‘Humble Capacity’

By Brig Muhammad Latif (R), Arty (20th War Course)

Muhammad Latif, Brig, Artillery (20th War Course)Editor: Brig Muhammad Latif is from Arty. He got commission on 2 Nov 1969, retired in 2001 and has settled in Rawalpindi.

Humour in Uniform, Pakistan Army Blog for Retired officers - 'Humble Capacity', Kharian Cantt 1970This 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.”

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

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  1. Lt Col Wajahatullah Khan Lodi (R), Engrs (2nd OTS Course) says:

    That’s a nice one.

  2. Lt Col Qadeer A Ch. (Retd) says:

    I think Iqbal was a real 2/Lt. Well done Brig Latif.

  3. Brig Latif says:

    Thanks every body for encouraging comments.

  4. Col Shah Alam, Retired, (34PMA) Canada says:

    Not all Lts are made alike and Iqbal was certainly not one of the many. He had the courage to stand up though an afterthought of the chaotic situation, that he had not imagined earlier, made him change his strategy. Uncertain he ran for the cover. :)
    Thanks for sharing this nice anecdote.

  5. Maj Anwar Faridi (R) USA says:

    Staff officers from Captains to Brigadiers do the same i.e give the Generals “all good report”. In other words they tell what the Generals wants to hear. It is so sad, such staff officers keep getting promoted and keep playing this game. Honest officers go home after getting to the rank of Major. I am sure some may not like and agree but I want to unload and feel light.

  6. The Col Staff and OC MP must be very ‘considerate’ towards youngsters. :)

  7. Lt Col Masood Alam, Rretd (2nd SSC) says:

    A good humour in uniform. It is like a cool breeze in the atmosphere of political issues all around. Such type of short anecdotes makes every one smile and make you remember your own such stories.
    Thanks for sharing, Brig Latif.

  8. At the end of the day, hilarious!

  9. Maj Aziz-ur-Rehman, Retd (15 War Course) says:

    Going by the dictum that subalterns are only to be seen and not heard, 2/Lt Iqbal was wise enough to reply in a manner to appease Col Staff. At the same time, the humble soldier had enough grit to highlight a factual position and that is also admirable.

  10. Lt Col Waseem Rashid Hashmi, Retd (53rd PMA) says:

    Interesting. Some day I am going to narrate the story, how I recovered Brig (then Maj) Latif’s Rs 900/- stolen by his batman in Multan, when I was doing as 2 IC Corps MP Unit in 1988 ……. It is going to be hilarious. :) 😉

    • Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (R) says:

      I was also in Multan in 1988 (DQ in newly raised 102 AD Bde). Please do share the anecdote.

    • Brig Latif says:

      Col Waseem Hashmi, I never served at Multan. Moreover, in 1988 I was already a Lt Col and was serving at School of Arty. There is another Brig Latif from Arty who I know was a Maj in 1988 and was in fact serving at Multan.

      • Lt Col (R) Waseem Rashid Hashmi says:

        Thank you for correcting me sir. One changes a lot in 28 years. It must be the other Brig Latif, I was talking about.

  11. Rehana Akram says:

    Enjoyed :)

  12. Lt Col Zubair Ahmed, Retd (2nd SSC) says:

    Nice to read this interesting article. I am Zubair from your neighbouring unit.

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