News From Rawalpindi / Islamabad

 

 
 

On 27th November, a contingent of Khalid-4/Tariq-1 platoons with Jamshed has been part of, visited Haripur to call on him. The group included Janjua, Naveed, Ikram, Arshad, Mujeeb, Noor, Jalal beside Sami Ullah who was picked up en route from his college near Haripur before we had a cup of tea with him on a lush green lawn. We were required to be stamped twice on our right arms for free exit. Photos taken on the day are given below:

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

On 21 March, walima reception of Lt Col Zahoor's son was held at Jacaranda Club, DHA Phase-II Islamabad.  The photographs taken on the occasion are as under:


Another evening with Shahid Qadir: On 27th December 2012, Nauman who had come from Lahore called on Shahid Qadir alongwith Jalal, Arshad, Mujeeb and Kiani. Shahid received everyone of us with his usueal big arms and smile and we all stayed with him for more than one hour. The photographs taken on the call on show Shahid ever smiling and healthy. We wish him early recovery.

 

Dr Mukhtar could not make it, due to some commitment. We the platoon mates of Shahid Qadir will continue to visit him off and on. Next evening with Shahid Qadir will be arranged in January, when Nauman, Khalid Javed and Tassawar come from Lahore specially to meet Shahid.


A brunch was arranged by Zaheer ul Islam at his village Matore near Rawalpindi on 22 December 2012. All course mates in/around Rawalpindi/Islamabad were invited accompanied. The reaction time though was very short and some could not make it because of it. I could not attend as my wife was unwell - this photo is shared by Akhtar Nawaz Janjua on Facebook and has been taken with all credit to him. You can see for yourself who all attended. Nice gesture by Zaheer. Now it is time that Shoaib Mumtaz also reciprocates and arrange a brunch at Wah..

On 18th December, some of the platoon mates of Abdul Qadir Khan Shahid called on him at his residence in the Parade Lane, Rawalpindi to enquire about his health and talk of the good old days.

The evening was planned by Sir Arshad, who coordinated with Ikram, Mujeeb, Shahid Noor and Murad Khan for the call on. Jalal coordinated the call on timings with Shahid's SO and Sir Arshad kept reminding everyone to be punctual and be on time. And this excellent coordination resulted in everyone right there at the given time. Shahid Qadir was certainly very pleased to have all of us around and we remained with him for almost an hour. Murad Khan was as talkative as ever and made us laugh with his anecdotes dramatically. As can be seen, Shahid Qadir was smiling, talking and laughing with us and we hope and pray that he gets well sooner than before.

Our platoon mates from Lahore, that is Nauman, Khalid and Tassawar, are also planning a trip to Rawalpindi to call on Shahid Qadir. When it happens, Sir Arshad takes upon himself to collect everyone from the platoon so that we collectively visit Shahid Qadir.


On 3 November 2012, there were two weddings taking place simultaneously: the weddings of daughters of Shahid Ahmed (AWT Mess) and Mumtaz Ahmed Bajwa (Jacaranda Club, DHA Islamabad). Due to simultaneity of t events, t participation of course mates got divided between the two functions. Most of the course mates first came to convey their good wishes to Shahid at the AWT and then proceeded to attend wedding of Bajwa's daughter. When I reached AWT Mess, a large contingent of course mates was leaving for the Jacaranda Club and only a few remained behind. Herein under are the photos taken by me at the wedding of Shahid's daughter.

However when after attending the wedding of Shahid's daughter and I reached at Jacaranda Club, I was too late as everyone has left and only family members from both sides were left, preparing for the departure of the barat. I was luck to have met Bajawa and conveyed my best wishes on the wedding of his daughter. I also requested him to send me photos of course mates as taken by the 'official photographer' so that I could add these here. If any of the attnedees have taken photos on the occasion, they may please send me through my e-mail (jalalhb@hotmail.com).


The wedding of daughter of Munawer Ahmed Solehria was held on 1 November at Jacaranda Club, DHA Islamabad. The wedding was well attended by a large number of course mates. Even course mates from as far as Karachi (Wasif and Zahir), Lahore (Farooq and Abbas) and Nowshera (Rashid) had come to attend the ceremony. Herein under are some of the photos of those present, taken by Jalal's Smartphone:


It was good to see Shahid Noor in a function after the shahadat of his son Captain Sharjeel


Wasif and Zahir had come all the way from Karachi to attend the wedding

Two more weddings are planned for 3 November 2012: The weddings are of the daughters of Mumtaz Ahmed Bajwa and Shahid Ahmed. These will be covered subsequently.

