By Lt Yunus Ghaznavi (43 Long Course)
Editor’s Note: Lt Yunus Ghaznavi is from 13 Lancers. He has settled in Rawalpindi.
First time I came to Pindi was in 1966 to see the 23rd March Parade just after 1965 War and it was a great memory to be sitting in VIP enclosure, and stayed a night in Lalazar with my uncle Maj Ikram Ghaznavi. My father (Yusuf Ghaznavi) retired in 1970 as CO CMH Sialkot and we shifted to Pindi. He was a highly decorated AMC officer and served from 1940 to 1970. He was PSc and got DSO and many medals of 2nd World War. He had made a big house next to Ojhari Camp, it was a lone house. At that time Murree Road was a single lane and Double Decker buses used to ply.
I studied in good old Gordon College. Those were the great days, with Raja Anwer and Sheikh Rasheed in opposite Unions. Our group was known as Californians by the girl students, as we spoke a lot in English, and were not an open type. Just inside the main gate near the steps of Jubliee Hall, we parked our cars and motorbikes and in free periods had our gup shup most of the time near the corner of the main gate. During the college days the guys like Pervaiz Khattak, now Chief Minister of KPK Province, didn’t have the guts to come near us. He was a college mate, he used to come early and park his Mercede-Benz in our area, and we used it as a bench. This used to annoy him a lot, but then we became pals. I congratulated him when he became the Chief Minister this year and it was nice of him to invite me over to Peshawar. Well hope we meet some time.
I enjoyed Super’s and Kamran Cafes, with its patties and samosas. I also know Mr. Mukhtar, the Baldy owner of Super’s. We also enjoyed snacks at Intercontinental Hotel (Now Pearl Continental) and Flashman’s. Pindi in those days was quiet and great, even Islamabad was serene and quiet with movies at Melody cinema, and jam sessions at PC Rawalpindi on Sundays. It was great, we then were on motor bikes, 175 cc, Hondas, and were seen as kings, used to break Beer bottles at night just at main door of PC.
Our motor bikes group had Brig Hashim Khan (ex Avn), Naveed (Rector Punjab University), Javeed, Abid, Shahid, Kahlid and Yaquob Hassan, now all are scattered. Abid is the only college days buddy who shares lunch with me off and on. He was my first buddy in Pindi. I along with him discovered the Pir Sohawa Road. It was mostly cross-country. We also discovered road to Murree from there. Oh God! it was great. Now at 63, and a grand dad, I will still love to get a motorbike and travel alone.
I had to leave the Army as a Lt after 1971 War. When my father passed away in 1972, Lt Gen Nawaz then MD Fauji Foundation called me to his office and gave an appointment letter, so since 1972 till 2006 I was with Fauji Foundation, and retired as GM Technical, of their Sugar Division.
I now live in Harley Street and its a bloody muck, once a posh area, but still love Pindi with all its drawbacks. I am proud to be a Pindiite.
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