‘KITE’ Flying in Nowshera

An Old Nowshera resident cherishes childhood memories of nascent Army Aviation.

By Maj (R) Aziz-ur-Rehman (15 War Course)

Maj Aziz-ur-Rehman, Air Def, 15 War CourseEditor’s Note: Maj Aziz-ur-Rehman is from Air Def. After the retirement, he has settled in Rawalpindi.

Back in 1953/54 when I was just 9 or 10 years old boy, our school bus ‘Pick-up and Drop’ point for going to our school (Convent School, Risalpur) was near the Assistant Commissioner’s office and courts on Nowshera – Mardan Road. Nowshera was then a Tehsil Headquarters and was elevated to District Headquarters level in later years. On our return from school, on odd occasions, after exiting the rail–road bridge on river Kabul, we would see small propeller aircraft either landing or taking off from the ground on our left. This ground was neither a park nor a sports ground. Only cattle grazing activity was seen sometimes or may be golf was played but this sport was not popular at all then as it is these days. Sometimes, if the sortie was not in the air, the windsock hoisted at the ground would indicate that the aircraft were likely to arrive. Children, irrespective of their age or gender, are highly fascinated by aircraft, static or flying or for that matter doing some aerobatics. And nothing can be more exciting than witnessing aircraft from close quarters, landing or taking off at an unexpected place, without any protocol / security cordon.

Auster aircraft of Pakistan Army Aviation at the bank of river Kabul, Nowshera, early 1950s
(Photo courtesy  “History of Pakistan Army Aviation, 1947-2007″.)

A few 180 Pounder tents used to be pitched near the place where these aircraft were parked, to accommodate PAF airmen (I think in those days the technicians in Army Avn were taken from the PAF) brought as the ground support staff. We, the inquisitive lads, were told by these affectionate and kindhearted airmen that the aircraft, the support staff and the pilots (called Air OPs), all came from Rawalpindi. These noble souls, seeing our curiosity and interest in the aircraft, would tell us that the aircraft were two-seater AUSTER (Later in 1957, replaced by L-19 (Bird Dog), the mainstay of our Army Aviation fixed-wing aircraft). I still remember the names of two ground crew; Talib and Sarwar, though I don’t remember their ranks.

L-19 (Bird Dog) and AUSTER fixed wing aircraft of Pakistan Army Aviation
(Photos courtesy  “History of Pakistan Army Aviation, 1947-2007″.)

For starting the plane, the airman would shout “contact” before cranking the propeller; the word “contact” being repeated by the pilot in the cockpit. If the plane started; well and good, and if not, the airman would say “off ” repeated by the pilot “ off “. I do not remember whether the L-19  also entailed the same fatigue for starting as AUSTER would do.

The Air OPs used to be Capt Saleem Ullah, Capt Vajid Ali (who later expired in an air crash in Rawalpindi in May 1953), Capt Muhammad Zaffar Khan, Capt Mahmood (who was considered by these airmen as hot-rod pilot, usually taking small run-up for take off), and Capt Naseer Ullah Babar who later became our war hero of 1965 and 1971 Wars and rose to Maj Gen rank, would have still risen higher in army rank, if not dragged into politics by then Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. When Capt Vajid learned from the ground crew about my passion for the aircraft, he was kind enough to give me a joy-ride in the AUSTER. After a lapse of 60 years, I still cherish that thrilling and fascinating flying experience over Nowshera and river Kabul.

 Pakistan Army Aviation - Photos of  old Aviators of early 1950's
(Photos courtesy  “History of Pakistan Army Aviation, 1947-2007″.)

(Editor: On 2 May 1953, Capt Vajid Ali returned to Chaklala from a flying mission (Dhamial Base was not operational at that time and the Air OP set up was stationed at Chaklala Airfield). He flew over his house at Connaught Road. His wife was standing on the rooftop and saw him do a slow roll. Unfortunately, his aircraft crashed four miles from his home. He was taken to the hospital, but he could not survive the consequences of this accident. This was the first fatal crash of Army Aviation.)

When some aircraft used to be still airborne, spending more time in the air than scheduled, the ground support staff would refer them as KITES, that were still to land. It later transpired on us that the aviators call the aircraft  KITES in their jargon. The Air OPs would conduct or direct the Artillery fire, while carrying out aerial observation or surveillance of the area. This small team of Air OPs in the early 1950s, were the pioneers of the Pakistan Army Aviation who had laid the foundation of this enviable Corps that was to perform multifarious tasks in diverse roles, terrain, adverse operational conditions accepting all types of challenges, making it comparable to any old and advanced Aviation Corps of the world.