The wedding of second daughter of Ghazanfar soon followed on 19 May 2012. A large number of course mates besides others attended the ceremony at the jacaranda Club, DHA Phase-II, Islamabad. A few photographs taken on the occasion are as under:

It was a surprise to find Malik Bashir [right photo: left of Shahid Noor] after a long time. Since the photos were taken by my cellular phone, some of the photos came out of focus, otherwise more photos would have been added.


Marriage of Ghazanfar's daughter [21st April 2012]: An occasion was created on 21st April at the Jacaranda Club, DHA-Phase II, Islamabad for a get together of a select group of course mates invited by Ghazanfar on the eve of marriage of his beloved daughter. It was raining outside but the marriage hall was cozy, noisy and almost packed to its capacity with guests.

 

I took a few photographs of some of us attending the ceremony, which Re being shared (Jalal HB).

We all wish best of luck to the newly wedded couple and pray for a long and happy married life for them.


Jamil Bravo is visiting Pakistan these days along with his family. A special evening and reception was held at the NDU, Islamabad to honour the family. A select gathering of course mates attended, while a few regretted or were not available due to short time available to arrange the function on 2nd March to share a few hours with Jamil and his family. Here are some photographs taken on the occasion:

Since Jalal's son was taking the photos from his mobile camera, Mansur knew where he should be standing - and he along with others 'rushed' to the 'centre of attraction' to have him in the group:

Those not seen in the photos included Agha Umer Farooq, Farooq Iqbal, both Bajwas, Iqbal Badar Asif Alvi and others. I hope I get photos taken by NDU photographer to add these here.

Daughter of Azhar Ali Shah got married on 25 February 2012 at Rawalpindi. A large number of course mates attended - many even joined in from Lahore and Karachi. Here are a few photos sent by ZID from Karachi which were taken by his son present on the occasion:


On 18th September Aman Ullah hosted the walima of his wedded son with the daughter of Ghouri. For those who do not remember Ghouri, let me explain that Ghouri had joined us in the first term but had to bid farewell to arms just after the first term as his future was somewhere else. He is well settled now and lives in Islamabad.

A sizeable gathering of course mates got together at 1969 restaurant under the foothills if Shakarparian Hills, Islamabad. The first three photos are from my cell phone camera. The remaining photos from herein under were shot by Asif Ilyas.

From the group photos, you may be able to find out who all were present.

On 18 September, a parallel get together was going on at the NDU and most of our war course/ NDC qualified course mates were attending the get together. However, some including Shahid Maqbool and Munawar made it to the venue to attend the reception.


An Eid Milan Party was thrown by Lt Gen Agha Umer Farooq at NDU on 10 September 2011. A large number of course mates along with lady wives attended. Read more about the gathering....

Walima of Arjumand Iqbal's son was held on 20th July 2011 at Islamabad. A very large number of guests attended. Besides many other serving and retired military officer, a large number of course mates also attended. We will wait for photographs from Arjumand Iqbal, but above is a cut-paste collection of photos from previous occasions', who attended the walima. I may have missed one odd, but generally all have been included.

Jamil Bravo in Pakistan: I received a phone call today (19th february 2011) and the caller identified him as Jamil. Since I do not any Jamil in Pakistan, I asked for more identification. The caller said he had come from a "cold region" outside Pakistan. And I didn't take a second to identify Jamil Bravo as only one Jamil that I know who lives in a cold region, that happens to be Canada, and I guessed right. Soon after Jamil Bravo with his wife arrived at my house. It was good to see him accompanied at my doorstep. And for the next almost an hour we chatted and laughed and photographed. He is in Pakistan and as a surprise has not informed anyone, even his own near and dear ones.  Due to his hectic schedule, he declined any get together and said he would try to meet individually some of the course mates as time allowed. So don't be surprised if you get a call from him as he is here for a few days more. Jamil also called on Farrukh Hayee and both are seen smiling above right (though Farrukh from behind his beard).


The wedding of Mujeeb's son was the second event after Khalid Javed's daughter's marriage at Lahore. I had to rush back to Rawalpindi and barely made it in time. The venue was Topi Rakh auditorium, sandwiched between Rawalpindi Golf Club and the Ayub Park. These was a large gathering of the course mates, as can be seen from the two sets of photos above and below. Mujeeb also told me that Tassawar and Nauman had accompanied the barat to Pakpattan (Mujeeb's hometown).

Seeing me in all photos will bring smiles to Munawar, Arjumand and Tariq Sher. Seen not in the photos is Shahid Maqbool, whose photo unfortunately became blurred and has not been added.


On 7 August 2010, the Islamabad/Rawalpindi Chapter met at the lush green Golf Club of Islamabad Club, which looked dreamy and impressive at night. A large number of course mates along with their lady wives attended. Although many more had confirmed their attendance, but as usual to the agony of the course secretary did not turn up.

