News From Lahore [Part-I]
Sons of Haider got married on 21 February 2012 in Lahore. Almost all Lahorites attended the reception as seen above (forgive the poor picture quality). Had Samad attended the reception, it would have become a memorable occasion as the next morning Samad departed for his heavenly abode.
Khalid Pervez's son got married recently in Lahore. The above photos have been shared by Saeed Mirza on Face Book. No other details are available.
I went to Lahore to attend the marriage of son of Ghulam Abbas from 14-16 February 2011. The mehndi ceremony coincided with the Valentine day - or was it planned as such? This provided me an opportunity to meet members of the Lahore Chapter. On mehndi day, I met Shirazi, Athar, Tariq and Khalid Javed. Following photos were taken by Shirazi'son on the mehndi day (and also appear on his blog: Changing marriage reception timings )
On Walima day, the attendance grew tremendously and we had a larger crowd. Those who came included Nadar Mir, Khalid Javed, Tariq, Kalyar, AJ Khokhar, Nauman, Iqbal, Tariq, Tariq Fazal, Javed, Tariq and others.
Nadar Mir had brought along his recently written book on Gwader which was scanned with keen eyes by all. He also intends publishing another book on geo politics of Pakistan soon.
I was in Lahore on the weekend to attend the wedding of Khalid Javed's daughter. Although I was invited for Mehndi as well on 30th September, but could not attend due to studies of my sons. The Mehndi functionw as well attended and I was told that Tassawar, Nauman and abbas had attended. as for the wedding , which wa held in the Crystal Hall of the Lahore PC on 2nd October, a sizeable number of coursemates from Lahore and outstation were present.
Ashraf Tabbasum, Mushtaq, Ali akbar and myself had come from Islamabad/Rawalpindi, while Younis, Shirazi, iqbal, Tassawar, Khalid, Haider, Abbas beside others were from Lahore. Due to recent order of the Punjab government, the rituals were marred by the lights off by the hotel management much to the dismay of the relatives and guests.
We saw the happiest parent on earth last evening. They were no other than Col and Mrs Maqsood. Reason: it was marriage reception of their daughter Tuba. And this gave an excuse to Brig Zahir Khan, Nadir Mir, Col Athar, Ateeq Shah, Nauman Siddiqui, S A J Shirazi from 55 PMA and fheir families to be at Dhulah Bagh (very aptly named marriage lawn for Canal View society) to join Maqsood and his family. Congratulation Maqsood and Mrs Maqsood). Ambience at Dhula Bagh was absolutely gorgeous. We enjoyed the aesthetically laid out colorful decor, live music and slide show of the happy moments of the couple. On the erudite side, a little information for Men at Their Best is that Brig Zahir is leaving for world tour in early April. Nadir says, “A time has come for Zahir when he can relax and enjoy.” Zahir is planning to visit half of the world before he returns back home. Happy voyage Zahir Khan! (report courtesy Shirazi at his blog Light Within - Can Someone be this Happy?)
Wedding - Sheikh Khalid Masood's Daughter (Report Courtesy Shirazi - Men at their Best) Spring and marriage season has come together this time. Yesterday was a wonderful evening (Feb 19, 2010), Brig Zahir Khan, Nadir Mir, Col Athar, Khokhar, Attique, Nouman Siddiqui, Younis, Maj Sikandar, Abbas, Iqbal, Tassawar, Khalid came to attend the marriage reception (Barat) of Shikh Khalid Masod’ daughter. After greetings and congratulating Masod, Nouman Siddiquie took us to the farthest corner of the beautifully laid out hall of Garrison Officers Mess. He had something important to share. He always has. Usually Khokar keeps holding the attention of all present but this was Nouman’s evening. Thanks Nouman for affording an opportunity to laugh our hearts out. A day earlier on Feb 18, 2010, Brig Nadir Mir, Col Attiqe, Col Athar, Maj Tiwana, Maj Sikandar, Maj Tahir, had gathered at a colorful and very heavily cultural Mehndi function of Col Khalid Masod Sheikh’s daughter. In addition to cultural rituals, we all shared the jubilations with happy Masood – kuri da pyo – father of the bride and his family including Masod's elder brother - a senior comrade in arms followed by a traditional and sumptuous dinner. And yes, we discussed modalities for course Annual Get Together scheduled on April 18, 2010 in Murree. Have you confirmed your attendance yet?