Post Script
1. Nowshera has the honour of fostering great scions as aviators which include Sqn Ldr Ghani Akbar, SJ of Nowshera Kalan (commonly called paar Nowshera by the people of Sadder or Cantt), Maj Gen Naseer Ullah Babar, AVM Bahar ul Haq, Col Shah Alam (26 Cav), whom I owe much as he is my benefactor.

Major General Naseer Ullah Babar  Colonel Shah Alam, Pakistan Army Aviation

Pakistan Air Force logo2. Whereas AUSTER and later L-19 were aircraft attractions from the Army side in Nowshera Cantonment, single-engine twin seater propeller aircraft HOWARD was the basic trainer, after glider, in PAF Academy Risalpur. These trainer aircraft also used to fly over Nowshera, Risalpur and the surrounding country producing ace fighter pilots. The blazer coat badge of the cadets read the motto “ I will rise ” and one in Persian (A couplet of Allama Iqbal), which read; “Sehra ast kay Darya ast, tahay baal-o-paray ma ast”.

Motto of PAF (Pakistan Air Force), couplet of Allama Iqbal in Persian

3. The Commandant  of PAF Academy was Air Commodore Das. Later, Air Commodore O’Brian also served as Commandant in mid 1960s. Sqn Ldr Edward Carrapeat served as fighter pilot instructor in the PAF Academy. His brother, John Carrapeat, was English newsreader from Radio Pakistan. Members of our minority communities have rendered great services for the country and it was shocking to learn the remarks of Director Artillery, whom Lt Gen (R) Tahir Mehmood Qazi had referred in his obituary article on Brig JJK Tajik (“Remembering Col Tajik”).

Editor: It is requested that any old Aviator having photo of Col Muhammad Zaffar Khan (not Col Zafar Ullah) may please send to the Editor’s email (nativepakistan@gmail.com) for inclusion in this article.

Related Pages:
Nostalgic Articles by Retired Army Officers
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

Editor’s Note: 
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If it’s not inconvenient, please do write your brief comment in the Comment Box.
You are also welcome to contribute any brief true anecdote by sending it on Email of the Editor: nativepakistan@gmail.com


  1. Faisal Tirmizi, USA says:

    Maj Vahid is buried right next to The Military Farms. My late father Brig (Retd ) Syed Mustanir Ahmed Tirmizi took me there in the late 80s to offer Fatheha.

  2. Sajad Ali Khan says:

    Dear Maj Aziz ur Rehman,
    I am second son of Capt Vajid Ali Khan. My father’s accident took place on 02/May/1953
    Following day 03/May/53 was my first birthday, loss of one parent did have significant effect on my upbringing, all my life I missed him, I have three daughters and even the three granddaughters would give anything to be near him. They value his few personal items so much like his sunglasses, his binoculars. Sadly these are the only two items that survived the crash. Youngest daughter managed to find this link and it has brought floods of emotion, knowing that you knew my father. I live in UK. Please if you have any pictures or documents about my father, please could you email them to me, I will forever be in your debt.
    I have been to my father’s grave once. All I remember is Capt Ahmed’s grave was next to my father’s grave. If you know the address of cemetery please forward this to me.
    My email is sajad.khan@btinternet.com
    Best regards,
    Sajad Ali Khan

    • Dear Sajad Ali Khan,
      Your father Capt Vajid Ali Khan was buried in PAF Grave Yard at Chaklala, Rawalpindi. I will be sending you an extract from the book “Aviation History” (Page 21) which confirms his burial in PAF Grave Yard.

      • Major General Muhammad Azam (R) says:

        Dear Sajad,
        Asalam Alaikum.
        Could you please post the picture of Capt Vajid Ali Khan which your family has.

  3. Lt Col (R) Moaziz Syed (1st War Course) says:

    Dear Maj Aziz ur-Rehman,
    A great story produced from your childhood days’ experience of pioneer Aviators. I envy your memory and at the same time feel sorry you couldn’t join us for medical reasons; you should have made an ardent Aviator.
    I also want here to congratulate Col Cheema for creating and managing this informative and intellectual forum.

    • Editor (Rashid Zia Cheema) says:

      Dear Col Moaziz,
      Sir, thanks for your kind words. After all you were my CO in 6 Avn Sqn and that is your training and guidance!!

