16 April 1977 - The D Day

16 April 1977 was a bright sunny day - a day that we all awaited for the last two years since May 1977 when we first stepped inside the gates of PMA and were hauled by the shouting staff and our immediate seniors (uppers in PMA language - ex 54 PMA Long Course), who had recently put on the second bar on their shoulders and were very excited to avenge their "welcome" from us. But on that day everything was forgotten since a new life was awaiting a few hours away.

The drill square of PMA was brightly decorated with colourful flags and buntings. The visitors' gallery was full with our parents and relatives, equally emotional, excited and joyous. The chief guest for the day was General Muhammad Sharif, the CJCSC, accompanied by General Zia Ul Haq, COAS. Being the odd numbered course, the course was the baby of First Pakistan Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel GM and Major Zahid Omar Khan as his adjutant. The parade marched in under BSUO First Pakistan Battalion Fahim Khawar.

After the parade review, Qasim Company was awarded with the Quaid-e-Azam banner, which was previously held by Tariq Company. This banner is given to the best company of the academy based on its performance in all fields of training, sports, curricular and co-curricular activities.

Review of parade by the chief guest General Muhammad Sharif, accompanied by Battalion SUO Fahim Khawar, followed by COAS General Muhammad Zial ul Haq, Brigadier Ahmed Kamal (Commandant PMA) and Lieutenant Colonel (later Lieutenant General) GM, Battalion Commander 1st Pakistan battalion


On right is the Tariq company rear - GC Jalal is right rear guide

Thereafter the adjutant, riding on the traditional white horse, arrayed the parade for the march past. After the slow march past, the senior division marched forward for oath taking ceremony. After the hair raising recitation of the Holy Quran (Sura Anfal) and the oath taking, BSUO Tariq Khan, CSUO Ahmed Najeeb Khan and Course Under Officer of the graduate course Owais Mustafa were called forward for the award of the Sword of honour, President's Medal and COAS cane respectively.

Battalion SUO Tariq Khan receiving the coveted Sword of Honour

Company SUO Ahmed Najeed Khan receiving the president's medal

Awards given by General Muhammad Sharif, CJCSC while COAS General Zia ul Haq (left) and Brigadier (later Lieutenant General / DCOAS) Ahmed Kamal Khan, Commandant PMA look on - In the right photo, Major Zahid Omar Khan, adjutant 1st Pakistan Battalion is also seen

Then the chief guest addressed the parade and congratulated the passing out cadets. He also congratulated the two Malaysian cadets who were part of the 55 PMA Long Course and passed out with it. There after the final emotional moment came when the senior division, led by the senior under officers of the course, marched out of the drill square in slow march towards the 1st Pakistan Battalion Mess and exited the drill square for the last time - carrying sweet nostalgic memories of the last two years which shall be treasured for times immemorial. After the exit of the senior division, the junior division marched out of the drill square and the parade ceremony ended at 10.45 hours.

 OTHER AWARDS

ARTILLERY MEDAL - CSUO AZHAR ALI SHAH TACTICS PLAQUE - BSM AGHA UMAR FAROOQ PT MEDAL - GC MUNEER AHMED BUTT SHOOTING PLAQUE - CJUO KHALID PERVEZ

  Senior Division 55th PMA Long Course marches off from the drill square of the PMA for the last time 

  CONVOCATION 

 

Left to Right: Engineers Medal for CSUO Ahmed Najeeb Khan, AEC Medal for GC Jalal Hameed Bhatti, Signals Medal for Sgt Mukhtar Hussain
(Colonel Ameen, DOS in the background)

The convocation was held at the 1st Pakistan Battalion Mess at 12.00 hours. The recipient of the BA / B Sc degrees and various medals were dressed in grey suits and black gowns. The cadets marched in slow motion on the drum beat of the band in two rows. CSUO Ahmed Najeeb Khan received two medals: the Prime Minister's Gold Medal for overall best in educational pursuits and the Army Engineers Award for best in Physics and Mathematics. GC Jalal Hameed Bhatti was awarded with AEC Gold Medal for securing first position in the Humanities Group. Sgt Mukhtar Hussain was awarded with Signals Corps Medal for best in Science Group. After the chief guest's address, the convocation ceremony finally ended at 13.05 hours.

The jubilant successful cadets then flocked out of the PMA with their parents and relatives to spread out in the nook and corner of the country to assume their responsibilities as second lieutenants in various units of Pakistan Army and serve the country. Who knows one out of the 12 present major generals one day is the chief guest at PMA as COAS Pakistan Army....

 Today it is almost 31 years since that great day in which we lost some very fine course mates, the sweet memories of whom shall always be cherished by all of us. May Allah bless their departed souls and rest them in peace. Ameen.


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