I Got My Learning License Back from Rawalpindi Cop after 40 Years

By Anonymous

Editor’s Note: The writer, a retired Army officer, wants to be Anonymous, not because of this article but because of his comments about his girl friend in another article  (History of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road Rawalpindi and Mukhtar, its Bald Owner).

Mr. AnonymousIn 1960s, the traffic office of Pindi was located on Liaquat Road, next to Moti Masjid. Every youngster wanted a driving license. None had anything to drive but it was a Status Symbol. One had to produce a doctor’s certificate to prove that one was indeed 18+ years old. I somehow managed to get a learning license made when I was a college student.

Old Vespa

An old Vespa (not mine).

A friend of mine sometimes got hold of his father’s Vespa and Voila, it was picnic. A half-gallon of petrol would cost like Rs.2/- which was pooled and then we rode like crazy, from one corner of the city to the other and beyond Rawal Dam to Ayub Park and places in between. It took some riding to burn that half a gallon.

Khurshid Cinema Rawalpindi

Khurshid Cinema Rawalpindi

Since, there was hardly any traffic, the cops had nothing to do other than to check double sawari on bicycles and we were three riding on the Vespa when stopped by a Traffic Constable at “Dingi Khoi Chowk” which is located near Khurshid Cinema.

He asked for a license and although I wasn’t even in the driving seat, produced mine proudly. He wasn’t impressed in the least and still threatened us with a Challan. After a lot of “Minat Samajat” he agreed to let us go for Rs.2/-

We obviously didn’t have that kind of money, so I promised to return in half an hour with the money and to collect my license. Couldn’t raise the money and didn’t get my license back.

I saw him in different spots of Pindi in the following years but never approached him. Time flew ………

In 2006-07, I was standing near Bara Market and guess what, I saw him walking towards me, an old man with lot of shoppers in his hands. I stopped him, introduced myself, rank and all, fished Rs.2/- from my pocket and asked for my license, dead serious. He was taken aback and when I reminded him of the incident which took place some 40 years ago, he was totally flabbergasted.

I will never forget his expressions. Then, I gave him one of my charming smiles and he relaxed.

He, of course didn’t recognize me or remember the incident but he promised to look for my license in his “service days trunk”. He also refused to accept the agreed Rishwat of Rs.2/-

Fateh Jang

Fateh Jang

The name of that Traffic Guy is Allah Yar. He retired as Sub-Inspector Traffic. He belongs to Fateh Jang and runs a Kiryana Shop there. He insisted and we had a cup of tea in a nearby restaurant. We also exchanged Cell Nos.

After a month or so he called me and asked me for my postal address. He had found my license which he later posted. It was in an awful condition, more like “Leeraan” (rags). The paper had turned yellow and the writing almost indistinguishable but it was my license alright. I still have my First Learning License, issued in 1967. Thanks to Allah Yar. We still exchange pleasantries once in a while.

NOSTALGIA….Rawalpindi Nostalgia!!!!!!

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

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  1. Niaz Ahmad Khan says:

    A lively article with amusing remiscenses of the days gone by. A real bit of nostalgia.

  2. Dear Anonymous,
    I have deleted the article sent by you yesterday. Can you please resend?
    Warm regards.

  3. Brig (R) Shaukat Qadir (42nd PMA) says:

    Keep it up, Editor.

  4. Saqib Malik, Central Africa says:

    Very interesting story to get back license after 40 years, its really amazing and memorable event.

  5. Lt Col (R) Kamran Gul Abdullah, Engrs (2nd SSC) says:

    I got my driving licence in 1969. It is still with me in almost original condition and recently renewed up to 2015 from GPO G-10 Markaz, Islamabad. I have also paid heavy fines from time to time for late renewals, but never wanted to part with it. In 1976 our friend Captain Malik Hussain Madni preferred to obtain a new driving license because he was not willing to pay the late fine of Rs 500 or so. It was equivalent to one month’s Mess bill.

  6. Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

    A very well written and interesting article which reminded me as to how I got my first license and how I got my father’s Mini Austin filled up @Rs 4/gallon. But I did not pay for it as my friend who was a banker’s son gave a chit to petrol pump attendant. After which we 4 friends roamed all around Karachi.

    Thanks for sharing and also making me remember my good old days. And yes thanks to Cheema, Admin of this website, whose efforts are making me and other smile. Regards.

  7. It would have been more fun if you had posted a scanned copy of your license with this article. But in that case you obviously won’t have remained ANONYMOUS.

    By the way, one must appreciate your memory…. Looking forward for some more from your memory book.

  8. Major ( R ) Munir Ahmed ( 2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Anonymous, Thank you for sharing a very unique experience. Wonderful narrative.

  9. Yunus Ghaznavi (43 Long Course) says:

    Hi Pindiites, I liked the write up of a pseudo guy who got his driving licence back after 40 years, well it gives me a laugh, secondly in 1967 fuel was Rs 2 a gallon, till the addition of Rs 1, in 1970 as East Pakistan Relief Fund, which by the way is still in the present fuel price.

