC Jalal under heavy load, when suddenly we stopped in our track when we saw Captain Ghulam Nabi sitting on a culvert. When we approached near him, he with a strange smile on his face (which seldom appeared on him) asked GC Jalal, "Would you like to eat hot rice?" The two GCs naturally weren't expecting such a favour from him and thought some cloud gathering. But the two GCs were pleasantly surprised when Captain Ghulam Nabi took them to a nearby house where an ex-serviceman had laid down sizzling rice in a big dish. So the carrying of extra load had a pleasant ending as from here GC Zafar was back loaded to CMH Abbottabad.  Naveed Akbar also had his "leg fractured" as he fell down from a slope and was also back loaded on cot borrowed from the village. There is yet another episode of drinking water.....

In first term we lost many. Amir Mansoor wanted to be a doctor and a soldier too. And the toughness of the first term made him to opt for the first choice and was withdrawn. Muhammad Tahir, a very humble soul, wanted to be a soldier but was to be boarded out on medical grounds. Waqar staged a drama for his exit and was too withdrawn. We also lost Asif Haider and Shigri (relegess of 54 PMA Long Course) besides Zafar and Jamal. So in all we had 7 casualties right in the first term.

The tales continue ....

Khalid -4 and Tariq-1 Seniors at Abbottabad Get Together 2008 (Except Raja in extreme left photo)

We will update this page next year (Inshallah) when we meet again at Abbottabad on 11-12 April 2009 for perhaps the last mega get together of the course.

So some of us did meet again at Abbottabad on 11/12 April 2009 (FS Tony being a guest artist) - we did miss Abid Qadri who was an activity last year. Sir Arshad despite being around, wasn't available for the photograph and so did Iqbal. Nauman who was here a night before did not attend the 12th April activities - so we missed him too. From the last year, there is a change and you may find out yourselves. So that's it - who meets whom next year and where is an question mark - but I do pray that all goes well with us and our families and we do meet again hale and hearty. InshAllah.

Mangla 2011 (Sami Ullah Khatak is guest artist)

This was to be Khalid-4/Tariq-1 exclusive - but camera resistance is unavoidable

Recently, on 17 May 2012, an exclusive gathering was held at Artillery Mess, Rawalpindi, courtesy Muhammad Mujeeb to welcome Razzaq who was visiting Rawalpindi. A day earlier, Shahid Qadir had also invited Razzaq, Mujeeb and Jalal on a cup of tea. Since cameras are not allowed inside GHQ, no photo of the occasion was taken. However, following are some of the photos taken at Artillery Mess:

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