    • Maj AzizurRehman says:

      Dear Col Moaziz,
      Assalaamo alaikum.
      Sir, memory they say is affected by aging. As the person grows older, it is said that short term memory is not affected much but the long term memory is greatly affected advesely. This probably is the reason, I remember childhood events but may not be retaining the imprints of the 1970s and 1980s. I feel honoured by your sentiments of warmth and acknowledge it with thanks. “Yeh alag baat hai sharminda-e-tabeer na hon Warna her zehn mein kuch Taj Mahal hote hain.”
      As I had stated in my article, almost every child, in his / her childhood days, fancies the sight of aeroplanes/ideas of flying the aircraft, soaring high and high in the skies. But every body cannot make it to flying. Blessed are those who wear the wing on their chest.
      Regards and thanks once again.

  4. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah, Arty (2nd SSC) says:

    Many thanks for sharing golden memories. Your article has triggered the good old memories of our great Aviators and we will come to know about many more true stories soon InshaAllah.
    Thanks again, sir.

    • Maj Aziz u rRehman says:

      You are welcome, Thanks for encouragement

      • Gohar Vajid Ali Khan says:

        Assalaamo Alaikum.
        Captain Vajid Ali khan was my grandfather, any pictures of him or tales of him would be hugely appreciated – my late grandmother watched his flight crash and spoke of how he died later in hospital – I would really like to know what he was like- as my father, his son, is a spitting image of my grandfather.
        Please would you be so kind to scan any photos and information on Captain Vajid Ali (my grandfather) as you have mentioned him in you blog and have his photo to my father. Unfortunately we only have one photo of him and he died when my father was only one year old. We would be grateful for any memories of him, and if any one knew him, he should get in touch with me and my father. Our email addresses are below:-

        • The photo shown in this article was not that of Capt Vajid Ali Khan. It was that of Capt Ahmed (who also died in an air crash on 11 June 1953, a month and 9 days after the crash of Capt Vajid). The photo has now been removed from this post. The omission is regretted.

  5. Lt Col (R) Syed Naeem Raza Jafri says:

    Dear Maj Aziz,
    Assalam o Alaikum.
    Sir, Like many I also did not know that my first Bty Comd (P Bty 102 LAA Regt, Jhelum Cantt) is a good writer too. I enjoyed each word of your article about Army Avn.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Oh great Jaffery. Are you still in Clifton or like few of our compatriots moved abroad for greener pastures, because it has been some time that we had last contact on telephone? “Zindagi bhar nahin bhoole gi woh barsaat ki raat.” The pressure of reaching our destination before first light, as ordered, the deficiency of trained drivers resulting in retardation of the convoy speed and taking control on steering of a ‘gun-towed 2 1/2 ton truck’ by an officer to increase speed of the convoy, torrential rain during the last bound of our move and finally injury to the hand of Gunner Anar Khan, getting stuck in towing hook of the vehicle and draw bar of the gun. What I can’t forget forever is the smile on the face of Gunner Anar Khan who was bleeding profusely and still not showing any signs of pain on his face. Subedar Ather Khan wound a bandage and the man was as fresh as nothing had happened.
      Any contact with Ch Fayyaz-big moustaches? I don’t know whether you are aware or not, Zarrar Luqman is no more in this world. How sad. OK, Allah hafiz for now. Send me your email address.

      • Lt Col (R) Syed Naeem Raza Jafri says:

        I am residing at Askari V, Malir Cantt, Karachi. After retirement I joined The Citizens Foundation as Area Manager. I am looking after their schools in Keamari Town, Karachi.
        I admire your memory of our night move to Parachinar in December 1979, especially the names of Sub Ather and Anar Khan.
        No contact with Ch Fayyaz. My emails IDs are jafri@tcf.org.pk and jafri_naeem@hotmail.com.

  6. Sir,
    Thank you for this very interesting contribution.
    I had requested Gen Waqar Kingravi to write another article on this mountaineering experience on the Haramosh Paek but I think the request did not reach him. This may kindly be treated as a fresh request.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Editor’s assistance is sought in reminding Gen Waqar Kingrvi for writing another article as requested by Capt Abbasi.

    • Maj Gen (R) Waqar Ahmad Kingravi (50 PMA) says:

      Noted, Sir.
      For Amjad only…..Buddy, I have a plan to write quite a lot, Insha Allah. I however cannot say when.
      For Maj Aziz…Sir, I am still not clear whether you qualified as an Aviator or not.
      Col Shah Alam was my CO in 25 Sqn and knowing his meticulous habits, I wont be surprised to learn that he still remembers the Check List of L-19 aircraft by heart.