Lahore Get Together ( Report by SAJ Shirazi - Light Within ): This time it was in spanking new Defense Club FF Block, DHA Lahore. Most of us had not see the place that was discovered and selected by Col Athar for December Get Together 55 PMA Lahore Chapter. The facility is nice and you still can have it to yourself. Lahore is one of the cities where we have largest number of 55 PMA officers living (it is number 2 after Rawalpindi). The attendance was good. By 9 PM, around 30 members along with their families (Bring Zahir Khan, Athar, Najeeb, Baqar, Maqsod, Nouman, Hafiz, Abbas Khan, Waqar, Shafi, Tariq Fazal , Attiq, Tasawar, Khalid Javed, Sultan, Jamil and kids) had arrived. In addition to the same “you too,” “me too,” updates, still some more recollection of memories, we all had a very sumptuous and hot dinner.
The high point of the evening was Muhammad Jamil Akhtar and his wife (very loving couple) who had come from Canada and joined us for the evening. Plan of the get together in the middle of the week (Dec 9, 2009) was for Jamil because he is leaving back on Dec 11, 2009. Some of us took a chance to tell Mrs Jamil all the good things they could remember about him while he distributed his business card and some gifts for us. She was genuinely and pleasantly surprised to see the amount of love among the members of 55 PMA and for Jamil and she shot some of the moments with video camera. Jamil says he will send the video and if he does, you will see it here.
Mother of Col (R) Hafiz Shafiq passed away today (10th Nov) at Lahore. May God bless the departed soul and grant her family members the strength to bear the loss. Namazi-Janaza was attended by a large number of course mates. A wreath was also laid on behalf of the Course.
Mother of Maj (R) Javed Iqbal Phalia passed away in her native village. May God bless the departed soul and grant her family members the strength to bear the loss. Ameen
Our course mates (55 PMA Long Course) always look for an excuse to get together (sometimes they meet without an excuse though). Last evening Brig (Retd) Muhammad Zahir Khan, Col (Retd) Athar, Col (Retd) Maqsood, Abbas Niazi, Waqar and Shirazi met at DeSOM. It was wonderful evening and open expanse of the club was very inviting. What started as a casual chit chat turned out to be a meeting to discuss future get together, how to insure maximum participations and how to continue those collective good traditions that have become a hallmark of the 55 PMA. Also, it was decided that Zahir Khan will continue to be the President of the Lahore Chapter with Athar as a secretary and they will be assisted by Maqsood and Abbas. (Congratulations to these gentlemen who all are very energetic and go a very long way to keep the spirit of the course alive). Courtesy: SAJ Shirazi
Lahore chapter (55 PMA Long
Course) is always buzzing with social activities; looking for
opportunities to meet. Farewell to Brig (Retd) Zahir Khan and Brig (Retd)
Nadir Mir was planned during Ramadan at Iftar Dinner by Col (Retd) Athar.
