News From KARACHI
Aerial view of the gathering
A beautiful and memorable get together was arranged by Zahir ul Islam at the Flag Staff House on a very delicious and sumptuous dinner. All but Zahid Akbar and Asim attended. It was an occasion which was almost last function of the Karachi Chapter with Zahir ul Islam as the Corps Comd Karachi. Coincidently Jamil was here at Karachi from Canada and he became the Lucky one who attended two get together of Karachi Chapter of 55th within a span of two days.
It was a gathering with all having mixed emotions. A moment of joy and
pride that Zahir ul Islam was going as DG ISI, an honour for 55th and of
sadness as Zahir ul Islam was leaving Karachi for his next appointment.
Very emotional addresses were delivered by Wasif on behalf of all officers of the 55th Karachi Chapter and reciprocated by Zahir ul Islam.
Souvenir of 55th Karachi Chapter was given to Jamil by the hands of Zahir ul Islam. Jamil was also handed over souvenirs for the three 55th representatives at Canada to be handed over by Jamil. A souvenir was also given to Jamil to be handed over to the family of the deceased Shahid Aslam.
The function ended with lot of exchange of love and affections at around mid Night. (by ZID)
Muhammad Jamil Akhter (Jamil Bravo) was on a short visit to Karachi on 11-12 March 2012. Zaffar Iqbal Durrani arranged a get together in his honour on a dinner on 11 March 2012 at his place. All attended Less Zahir Khan, Rashid, Gulzar, Wasif and Rafaqat being out of city and Gen ZahirUlIslam, Inam Karim, Zahid Akbar, Omer due to their pre-commitments. It was a very lively gathering which all enjoyed over a sumptuous dinner. Below are the photo coverage of the function.
Zahid's daughter got married on 28th January 2012 at Karachi. The occasion became a mini get together of course mates at Garrison Club Malir Cantonment. ZID has sent a few photos of the occasion.
Gen Shahid Maqbool from all the way from Rawalpindi attended. All from the Karachi chapter attended less few.
Welcoming Shake hands
A Get Together at Creek Club Karachi of 55th Long Course on the eve of visiting Lt Gen Agha Umer Farooq was arranged on Sunday the 15th Jan 2012. It was a very nicely arranged brunch on a very pleasant cool Sunday afternoon. Lt Gen Zahir Ul Islam also joined the gathering. All intermingled with each other in a very cordial and friendly nostalgic atmosphere. Herein under are some of the photographs taken on the occasion [ as sent in by ZID ]. All arrangements were made by none other than Wasif - the Karachi Chapter lifeline.
On the brunch table
Final gup shup and departure
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].
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).
Wasif's Son & Daughter Wedding--- A Mini Course Get Together -
18 September 2011 (as reported
by Zaffar Iqbal Durrani):
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).
Asif Ilyas in Karachi:
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. ZahirUlIslam 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.
Recently there were two occasions where our Karachi Chapter together; one on the eve of walima of Durrani's son and the other when Younis visited Karachi. Both reports are filed by Durrani in his words as herein under:
Younis in Karachi: Here are pictures of today of a mini get together at Creek Club Karachi, nicely arranged by Major Wasif 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.
PS by Jalal HB: Younis retired as Lieutenant Colonel and not as major as reported above.
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 ZahirulIslam, 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.
It was a very nice function with very delicious 9 course dinner. The Bridegroom was presented with a nice gift of a wrist watch on behalf of the 55th Long Course Karachi chapter. It was arranged by Wasif and presented by Brig Inam Karim.
In the pictures; the course officers with the bride and the bridegroom, the wives with the newly weds, Qizilbash and Hashim in a cribbing session at a secluded corner found by them and caught by me.
The officers enjoying food.
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)
The annual get together at Mangla paved the way for a special get together by the Karachi Chapter on 20th April, organized by Wasif and pictorial coverage provided by Zafar Iqbal Durrani. Herein under is the pictorial coverage of the event, which was also attended by course secretary Asif and Iqbal Badar who specially flew from Islamabad to attend the get together. The get together was held at the Creek Club and Zaheer ul Islam graced the occasion as the chief guest.
It was good to see some old missed faces like that of Asif Ameen who hadn't been seen since long. Family of late Mumtaz had also been invited. An important figure of Karachi and once driving force behind the Lahore Chapter Zahir Khan could not attend as he is suffering from backache and has been advised complete rest by the doctors.
After the dinner, souvenirs (the daggers presented by Tariq Khan during 2010 get together could not be sent to members of the Karachi Chapter) and shields (special shield of the course of the Karachi Chapter) were presented to all participants, including the family of late Mumtaz. As can be seen from the photograph below, Asif Ameen is seen on a wheel chair. Asif is long suffering from Parkinson's and cannot even speak, for which he uses a diary to write when conversed with. It is because of personal efforts of Wasif that Asif Ameen was found out and invited on the occasion.
Mrs Mumtaz being presented with souvenir and course shield by begum Zaheer ul Islam
The farewell and thank you speeches by dashing Wasif, Asif, Inam and Zaheer. Here it may be added that the entire function was personally arranged and hosted by Wasif and the shields presented on the occasion were exclusively presented complimentary by Wasif
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 Khwaja 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."
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)
24 October 2020: 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 JalalHB)
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.
Karachi was recently venue of 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 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.
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