I am Proud to be a Pindiite

By Lt Yunus Ghaznavi (43 Long Course)

Editor’s Note: Lt Yunus Ghaznavi is from 13 Lancers. He has settled in Rawalpindi.

Yunus Ghaznavi in college days

Yunus Ghaznavi in college days

Yunus Ghaznavi

Yunus Ghaznavi

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.

Gordon College Rawalpindi

Gordon College Rawalpindi

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.

Related Articles:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 
Photos of Rawalpindi 
Rawalpindi Memorabilia
Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi

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  1. Waseem Zafar Iqbal says:

    I am from 43 Long Course and spent five years living in Pindi Cantt. Used to live in Victoria Barracks where now GHQ Auditorium has been built.
    Lt Yunus, I do not remember you . Would you like to mention some more details of PMA? Thahks.

  2. Brig (R) Qaiser Viqar Naqvi says:

    I also joined Gordon College in 1966 and left in 1968 after FSc pre engg. Good old days!!!

  3. Niaz Ahmad Khan says:

    An interesting account of life spent in Pindi. Lt Ghaznvi appears to have fully enjoyed his youth period and time spent as Gordonian. I somehow wish he had not posted his recent picture which belies his photo of yesteryear as a charming young Gordonian. What a pity, though we all oldies would be bearing such apparition these days. What baffles me vis-a-vis Mr. Ghaznavi’s account that why his college mate Pervez Khattak did not seem to “had guts” to get near him despite coming to college in a Mercedes (and not on bike)? Besides, if I am not wrong, Pervez Khattak moved later from Gordon College to Aitchison College, Lahore.

  4. Mehmud Ahmed, Canada says:

    Mr. Yunus Ghaznavi has narrated, in a capsule, an interesting life story including his mention of Mukhtar Bhai whom he called Baldy. But looking at his latest picture one can see that he himself is a Baldy now:

    Mein Ganja Ganja kehndi saan tay aapay ganja hoee.

    Or more appropriately what Iqbal said:

    Na woh Ghaznavi kee tarrap rahi,
    Na woh khum hay zulf-e Ayaz mein.

    I think this must have happened with all those who teased Mukhtar in their carefree days.

  5. Mirza Sajid Baig, UK says:

    Nice memories of Pindi. I am also a Gordonian from that era (1967-69). I completed my FSc in 1969, then came to Birmingham, UK where I completed my degree and Post graduation in 1976. I then started my employment with HMRC Revenue department from where I retired in 2011.

    I remember Raja Anwar and Sheikh Rashid. Raja Anwar later on in 1975 came to Aston University, UK, to do some post graduate Qualification that’s where I saw him last.

    I have enjoyed the article by Lt Yunus Ghaznavi so much that I have read it many a times. Gordon college was such a nice institution. I remember Zamzam Café where tea used to be for 4 annas and samosas for about a rupee. We used to have a feast.

    Of course Intercontinental Hotel was fun as well. We used to go there for Coke and patties. I also remember Blue Lagoon swimming pool and Super’s (Mukhtar’s ice cream parlour). I am now a grandfather as well and my lovely grand daughter’s name is Zara. Anyway, I will write some more later. Khuda Hafiz.

  6. Qaiser Khalil says:

    I do not live in Pindi but have a couple of friends living there. I can appreciate the sentiments Lt. Ghaznavi expressed. The time you spend with your loved ones is always memorable, and the place connected to it becomes part of those memories. I have similar sentiments for Sargodha.

  7. Maj (R) Amjid Kamal Quamber (2nd SSC) says:

    13 Lancers? I don’t remember any one of this name in my unit. Also I am from the same time frame from Gordon College. Needs some correction here. By the way, 13 Lancers from 1972 till now is my parent unit.

    • Brig (R) Hashim Khan (47 Long Course) says:

      Yunus’ first cousin, Asif Ikram Ghaznavi, was my class fellow. We used to go to that house in Lalazar that he has mentioned. The time and space of his story is authentic but I didn’t keep track of his career in the Army, so I can’t comment.

      The first three Honda 175s that came to Pindi were owned by Khalid Hassan, nephew of Gen Gul Hassan, Javed and myself. Those were the only three that came to CSD and were for Rs 3600/= each.

  8. Being an old Gordonian, I really enjoyed while travelling in my memory lane of that golden era. Thanks for sharing the old memoirs of Pindi. I will write about Gordon College very soon. Remained Editor of Gordonian magazine along with Shoab Bin Aziz in 1969-70.

  9. Brig (R) Majid Azim (3rd SSC) says:

    A good reading, Thanks.

  10. Col (R) Absar Ahmad Minhas, Air Def says:

    Good memories of Good days, well narrated. God Bless.

  11. Nice memories of Gordon College, Pervaiz Khattak, and other characters of that era!

  12. Iftekhar Aziz says:

    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing. May Allah SWT bless you and Pindi!

    • Lt Col (R) Abdul Waheed Bhatti says:

      Great contribution sir, certainly Pindi was a beautiful place, my school days from 1957-65 at St. Marys’ Murree Road then Lalazar. Pindi ended at CMH, Sawan Bridge and Satellite Town. Pindi should have developed more as it is at the fulcrum of north, east and west of Pakistan. Unfortunately we have not been able to develop business accuma.

      I am just over at Tulsa Road and share your experiences of traffic madness. Warm regards.

      PS. Col Cheema you are doing a great job by creating Rawalpindi Blog (http://nativepakistan.com/rawalpindi-blog/). Lets think of improving Pindi.

      • Maj (R) Amjid Kamal Quamber (2nd SSC) says:

        Pindi never ended at CMH. My parents built the house I live in (and was born in) 1950. My father worked in COD prior to 1940 (when he was commissioned). Pindi Cantt ended at the mosque of 502 Workshop. Its now up to Chungi # 20 on Adyala Road.

        Just to set the record straight!

  13. Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (2nd SSC), Admin of Native Pakistan says:

    It’s a good nostalgic article.

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