Since then, everyone waited for the evening together eagerly. Evening
was very nicely planned by Athar (thanks to Athar for the nice food and
beautiful venue). DIG Welfare Abid Qadri, Brig Zahir Khan (thanks for
these images), Brig Zaka, Brig (Retd) Ghazanfar (who is in Lahore for a
small course), Baqar, Tariq Fazal, Ghulam Abbas, Tariq, Khokar, Maqsood,
Khalid Sheikh, Attiq, Najeeb and some more were there. Seating
arrangement was indoor but wiser out of us suggested took chairs and
brought outdoor in the law. Lady wives stayed indoor, rightly wondering
‘what all these people talk’ when they are together? (It
is good to see Najeeb after a long time - Jalal HB says)
In between the usual updates and mutual exchange of views, Abid Qadri took the evening by telling what he did to Hazrat Noor (another course mate) and so much more. Similarly, Khokhar also narrated some new ‘incidents’ and his experiences of 'stay at home husband'. Yes, he is home these days. ( Report courtesy SAJ Shirazi )
Ghulam Abbas's daughter was planned from 24-26th September and I was
cordially invited to attend all three functions of the wedding. So I along
with my family was there in Lahore. On 24th September, the Mehndi Day, I
just had to descend from the stairs of the Garrison Officers' Mess and moved
into the main wedding hall - it was the first glimpse of old faces like that
of Sir Athar, Ali Akbar and Sir Tariq. Soon w were joined by Zahir Khan -
his first public appearance after the death of his father-in-law.
Col (Retd) Athar who has recently come from minor Haj (Umra) arranged a
get together (also Iftar Dinner) and offered us an opportunity to meet
and tweet. In adition to the samptous food, men at their best who
attended (all living in Askari – IX- decided the date for the Lahore
Chapter get together to say farewell to Brig (Retd) Muhammad Zahir Khan
and Brig (Retd) Nadir Mir. Men at their best will be getting formal
invitation from Col Masod Sheikh. Take this as an early warning.
(Contributed by SAJ Shirazi)
Farewell Message by Zahir Khan: As I hanged my boots on 14th Jul, the day came with mixed emotions; the joy of accomplishment and sorrow of parting with a way of life. The last about three and half decade of my life time had been devoted to the profession of arms. It carried all the leadership challenges, career aspirations, achievements with occasional disappointments etc. Notwithstanding few slips here and there, it had been an era to be cherished and to be proud of. One of the most significant achievements of this time has been the unflinching comradeship of my colleagues in arms. It withstood the test of time and was always there to push me when I was dragging myself. I always felt a supporting pat from my friends radiating reassuring confidence when the chips were down. During various stages of the career, I along with my family always cherished the company of my PMA colleagues. This forum was the most comfortable one for us and always had nostalgic feelings. During my stay at Lahore for the last two years, this bondage was further strengthened with some 50 plus colleagues around. I expect and hope that this spirit would continue for times to come.
I spent the last day of my service at Okara with my Regiment in the
capacity of the Colonel of the Regiment. It was a unique emotional
experience to take off the uniform at the place where I started the
career some 32 years back.
I thank all the good wishes expressed on the day by various means by my
friends and colleagues. Most of the messages congratulated me while
welcoming to the new phase of life. All of them reiterated the strong
bondage of friendship, others praying for good health and prosperity
while few rendered some good advice. I value all these expressions of
affectionate concern for me.
I have moved into another house (14 J/1 Nisar Road, Lahore Cantt) where my contact numbers are 042-36602521 & 042-66994767.
Adios - Zahir and Nadir of Lahore Chapter
Report filed in by SAJ Shirazi
of Men of Steel
) Lahore was sizzling on one of the hottest evening on June 27 when over
75 members of 55the PMA Long Course Lahore Chapter and their families were
having a cool evening in a fabulous get together in an environment that is
always characterized by emotions, passions, love, affiliations and cherished
Evening started with greeting each other and usual “Oh, Hi, Long Time, Bohre Ho Gaie Ho, Bache Itne Bara ho Gaie Heian”. Everyone was updating each other. We all met Saqlain’s daughter, a wonderful young lady whos name is the best in the world, Khalid’s daughter who is leaving her marks in mass communication studies, Fazal’s son, a very cluefull ( I do not understand this word - so leave it like this for the author to correct - JHB ) young man, who has completed his 12th year of education and is looking for line of career (I think like his father he will settle for engineering). Then Qadri’s son who has graduated from Ghulam Ishaq Khan. He was escorting his father after major surgery. Like always I observed that seeing the course mates engrossed with each other, lady wives were surprised on ‘how these people act when they are together.”
