“A Big-Hearted Corps Commander”

By Lt Col (R) Muhammad Arshad Meer (2nd SSC)

Muhammad Arshad Meer, Lt Col (Retired)

Lt Col Arshad Meer

Editor’s Note: Lt Col Arshad Meer was commissioned in 7 Baluch Regt in July 1972 and during his early service was transferred to 34 AK. He was born in Quetta and after the retirement, he chose to stay in Quetta but has shifted to Islamabad 2 years back.

I have the honour to serve with Lt Gen Ahmad Jamal (Late) as his OC FIU in Karachi (Corps Int Bn was raised later) in 1981-82. Once during a Corps exercise in Gadap area near Karachi, he called me for an evening walk. We walked about 3 km away from the field HQ without any security arrangement as those days used to be much safer. We saw a person walking alone in the fields who looked like a soldier. The Corps Commander asked me to inquire about him. I asked the man to come to us. He flatly refused and rather asked us to come to him. We went to him without disclosing our identity.

The General asked him, “Who are you? Why are you walking alone in the fields?”

He said that he was a soldier and had come in the fields for just ‘dil-peshori’  and to perform the ‘call of nature’ as well.

The General said to me, “Arshad, note down his particulars and inform his CO as well about gross violation of SOPs. Also tell the CO to see me tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, having assessed soldier’s aggressive and insolent attitude towards us, I immediately disclosed our identity. He immediately came to ‘shun’ and requested the General not to mention the matter to his CO. The Commander promised not to inform his CO but said that he would punish him personally the next morning.

The Sepoy replied,

Soldier replies to General, 1
(Sir, I know very well that you don’t punish anyone but my CO is very cruel and always awards 28 days RI on very minor issues).

The General gave a big laugh and while departing asked him about the standard of food in his unit.

The Sepoy replied,

Soldier replies to General, 2
(Sir, if I don’t get good food, then no one else can get good food).

The General asked in a surprised tone, “How is it possible?”

The soldier said,

Soldier replies to General, 3
(Sir, I myself am a cook).

General Ahmad Jamal again laughed loudly, shook hands with the sepoy and directed me not to report the matter to his CO.

However, the next day he did ask a staff officer to get the punishment record of that  ‘cruel’ CO’s unit.

Related Pages:
Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)
Army Jokes  (in English)
Humour in Uniform
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

Editor’s Note: 
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If it’s not inconvenient, please do write your brief comment in the Comment Box.
You are also welcome to contribute any brief true anecdote by sending it on Email of the Editor: nativepakistan@gmail.com


  1. Nadir Nawaz Khan says:

    Dear Uncle Arshad,
    Thank you so much for sharing and remembering this great human being who I have the honour of calling my Grandfather. We all really enjoyed the incident, and had a good laugh – typical Abu Ji! :)

    • Muhammad Arshad says:

      My Son Nadir,
      Once Amrita Pretum had said, “Aj kithun liaye lub ka Waris Shah koi hore”. Undoubtedly Gen Sahib was father of this Army. All those acknowledge it who happened to serve with him. A great human being, rarely visible now a days. You must be proud of your grandfather. Always pray for his soul. Stay blessed.