After the pleasantries and usual hello-HIs, the dinner was served. The food was good and plenty and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it.

Thereafter, the course secretary Col Asif got the male participants fall-in outside the dinning hall for the update on accounts. He also informed that the dinner was arranged due kind courtesy of Ghori and the hall booking charges had been waived off by Arbab Zahid Pervez (few would remember him - he was from 54th PMA and joined us and later bid farewell to the arms after our first term) who is presently the Captain of Islamabad Club. Asif also apprised the participants about the birthday of Jalal (that's me), to which everyone sang the opening verses of "happy Birthday to you...." (thanks all for that), though Akhtar Nawaz Janjua reminded me that I was now a year closer to my final journey.


Asif Ilyas had his son married and many of us were invited for the Walima at Crystal Hall, AWT Mess, Rawalpindi. Those of us present there included Shahid Maqbool, Ashraf Tabbasum, Ghazanfar, Tahir, Raja, Naseer, Zafar, Ikram, Zahoor, Sibqat, Tariq, Shafiq, Mohsin Amir, Aslam Javed, Abdul Rauf Khan, Farooq Ahmed, Tariq Fazal from Lahore - and of course Jalal HB.

Any event in the twin cities of Islamabad / Rawalpindi becomes a venue for a mini course get together. After the course get together at Rwal Dam recently, the wedding of Ashraf Tabbasum's daughter was yet another occasion for many of us to join the event spread over two days. The "Mehndi" was held at the Rawalpindi Golf Club and was attended by a few of us. The pleasant presence of Jamal Zia from Lahore gave new colour to the occasion.

The wedding attracted, beside many senior officers, a large number of us. Presence of Khalid Javed (from Lahore) was a surprise. Zahir was missed as he chose to be in foreign lands. Regretfully, the photos from my mobile were hazy and blurred.

Khalid Javed and Mushtaq took a few snaps and were requested to send these for inclusion in the site. The above photos are courtesy Mushtaq Khan and am obliged.


(Delayed) Eid Milan Party: So finally it did happen on the night of 22 November at Islamabad Club. Asif had arranged a wonderful dinner beside ensuring a good gathering. Almost fifty course mates, mosty accompanied, attended. There was everybody who are usually in Rawalpindi/Islamabad and counting everyone would be difficult (counting the absentees was easier).

However, one can see most of the attendees in the photographs. Everyone was willing to be "shot" to immortalize the event (Munir should be happy). After pleasantries, dinner was served and it was really good.

On dinner tables, everyone ate and chatted.  After the dinner, Asif called for a half-circle conference to apprise everyone of the situation of course fund and donations. Three venues for the next course get together were discussed ( Peshawar as inviteby Tariq Khan, Nathia Gali and Murree). Although, Peshawar should have been selected as Tariq Khan had sent in the invitation long ago, but due to security situation, it was the opinion of the majority that attendance would be thin at Peshawar. So Murree was finally selected for which  Zaheer  will be making all the arrangements. And then the house was open for a lighter mood and jokes. And it was after a long time that Alamgir got a chance to corner Sami Ullah Khattak, who was equally offensive to shoot back all NRO type allegations. And amid laughing and smiling, the party came to an end.


There have been no news lately to keep the website active except the other day when a "Fauji Truck" ripped my car's bumper which finally led me to the Akbar Market near Mareerh Pull, Rawalpindi for repairs on this Saturday. The mechanic, denter and the painter announced a time frame of 4-6 hours for the job. To while away the time, I just got on to the Murree Road for a stroll (though at 1 pm it wasn't any time for any such adventure specially without a headgear for a half bald person like me). And at that time I remembered that Islam (Ul Haq)'s office was nearby (he being the MD WASA), so I decided for an unplanned call on. Since I wasn't dressed up for the occasion, his reception staff eyed me with curiosity and suspicion as I did not spell out my rank with the name. Reluctantly, I was ushered in and was met with hearty smile and big hands. I was served with a cold drink, followed by a KFC burger and then tea with biscuits. It was a delight to be there in his office recalling old days in an office overlooking Liaquat Bagh. While he was busy in his office work, I snapped him with my mobile phone for those who haven't met him since long. After spending sometime with him, when I announced my departure, he asked his staff car wala to drop me back to the workshop (which saved me from another stroll under the scorching sun).