Evening went well over sumptuous food. And at the end, Brig Muhammad Zahir Khan took the rostrum. Brig Zahir Khan is a wonderful man; passionate, full of conviction and emotions and completely in know of what is happening to men at their best who belong to 55 PMA. This being his last course event (he along with other brigadiers of 55 PMA is hanging his helmet on July 15, 2009), he updated about everything and also recapped what Lahore Chapter has been doing over past two years. His beautiful pictorial of previous occasions when we had gathered brought even more memories. Good by Muhammad Zahir Khan, you have knitted the 55 PMA family very well. We will remember each and every moment ever. But who says this was the last get together. We are going to meet again; soon. No? Stay tuned. Pictures of the event are coming.
Farooq along with a team of NUST examiners visited Lahore last weekend to take
the test of prospect candidates. He made a brief call to Zahir Khan on Mon the
22nd before leaving for Rawalpind). He was closely followed by Maj Wasif who was
on a hectic business trip which kept him away from meeting any of his
colleagues. The Lahore Chapter is all set to meet on this weekend along with
their kith and kin
to formally bid farewell to nadir Mir and Zahir Khan who are taking
their boots off on 15 July 2009 after a long marathon of 32+2 years.
Nearly 75 (all inclusive) people are likely to enjoy the evening together. (
JalalHB would certainly miss Zahir Khan's active participation in maintaining
the website as he was able to get together anyone visiting Lahore - I wish both
the very best of luck and hope Zahir Khan will find out some methodology to keep
the Lahore Chapter alive, lively and vibrant. )
This time news from Lahore are from me as I was there in Lahore on Abdul Rehman Dogar's son's Walima on 2 May 2009. Many of us were there - Nadir Mir, Zahir Khan, Ch Fazal, Akbar Ali and vice-a-versa (i.e. Ali Akbar), Iqbal, Haider, GA, Saleem, Tariq and Tariq Fazal. The function was good amid two very noisy generators just outside the venue - food was excellent and everyone had his plate full followed by Kulfa and Firni - all very delicious. Zahir Khan and Tariq Fazal came late as they had to attend another function and missed the feast ( Jalal HB )
Wedding of the daughter of Alizai with Zuhr Khan's son on Fri, 23rd Apr was a good occasion for the 55th family to celebrate. A large number of colleagues turned in to wish the new couple a happy future. We wish both the families a joyous and lasting relationship.
The news from Lahore is that Tahir Khan has flown to Toronto on 17 Mar with bag and baggage. He is setting up his business in Canada and trying to settle down there. We wish him success in his venture.
Wedding of Daughter of Arshad Khokhar: The wedding of daughter of Arshad Javed Khokhar on 14 Feb 09 was well attended by a large number of our local as well as visiting colleagues. They joined to express their good wishes for the bride and groom. A photograph taken with the newly weds is attached. Those who are missing from the picture were Hashim and Noor Shinwari from Karachi and Tahir Khan, Kalyar, Khalid Alizai and Abid Qadri.
Vincent Leaves for Canada: Vincent Samuel after spending about a month in Pakistan left for Canada via Karachi. During his stay in Pakistan, he has been the centre of social activities in Lahore and then Rawalpindi. On his way to Karachi before leaving for Toronto, he had a brief stay in Lahore on 13/14 Feb. He was seen off at the airport by Tahir & Zahir Khans. Before his departure, he is seen with the duo and Master Muhammad Ali Khan.
A recent visit by two of our stalwarts provided the Lahore Chapter a reason to
get together at the usual venue over a cup of tea. Ghazanfar Ali was in Lahore
for couple of days during first week of Feb. Other than playing golf with Zahir
and Shaffi, he was joined by about a dozen colleagues on 6th. He was closely
followed by Muhammad Asif, the Course Secretary, who also enjoyed the company of
some of the friends on 10 Feb 09. On both the occasions, the plan for the year's
mega event at Abbottabad was discussed with lot of interest. Two other course
mates who visited Lahore recently but didn't have time for a party include Syed
Hamid Naqvi (FS Tony) and Sheikh Tahir.