      • Col (R) Shah Alam (34 PMA), Canada says:

        Dear Kingravi,
        I feel indebted for your kind words but L-19 was the aircraft I was trained on for my basic course and never ever can one learn check-lists better than the time of one’s entry in to Aviation. I think I’ll feel more confident flying L-19 today, despite a lapse of some 30 years, and certainly more than any other that I flew later.

        Looking forward to reading your experience about the mountain expedition. “Zaban-e-khalq, naqara-i- Khuda”: people asking and motivating you to write on that expedition is turning in to chorus :)

      • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

        Dear Gen Kingravi,
        In spite of being a big enthusiast, I could not venture into aviation career due to eyesight problem. Having been brought up in the proximity of PAF Academy and in a military Cantonment, my interest was aroused with things related to aviation. Col Shah Alam has been a loving and an affectionate senior, always showing warmth towards acquaintances from his native town Nowshera or his colleagues (Abdalians or course mates – 34th PMA), I personally learnt a lot from him. May Allah for ever shower His blessings upon him and his family. Aameen.

  7. Maj (R) Munir Ahmed (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Maj Aziz,
    Sir, Lot many thanks for reminding us about our heroes who were either forgotten by us or we were not aware of their heroic deeds. Fantastic narration. Please keep sharing.

  8. Lt Col Amir Afzal Khan (Retd), 40 PMA says:

    A nicely written and nostalgic article by Major Aziz Ur Rehman. I know him very well but have not met him for a long time and don’t know about his whereabouts.

    • Sir,
      Maj Aziz lives in Rawalpindi. I have sent his contact # in your Facebook inbox.

    • Maj (R) Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Dear Col Amir Afzal,
      Thanks Sir. How can we forget each other, having roughed out gun drill on light as well as heavy guns in School of AA Malir Cantt. The confusing circuitry of TC (Tactical Control) Radar and FC (Fire Control) Radar and the huge monster PREDICTOR, which mostly passed above our heads.
      I am living in Askari II, Chaklala Scheme III. Hope to see you, God willing, on your next trip to Pindi.

  9. Col (R) Shah Alam, Canada says:

    A disclaimer first. Maj Aziz and I have been friends since our childhood days in Nowshera and I can’t thank him enough for his generous words for me.

    A brilliantly written article that triggered nostalgic memories. L-19 was a very versatile and robust aircraft that could withstand real-rough handling. Over 3,400 of this aircraft in various variants had been built over time since 1950 and an odd few ones still fly, more commonly, as a glider-tow in USA and Canada.

    While flying L-19 at the tree-top level in the 1971 War, my aircraft had been hit – not once but thrice – each time piercing a hole of 3 to 5 inches diameter in the wings but interestingly enough not once did I feel any degradation in performance. It was only after landing back that the damage was observed in a post-flight inspection.

    On the lighter side, the pre-take off checks (listed below) on the L-19 aircraft will help some old Aviators go back in time:

    • Fuel Selector: On fullest tank
    • Trimmer: Centre
    • Beacon light: ON
    • Fuel Pump: ON
    • Battery & Generator Switches: ON
    • Flaps: as desired (for ‘A’ models)
    • Mixture: Fully forward (Rich)
    • Carb-Heat: Fully forward
    • Engine instruments: Green
    • Magnetos: On ‘Both’
    • Gyros: Un-caged
    • Altimeter: set to QNH
    • Primer: IN & locked

    • Lt Col (R) Moaziz Syed says:

      I think you still have your check list with you. If this was from your memory, hats off. You really are an L-19 lover.

  10. Maj Gen (R) Waqar Ahmad Kingravi (50 PMA) says:

    A very interesting article. Thank you for sharing. Maj Aziz, please continue writing about the interesting events of the past. Thank you Maj JayKay for the interesting comments especially about FM Ayub’s sortie to Nowshera.

  11. Brig (R) Yasub Dogar says:

    I was a 7/8 years old kid then & we were playing in the fields not very far away from the site of Auster crash. My father was posted as Education Officer had a house applauds the flat where the crashed pilot lived. If my memory holds then I am a witness to that tragic crash with slightly different version. After flying over his flat which was then on Cannought Road just a little ahead of present JS Mess he felt he could not reach the airport for some technical fault & tried to land his aircraft on a flat piece of land just a few hundred yards from his flat, unfortunately the aircraft turned turtle killing the pilot.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      WE have to rely on the version of AUSTER crash provided by ‘History of Pakistan Aviation’, compiled by Avn Dte. However Sir, you have given food for thought to our veteran Aviators like Brig (Retd) Hamid Chowdhry to confirm the circumstances of the crash.

