By Maj (R) Aziz-ur-Rehman (15 War Course)
Keeping the cadets abreast of the current affairs, along with the subjects of military training was an important aspect of the curriculum in PMA. During our stay in PMA, Pueblo Crisis cropped up in January 1968. One fine morning, the newspapers were rife with sensational news of cold war tensions between USA and North Korea on the Pueblo Crisis, the details of which had already been broadcast on the radio a day earlier. An US naval Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) ship ‘USS Pueblo’ was taken into custody by North Korean troops. Americans contended that the vessel was in international waters whereas, North Korean authorities claimed that it had strayed into Korean waters and was being used for espionage.
Our Company Commander, Maj (later Col) Riaz Jafri, Signals, also known as ‘Musical Jafri’ in some army circles, tried to know our views on likely turn of events on that crisis. Unfortunately, we were all blank. Not a single cadet had the slightest idea about the crisis.
Maj Jafri was apparently shocked and highly perturbed on our attitude, being oblivious to such an important development. We anticipated that we were likely to go for a long haul. However, he in a slightly angry tone uncharacteristic of the instructors of PMA, admonishing and castigating us, that betrayed his disgust with us, ordered us to leave the hall. He did not shout.
He lit a cigarette and after finishing it, he commanded us to enter the hall and it was again the same Maj Jafri with his light-hearted style of addressing and imparting training on us. This had a lasting impact on us.
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)
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