So finally Lahore rocked after a spell of more than two months: The month of Oct and beginning of Nov saw some activities picking up in Lahore. Immediately after Eid, Zuhr Khan was here along with his entire family for Nikah ceremony of his son with daughter of Khalid Alizai. They are the second set of course mates who have tied their children into nuptial knot. The first ones were Dr Mukhtar and Rasheed who entered into second generation relationship last year. End Oct, it was Wasif again in Lahore to get his newly established security business going. A sumptuous BBQ dinner was arranged for his family which was attended by a dozen colleagues along with their lady wives.
Earlier the same day, about a dozen course mates were invited for tea with Naeem Anwar Butt in Zahir Khan's office. Naeem is contemplating to help extending Wasif's security services in Islamabad. He was closely followed by Sardar Shoaib Mumtaz who on account of his politico-governmental commitments could only spare one odd hour for meeting his old friends over a cup of tea at the usual venue. Beginning Nov, it was Ashraf Tabassum who on his way to Rawalpindi spent some time at Lahore. The Course Coordinator was quick to grab this opportunity and organized a dinner at the local mess for the couple which was joined by about a dozen colleagues and their better halves. Some of the photographs taken on these occasions are attached for sharing these with other friends. You might notice some new faces in these pictures; Abdul Rehman on his retirement from Sialkot has permanently moved to Lahore and Ahmad Najeeb Khan is permanently back from his overseas job. ( The third pic sent by ZK could not be displayed since it was too dark and blurred. )
The Men At Their Best (55 PMA) and their families from Lahore got together Aug 30, 2008. Getting together is always the best of times for all of us. In addition to bringing back good old memories of 1975, it allows us to update about each other. What is happening to comrades in life and work. ZK (thanks to ZK for being the living spirit of 55PMA) gave an overview of what has happened since we last met. Presence of Sujah Ulla Tarar made the evening lovelier. Personal thanks to Athar for reminding me of that Story (Athar, somehow or the other you know what I mean). S A J Shirazi (Thanks Shirazi for sending the report instead of ZK, who probabaly got tired of his hectic routine and got away from Lahore for a while - Jalal HB). Shirazi also published the news on his blog at: http://sajshirazi.blogspot.com/2008/08/men-at-their-best.html
The beginning of Aug saw some activities picking up in the social circle of the 55 Group. First one to visit was Tariq Sher who on account of his commitments, could only spare some time for a game of golf with Zahir. He was closely followed by Wasif Ali Mahmud who is in the process of extending his business to Lahore. A good number of colleagues joined him for a tea break on 6 Aug at the usual venue. A group photo taken on the occasion is attached for viewing by all. Wasif in the centre is flanked by Azhar Butt and Ateeq H Shah on his right and Zahir and Sikander Munem on his left. Waqar, Mamood Tariq, Sher Zaman, Alizai and Abdul Rauf are standing in the rear.
15 August: Malik Zuhr Khan was in Lahore coinciding with the Independence Day. He took some time out to join some of the colleagues over a cup of tea in Zahir Khan's office on 15 Aug. Going with the tradition, a group photo taken on the occasion is attached. Sitting from right to left are Mahmood, Zahir ( the smart guy in town ) , Zuhr, Ashraf and Sultan. Standing from left to right are Maan, Abbass, Sher Zaman ( nice to see Sher Zaman attending tea breaks lately ), Iqbal and Tariq Fazal. (seen you after a long time Zuhr Khan). Thanks God Zahir has decided to wear T-Shirts - makes my job easier.