    Lets be fair and give our names, we all did some bloody stupid things as students, did dates too, danced with girl friends at the PC Sunday afternoon jam sessions.

    I also fooled the DSP Traffic Mr. Blunt an Anglo-Indian, a great guy, in 1970 and got my regular Driving License, and surprised dad too, and thus had a luck to be given the car on Sundays, but then had to clean it too, this habit got in me and even today at 63 years clean my 1973 Merk, and feel proud driving it, guys do give a second look, don’t know if its me or the Merk.

    Will write more soon, about time with BB and buddy MB, God bless them both, had real great times with them till 1972, after that was out of Pindi. So buddies come on out hiding is for cowards.

    • Dear Mr. Ghaznavi,

      The price of a gallon might have been Rs.2 a gallon in 1967. A little Mobil Oil was also added however, I remember that it was real hard to burn the fuel worth Rs.2 in the limited hours we had at our disposal. You see, we had to return the scooter with approximately the same fuel level it had previously or else the friend could have been caught. His father was a PAF Officer and a tough customer.

      I have been called by many names in my life but “Coward” was never one of them. The simple reason for withholding my identity is that one of the guys who commented on Super’s is a close relative. Some other are known to me, like family relations.

      I have a big family, kids are all married and I have a flock of grandchildren. My kids have in-laws, don’t want to embarrass them, especially the daughters.

      Moreover, how will I advise them not to fool around?

    • Munir Ranjha says:

      Dear Mr. Ghaznavi,
      You are absolutely right… when an unique picture of old times is drawn by someone Anonymous….why did not he post each and everything for more amusement to us.

      May be yes…was there anything silly in the whole tale? But if no… why do we hide… Please c’on…show your countenance…may be everyone involved and stuck in this lovely tale, get to gather at some old tea shop (khokha) to give Mr. Anonymous a tribute who has become a source of old memories…. I really liked that… Thanks everyone…God bless you.

  10. Azam Gill, France says:

    Very well written, whimsical anecdote offering layers of meaning, one of the layers being your identity and as such, mystifying! Have a drink on me, buddy, but pay for it from your own kheesa!

  11. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    Enjoyed reading your article. Just taking away a person’s license without any citation, and no recourse except money is unfair to begin with. Two things stand out in this encounter with the Police Officer, one that you now had the courage to ask him for your license, and second, that you recognized him even after 40 some years.

    All in all, I think you handled it very well. Many Pindi roads were great for riding bikes, learning to ride, and I suppose driving motor bikes, scooters etc., as well.

    May good Luck follow you!!

    • Dear Madam,

      Courage was never the problem, money was. I saw him regularly in different spots of Pindi performing his duties during the next one year or so. I never had those couple of rupees to spare. Then I joined Army and didn’t see him for a long time. After release from POW Camp, I was always posted away from Pindi, but whenever I visited my home in Pindi, I saw him in this Chowk or the other. By then I had a new driving license.

      How could I forget him? He had confiscated my precious license. Though, I never had any hard feelings in fact, considered his action as his God given right. He was a cop after all, everybody respected and feared cops in those days. Nothing like today, now the poor chaps are butchered just for being cops.

      When I confronted him near Bara Market, I had lots of time on my hands. My wife had gone for shopping and I knew she wouldn’t return in a hurry. I never expected to get my license back. My action was spontaneous and just for fun. He was facing a well dressed, grey haired, dead serious gentleman next to a car and a driver in standby mode, offering Rs.2 and demanding his license.

      I wish you could have seen his expressions or heard his incoherent babbling. It was worth the prank.

      P.S. I called him yesterday. He is now 78 years old and still in good health. God bless.

  12. Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

    Salaamz Na-maloom Sahib,

    It’s a nice article! So amazing you could reconnect with an adversary but as a friend, this time around. This seemingly small incident also shows how time strengthens our bonds in so many different ways.

    Col Rashid Cheema, whom I have never met, brings so many of us in a ‘phooloon sajee mehfil’ where I can find myself having a cup of tea with so many who I have never met! There is lot of jaza in this brother, InshaAllah.

    Duaa-e-khair for all.

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

    I got my licence from the same office. Medical cert to say 18! I joined PMA, when I was 17!

    Inspector Mehboob Niazi’s (Retired as DSP) pet question was “who has right of way on a roundabout or on a crossing where 4 main roads join?” Got my licence in first time around!

    There was the mimesis of all drivers also, from those days. A traffic Sergeant (by rank an SI) used to ride a Harley Davidson 1200. An Anglo-Indian really but a huge man. Poor guy was side swiped by a wagon wala in 1972. And the family left for US or Canada, I am not sure.

  14. Dear Anonymous, it’s a wonderful nostalgic article about the life in Rawalpindi in 1960s. Please write more, we have no objection of you being Anonymous.

