By Brig Muhammad Latif (R), Arty (20th War Course)
This incident happened in 1970 in Kharian Cantt. Final match of Div Football Tournament had just finished and the jawans of the winning unit were celebrating/dancing in the sports ground. GOC was also present in the ground and was having gup shup with commanders and staff officers. Meanwhile the Adjutant ordered the troops to mount the vehicles for moving back to the unit. Dhols/drums were still beating and jawans were doing Bhangra even inside the open bodied 3 tonners. Suddenly a jawan slipped from the top of the tailboard of a vehicle, landed head first and fell unconscious. Every body including the Col Staff rushed to the scene to see what had happened.
Col Staff returned and reported to the GOC that the jawan had slipped because of his over enthusiasm and that the doctor was taking care of him.
2/Lt Iqbal was watching all this very closely. He heard the Col Staff reporting to the GOC and just could not resist the temptation of putting the things in the right perspective. He smartly marched towards the GOC, brushing aside the Col Staff and other senior officers, came to shun (position of Attention) in front of the GOC and reported, ” No sir, the jawan did not slip on his own. He was actually pushed by another jawan in the vehicle body and thrown on the ground. I have seen it myself, sir.”
There was a frown of embarrassment on the face of the Col Staff. GOC meanwhile started moving towards the ambulance in which the injured jawan had been placed. As the GOC moved away, the OC MP got hold of 2/Lt Iqbal and took him to the Col Staff standing on one side and looking furious. The dialogue was crisp and brief:
Col Staff: “What is your name and which unit are you from?”
Iqbal: “I am 2/Lt Iqbal from…(unit), sir.”
Col Staff: “In what capacity did you make that report to the GOC?”
Iqbal (thoroughly confused and sweating by now): ” In…in…in…my…humble capacity, sir.”
Having said that, 2/Lt Iqbal did not give a chance to the Col Staff to say anything or take any action. He simply gave a salute, turned about and ran from there and his next stop was his room in the Mess. کرنل سٹاف اور او سی ایم پی دیکھتے ہی رہ گئے۔
Next whole week 2/Lt Iqbal was telling me,” Yaar! I hope they don’t remember my name and unit.”
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