The marriage of Tariq Sher's daughter on 12 March 2009 at AWT main banquet hall was the venue of a mini course get together since a large number of serving and retired course mates attended. Agha Umar Farooq from chilling Quetta (on vacation as "his school" is closed), A-Z Shahid from Karachi, smartly  dressed Zahir from Lahore and Ghazanfar from chilly Abbottabad were among those who came from out satiation. Locals included Ashraf Tabbasum, Shahid Maqbool, Farooq, Munawar, Azhar Ali Shah, Mumtaz Bajwa, Rashid Javeed, Shahid Ahmed, Munir, Dr sahab (Mukhtar), Javed Ashraf Bajwa, Sheikh sahab (Tahir), Qayyum, AA Janjua, AN Janjua, Mansur,  Zuhr Khan, Fahim Khawar, Jahangir, Rizwan, Raja (Jinn), Allah Dad (Kurd??), Hayee, Asif, Zafar Masud, Asim Jilani, The WASA man (Islam), Shigri, Shoaib Mumtaz (the election man), Akram, Alamgir - anyone left. Yes of course Jalal HB (Myself). The function ended with a good dinner amid chats of yester years and discussions on future plans and prevailing situation.

Mini get together was held in Rawalpindi on the eve of marriage of daughter of Lt Col Mujeeb. Many course mates attended. Zhair and Younis had come from Lahore while Vincent Samuel who is currently in Pakistan was also there. Others included Shahid Maqbool, Farooq, Tariq Sher, Asif, Ali Akbar, Mansoor, Naveed Akbar, Zafar and of course myself. The picture quality is not very good as I shot these with my mobile phone. The event was well attended and all of us had a good chat - specially with Vincent Samuel whom we met almost after passing out from PMA.

 Rawalpindi Get Together : And finally there was a get together of the Rawalpindi Chapter on 25th October 2008 at the Rendezvous Restaurant, Saddar, Rawalpindi. I walked in at around 8:15 as against 8.00 PM and found a number of course mates already in the open lawn of the restaurant, gossiping and welcoming anyone who dropped in. And soon it was all packed with some 47 of us.

The get together was basically aimed at welcoming the three two-stars who have recently been posted to Pindi and in all we have five two stars, namely Bajwa, Solehria, Shahid Maqbool, Zaheer and Rashid. Of the recently retired one stars, we had Qayyum, Kahlon, AN Janjua (AA Janjua and AI Janjua were absent), beside myself. Of the serving one stars we had the roaring Tariq Sher, Mansoor and Sheikh Tahir.

The gossiping and photographing by me to add pictorials in the otherwise stale website of the course continued till a call for the dinner was made by the course secretary, Col Asif. The dinner was very lavish, tasty and everyone who wasn't watching his weight had plates full. After the dinner, Col Aisf got us all together and apprised all of course fund details, donations by some of the course mates (including announcement of Rs. 10,000.00 by Sir Basharat right there on the spot). He also apprised us of the settlement of  late Javed Sutan's family on Peshawar Road and education of his children.

He appreciated the efforts of some of the course mates, specially Munawar A Solehria in his efforts to look after the settlement phase of late Javed's family. Asif also spoke of my concern about the stalemate in the website and everyone readily agreed to participate in providing me some news to rejuvenate the site. It was also decided by a unanimous vote that the we will once again give the opportunity to Ghazanfar to host the 2009 Annual Course Get Together at Abbottabad. Although Ghazanfar proposed a two night stay at Abbottabad, but it was finally decided to have a one night show as was done in 2008. The get together finally ended with a Three Cheers by Munir for Asif for being a very effective course secretary and for his efforts to keep everyone onboard and well informed about everyone.


 6 September 2008 : While the nation observed 6 September 2008 as the Defence Day, a large number of one stars finally donned off their uniform and bid farewell to a 33 years long army career. Those who are bidding farewell to arms include Arjumand, Tahir Kahloon, Jalal, Munir (took an earlier relief), Abdur Rehman, Akhtar Nawaz, Bajwa, Akhtar Abbas, Qayyum and Rao Jamil (anyone left??) - Look at the following young and energetic faces and then look back in a mirror and find out what have we all lost and gained. Read the Full Report ...


 Honours and Awards:
23 March 08: Beside others, Abdul Qayyum, Akhtar Abbas Janjua and Rao Jamil awarded with Sitara-e-Imtiaz (M)
29 March 08: All members awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (M) on 14 August 2007, were given the medals in a specially held investiture ceremony held in Rawalpindi. The recipients included: Sheikh Muhammad Tahir, Jamal Zia, Shahid Ahmad, Muhammad Faheem Khawar, Tariq Sher, Agha Ali Raza Qizilbash, Zuhr Khan, Muhammad Iftikhar Mansoor, Munir Ahmed, Arjmand Iqbal Janjua, Muhammad Javed Iqbal, Ghazanfer Ali, Mukhtar Hussain, Akhtar Nawaz Janjua, Tahir Ul Mulk Kahlon, Muhammad Zahir Khan, Nadir Mir, Muhammad Asif Alvi and Jawed Ashraf Bajwa.


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