    • Dear Col Sb,

      Thanks for the permission, I now feel sorry that I opened my big mouth about cabin holes in Super’s. Otherwise, I could have exchanged greetings with some of the guys on these pages. Guys don’t worry me much, they can keep secrets but ladies love gossip.

      My wife doesn’t pose any problems, in the first place she can’t use computer and secondly, after 37 long years of marriage, we are more like brother/sister now. She calls me ‘Baba’ like my kids and I call her ‘Beybey’ like her grand-children do. She spends most of her time on “Jai-Namaz” and an insignificant indiscretion on my part, such a long time ago wouldn’t bother her. On second thoughts, wouldn’t it???

      You never know with ladies so we had better keep the lid on.

      A friend forwarded your wonderful article about Super’s ( History of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road Rawalpindi and Mukhtar, its Bald Owner) and I just got carried away, should have kept my trap shut. Now I guess we have to maintain status quo.

      Thanks again, I would love to share my memories of old Pindi with the wonderful people on these pages.


      • Dear Anonymous,
        I think from the heart of your heart you don’t want to be an Anonymous person, because you have already given so many clues about you (Studied in St. Mary’s, Murree Road, joined Army in 1968, went to a fighting arm, were a POW, your wife calls you ‘Baba’, you call her ‘Beybey’, are relative of one officer who has been superseded by the promotion of Gen Raheel Sharif, etc). You must have narrated the story of driving license to your children as well. It is damn easy for any of your children to know about your real identity.

        Please don’t give any more clues. As an Editor, I can any time delete your comment about your girl friend and holes in the cabins of Super’s to provide you a breathing space.

        Your honour should be protected at any cost. I am always at your service.

        • Dear Col Sb,

          Thanks a bundle but it will still be a guessing game. I didn’t study in St. Mary’s, Murree Road. Though, used it as a reference point. And no, I didn’t tell the story of the “driving license” to my kids. It wasn’t worth telling till I got it back and by that time they were kids no more.

          They are not likely to come across these pages, even if, per chance they do, they wouldn’t have any interest in Pindi of 1950s-1960s. They don’t share our nostalgia.

          Editor: Anonymous’ further comments have been converted into following article:-
          “The Inauguration of Basket Ball Courts in Gordon College Rawalpindi in Late 1950s”

          • Dear Anonymous,
            Your repeatedly calling me as ‘Col Sb’ creates a serious doubt that you are from the Army. 🙂

            • Dear Col Sb,

              What’s the difference. Even you are a civilian now besides, who in his right mind would pretend to be ex-Army? What’s the advantage?
              Am I seeking re-employment?

              This link was forwarded to me very recently. I wrote about Super’s and then read the other articles. Lots of civilians have shared their memories in these pages. I too, could have joined as a civilian.

              What form of address you prefer? Dear Cheema, Dear Col Cheema, Dear Col Rashid, Dear Col Rashid Cheema or Dear PA-14571 ???

              Dear Col Sb is a respectful form of address, or so I thought.

              Please advise.


              • Dear Anonymous,

                I didn’t intend to offend you. You can call me by any name. There are many people with fake ID on Facebook & Internet. As you are not in a position to disclose your identity, as such your identity would always be questionable by the visitors of this website.

                Rawalpindi Blog, a part of Native Pakistan, is open to all Pakistanis, civilians as well as Army personnel. However, in Army Blog obviously only Army personnel can contribute their experiences/anecdotes, though any Pakistani is welcome to read.

                There is yet another segment in this website, which contains hundreds of pages, and is open for my Course mates only and it is password protected.

                You can call me any time at 0321-5385455 and vent out your anger. I would be the last man on this earth to disclose your identity. Buy why would you risk trusting me?

                Warm regards. Stay blessed and happy.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Dear Col Sb,

                  No offense taken Sir. I have always cherished my friends, relatives and associates. I am blessed with a lot of friends from school, college and Army days.

                  One of them was admitted in KG with me on the same day. He remained my desk mate till 5th grade. He was very “Nalaeq” and didn’t come up to the required standards set by our school and was kicked out. He was my first friend and I never lost contact with him. He is in business now and we still get together very often.

                  I have never written articles in my life. Since the topic was old Pindi, I simply couldn’t resist. I had friends in all corners of old Pindi and I had a cycle, lots of energy and a wander lust.

                  Of course I trust you. In fact, I plan to email you soon and depend on you to answer the questions on my behalf, because I have stories of old Pindi to tell.


                  • Dear Anonymous,
                    Thanks for you trust. I am honoured. Will anxiously wait for your email/phone call.
                    Refer to your previous comment, I am PA-14563, you said PA-14571. Very close!! I must praise your sharp instinct!!!

                    • Dear Sir,
                      I forwarded you an article by Umer Cheema yesterday to confirm your email address. You haven’t acknowledged so far. Please confirm.

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