  2. Shaista Shahid says:

    I met Gen Ahmad Jamal when I joined Fauji Foundation this was sometimes in 1988 or so, what a great person, humble, sophisticated , warm and caring. I remember a number of occasions where we interacted, just to reflect on some of them; I was the principal of Attock FF School and I was in Pindi to attend the first school conference, we had all gathered for his talk and each one of us introduced ourselves when I finished my introduction he got up and thanked me for having joined FF, he being a Gen talked softly and showed patience on all occasions.
    He had clarity of mind and gave quick decisions during Board Meetings, I can clearly remember when I asked him to introduce First Aid rooms and training of First Aid for FF teachers so that children are in safe hands during any unforeseen circumstances. He immediately agreed to it and sanctioned funds to implement this suggestion.
    He was a person who believed in quality, always wanted schools to have quality teachers preferably trained from foreign universities for which he was willing to send the teachers abroad, and gave me all the support to start first ever FF Teacher Training Institute in Lalazar, Rawalpindi. A custom built building was made for this purpose and a large number of teachers coming from the remotest of towns benefited from it, this institute grew into a Faculty of Education in Foundation University.
    Last but not the least, he believed in simplicity, I vividly remember his office in Harley Street Rawalpindi, a simple yet dignified office where everyone was welcome and treated with respect, there was hustle bustle outside his office and everyone benefited from his helpful and benevolent, compassionate and generous nature, he was so clear who the Fauji Foundation was made for no one returned empty handed.
    I pray for him every morning for there are few who have achieved so much in their life and have won so many hearts. During my 15 years of association with FF I did not come across a person so well fitted to head a welfare trust and foundation, he had an attitude for this work which few can display and a heart full of compassion for all. I am reminded of Allama Iqbal’s verse:-
    Hazaroon Sal Nargis apni baynoori pe roti hay
    Bari mushkil say hota hay chamman me dedawar paida

    • LtCol (R) Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Dear Sister,
      Jazak Allah , May God reward you for remembering such a harmless man who was a fatherly figure amongst the available lot . Thanks for the contribution.

  3. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal (42 PMA) says:

    Nice one; thanks for sharing this anecdote.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Sir, thanks a lot. I am extremely pleased that person of your calibre has liked the anecdote. Stay blessed.

  4. Maj (R) Siraj Syed (17 PMA), USA says:

    I have known Gen Ahmad Jamal intimately. He was my Platoon Comd in PMA and has been a very friendly person. He kept personal contact with all who served under him.
    I was travelling from Rawalpindi to Karachi when he was the Div Comd at Lahore. I phoned and told him I will pass through Lahore. He surprised me by coming to the Railway Station with a tray full of food. After my retirement from the Army, I was serving with Jaffer Aviation. He was the Corp Comd at Karachi. He met me at my work place which surprised the owner Yousuf Jaffer.
    He had a heart surgery at the AFIC Rawalpindi. I visited him every day while he was in the Hospital. He had too many juniors who loved him. He was like an elder brother to us, always ready to help. Even after his retirement he was always helpful to everyone.
    God Bless him and all our prayers are for Gen Ahmad Jamal.

    • Lt Col Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Thank you very much for reading the article and verifying the contents. You must also write something regarding Great Gen Ahmad Jamal. Regards .

      • Maj (R) Siraj Syed (17 PMA) says:

        Col Arshad Meer,
        I wonder if you knew my younger brother Maj (Rtd) Qamar (32 PMA) whose first posting from PMA was in 7 Baluch. Then he went to Military Police and later served in Intelligence in East Pakistan and was POW in India for 3 years.
        I also knew Lt Gen (Rtd) Ahmad Kamal, the younger brother of General Ahmad Jamal and their father was the Military Estate Officer, if I remember, and he lived in a Suite at The Flashman’s Hotel or the Davis Hotel in Rawalpindi.
        Just too old to remember, but I know General Ahmad Jamal studied at Lawrence College Ghora Gali where he did his Senior Cambridge before the Partition of India. He was from 1st PMA Long Course. He kept great connections with all who were from Lawrence College. In 1972, I rented out my house, located in F-6/4 Sector, Islamabad, my house which was in Islamabad in F6/4 to German Embassy. I was having it renovated when a Deputy Secretary who was directly appointed by President Zulkar Ali Bhutto forcibly occupied my home and there was no way of getting him out. I asked for help from Gen Ahmad Jamal. He immediately told me that the Interior Secretary was a Ghora Gali connection and he took me to his office. When we went to the Ministry of Interior, I was surprised to meet Usman G Isani who in his younger days studied with me at Saint Mary’s School Sukkur. I then got my house back.
        It was just to let you know how great a person General Ahmad Jamal was. I don’t think he had any enemies. God Bless his soul. He was always a helper.

        • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

          We heard a lot about your brother Maj Qamar but never met.
          You know Gen Ahmad Jamal more than anyone else. Please do write a comprehensive article as such personalities are legendary / beacon to seek guidance. May God bless his soul. Aameen.