Recently webmaster of the site visited Lahore on 22 July and as usual there was a get together arranged by Zahir in his office. The occasion provided an opportunity to meet some of the retired course mates besides Zahir and Nadir Mir still with boots on ( forgive me for the hurriedly applied cosmetics ). Sir Samad and Athar took me off guard and let out their grievances against me using the word "original" which they considered offensive as it did not cater for the relegees of 53/54 Long courses. Apologizing for my mistake, I promised to make amends, but wherever have I used the term "original" it means the fresh intake in May 1975 and the relegees. But a few cadets joined us in 2nd term which leaves out their mention. I will try to get details of those relegated in the final term of 54 Long Course and make a special mention of them as soon as possible. We had a good tea and gossip - after which the gathering disappeared in the noisy Lahore.
The Evening of 9th Jun saw another small assembly of the Course over a dinner at Defence Officers Mess. This time it was done in the honour of Mumtaz Bajwa who was on a visit to Lahore. After a relaxing golfing game in the evening with Zahir Khan, Bajwa joined some of the course mates to recall the three decade old friendship while all enjoyed the sizzling Chinese cuisine. Those present included Iqbal, Noman Siddiqi, Shahid Aslam, Akram, Waqar, Maqsood and of course the organizer of the event, Zahir Khan. A group photo at the occasion was taken preserving the history.
The Lahore chapter members got together for the second time during the week on 31 May 08 to share an evening with three of their ʽshining stars. It was a fantastic setting in the flood-lit lawns of the Garrison Golf and Country Club where a sizzling BBQ dinner was enjoyed by twenty stags. It was organized in the honour of visiting colleagues from Bahawalpur, Pano Aqil and Karachi namely Ashraf Tabassum, Rashad Javeed and Abdul Qadir Shahid in the same order. Those who took time out to re-wind their clocks included Shahid Aslam, Mehmood Tariq, Athar, Javed Iqbal, Sultan Khan, Tariq Fazal, Khalid Javed, Asghar J Shirazi, Azhar Butt, Ijaz, Mustafa Maan, Haider Raza, Waqar Aslam, Tassawar Rana (Gwadar fame), Tariq Mahmood, Maqsood (MinTin fame) and of course, the local coordinator Zahir Khan. To keep the history, a group photo was taken in the lovely setting of the golf course which is attached to demonstrate the united spirit of the course.
15 May 08: After a brief pause, the Lahore Chapter got another reason for getting together. On 14 May, it was a dinner in the honour of Ali Raza Qazilbash, who was on a visit to for couple of days. About a dozen colleagues came over at Defence Services Officers Mess to enjoy a sumptuous meal. Those attended included Tahir Khan, Noman Siddiqui, Khalid Javed, Maqsood, Sher Zaman, Iqbal Badar (new entry), Ateeq Hussain Shah, Azhar Butt, Tariq Fazal and of course the local organizer Zahir Khan.
A surprise of the evening was a
somewhat forgotten colleague Mr Saeed ud Din (sitting in the centre in photo
on the right) ex Tariq 4 who migrated to
USA and got settled in Dallas, Texas. He is currently visiting Pakistan and
joined the occasion with the kind courtesy of Noman Siddiqui.
6 May 08 : After his retirement, Iqbal Badar has taken a job in Lahore and moved here last week. He is still in the settling down phase and has moved singly along with his golf bag. To welcome him and to enjoy the company of another visiting golfer, Zahir ul Islam, a golf match was played along with some local club members on Sunday (4th May) morning. As usual, it was followed by a sumptuous brunch with plenty of Lassi. It was a great fun to enjoy the early morning warming sunshine in the green environment of the Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club. Zahir Khan
After a hearty participation of
the members of Lahore chapter in Abbottabad grand assembly, they again got
together on 18 Apr 08 along with their families to celebrate 31st
anniversary of the passing out. A good number turned out to enjoy the cool
and serene environment of the lawn of a local Mess. It was very fascinating
to share the Abbottabad episode with all those who could not make it to
there in the BBQ filled air. The esthetically illuminated environ with live
background music added a romantic tone to the setting. The dinner was also
joined by Mumtaz Bajwa and Ashraf Tabassam who happened to be in the town at
the time. Asghar Kalyar especially came over from Sargodha and broke his
self imposed ʽisolationʼ since his defeat in the general election.
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