  5. Brig (R) Aslam Khan (33 PMA) says:

    Thanks for an interesting anecdote. Such pieces make a great day for veterans.
    Best wishes.

  6. Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Chaudhry (2nd SSC) 24 /29 Punjab says:

    Dear Arshad,
    It is a good article. Was the fact found from the punishment register and what was your “Int Report”?

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Thanks Ch. Sahib. I did not pursue the matter further therefore, unaware of the follow up action.

  7. Col (R) Qaisar Rashid says:

    I enjoyed reading it. Arshad jee keep contributing.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Thanks for liking the article. Please pay my regards to your family and love to your cute grand kids.

  8. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Bashir Khan Hiraj says:

    Good Arshad Ji,
    My Jangjoo Paltan mate, you never narrated this anecdote to me before. I recollect Gen Ahmad Jamal and Ahmad Kamal, they were even then remembered in good words. You may find few of the type these days.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Boss, this was an anecdote of a different type, whereas the anecdotes we narrate to each other in daily life are quite different, which can’t be reduced to writing here. Cheer up! I have already sent you one on your mobile phone.

  9. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Dear Col Arshad Meer,
    You have awoken after a long time but have compensated with such a good anecdote in “Humor in Uniform” segment of this webaite. If you read my story THE 3 LEGGED MES CHAIR in writers forum, it will prove that the general was kind at heart since he was a major. He was my father’s friend. In East Pakistan, he saved me from a possible nice thrashing by my father due to the prank which I played with the Gen(then Major) Jamal. He never told any thing to my father. He was a real gentleman.
    May Allah grant him the highest place in Janat-ul-Firdous. Ameen.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Masood jee, your very write up, “The 3 Legged MES Chair” motivated me to further augment the personality traits of late Gen Jamal. Thanks for the liking. More articles are in the pipeline at the mercy of Ustaad Rashid Zia Cheema (the Editor) .

  10. Azam Gill, France says:

    Thank you Arshad Jee, for sharing this experience in such a light-hearted way. The Pakistan Army has always had generals with the greatness exhibited by General Jamal for officers to complain that there aren’t enough of them!

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Gill jee,
      One has to be very careful in his write up when linguistics like you are among the readers particularly writers like me who are “Tatrians” (Urdu medium types) from Islamia High School, Quetta. Thanks for liking in light-hearted way.

  11. Saqib Mehboob Janjua (S/o Lt Col Mahboob,7 Baluch, 48 PMA), Bahrain says:

    Gen Jamal was a legend. I am proud of him. My Abu Lt Col Mahboob has the honor to do his installation ceremony in Badin back in 1992. I am happy to see the article from our very own “paltanin”…
    Best regards.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      My Son,
      How are you and your father? Since long nothing heard from your father’s side. Pay him my regards.

      • Saqib Mehboob Janjua (S/o Lt Col Mahboob,7 Baluch, 48 PMA), Bahrain says:

        Dear Uncle Arshad,
        I am sorry for a delayed reply. Thanks for your kind words calling me your son. I value it with honor and pride.
        Abu is fighting fit settled in DHA 2, Islamabad. Uncle Cheema is our neighbor and I am grateful to him who has taken this giant leap to establish a communication bridge between us. I will be looking forward anxiously to see more articles from your side on this stupendous website.
        Best Regards.

  12. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi says:

    It’s greatness of the late General. GOD bless his soul.

  13. Brig Ahmed Salim (Retd) says:

    I had the privilege of serving under Gen Ahmed Jamal durning the 1971 War when he was commander 4 AK Bde. I can vouch for what the soldier said. The Gen just couldn’t harm any one.
    May Allah bless him and grant him eternal peace, Ameen.

    • Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

      Sir, thanks for verifying the veracity of my saying. One could understand the meanings of humbleness only after having come across / interacted the conduct of late Gen.

  14. Editor says:

    Dear Arshad,
    Thanks for sharing this funny anecdote. I will request you to write more for ‘Humour in Uniform’ segment of this website. :)

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