      • Brig (R) Yasub Dogar says:

        Dear Maj Aziz,
        First of all extremely enjoyable to read your narrative. My memories are of a very young kid just 7/8 years old. I also recall the crashed AC being a ‘Tiger Moth’ may be it was a PAF AC a different crash.
        Waiting for more nuggets from you. Best wishes.

        • Gohar Vajid Ali Khan Khan says:

          The type of aircraft is question. The nursing staff also confirmed that Captain Vajid was alive when taken to hospital – I pray Allah that in my lifetime the truth comes out and Captain Vajid Ali Khan’s whole family (all children, grandchildren and great grandchildren) can hold on to his memories with pride.
          I am confused at different accounts of the aircraft that came down and different reports of all the the deaths recorded – all I know is that had my grandfather been alive he would have lived to watch my dad and his other children grow up and he would be just as proud as I am of my dad. Since childhood Baba said you are the shiny star in the sky that looks at us.

          • It was probably an Auster V or Auster VI aircraft which was flown by Capt Vajid Ali Khan.
            Yes, he was alive when rescued but scummed to the injuries in the hospital.

  12. Maj Gen (R) Muhammad Azam, Avn (44 PMA) says:

    Dear All,
    Nowshera occupies an important link when one traces the pioneering days of flying in the sub-continent, The pre-cursor of the present day RAF (Royal Air Force) was the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) which changed over to the RAF in 1919. During 1915 the British decided to use aeroplanes against the tribal belt on the Afghan Border. 31 RFC Squadron was thus sent for this purpose from UK. It arrived in Bombay and was transported by train to Nowshera. This squadron occupied the first operational RFC landing Strip near Pir-Piai Village located between Nowshera and Peshawar. The British then started supporting their troops deployed in the tribal belt from this Strip. A few months later, this area was threatened by flooding resulting from the torrential rains. In a panic an alternate was sought and thus in a hurry this squadron was moved from Pir-Piai to a nearby higher ground, Risalpur, in Mar 1916. This was thus the beginning of Risalpur.

    For Aviation enthusiasts let me also avail this opportunity to reveal that the first Flying School was established by the RFC in India in 1913 at a place called Sitapur, 70 miles north of Lucknow. I am currently working on a book to trace the origin of Flying in the Indian Sub-Continent.

    I will also avail the opportunity to welcome Major Aziz to this forum and probably he started flying much before so many of us who joined Army Aviation later. A lot of details are available in the “History of Army Aviation” and I am sure we can arrange a copy for you.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Very interesting information indeed. Pir Piai is the village from which Maj Gen (R) NasserUllah Babar hailed. I had heard from my father in my childhood days that occupation of most of the people of Pir Piai Village was profession of arms, mostly serving in the Army. Similarly, like a strip in Pir Piai village, I have read somewhere that a strip was also made by Britishers in Manzai, short of Jandola in South Waziristan, to support ground troops in Waziristan from Tank and Manzai.
      I am thankful for your encouragemen,t Sir.

  13. Brig (R) Hamid Chaudhry (20 PMA) says:

    Excellent article. Lot of interesting and valuable information is available with Aviators like me, who served Aviation for continuous 32 years 1961-1992 including both wars; 1965 War with 2 Avn Sqn and 1971 War with 1 Avn Sqn.

  14. Lt Azam Gill, France (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Major Aziz-ur-Rehman,
    Thank you for such a fine write-up and my salutations on your kind words about minority communities of which I myself am a member, having, like my father, all his brothers and my own brother eaten the namak of Pakistan and digested it well (khewra rock salt is nutritionally superior anyway!)!

    • Maj Aziz urRehman says:

      It is not me. Our national media has eulogised the pesonalities like ex Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr Justice A R Cornilius as beacon of light for our generations to come, as a role model, as an embodiment of an honest government servant. There are many others, like Tresselor brothers, (all three of them retired as Colonels), Gp Captain Cecil Chowdhry and the list goes on, who have served this country to the best of their ability.
      I was serving in POF Wah on deputation from Army during 1986-1989. A person from their Procurement Wing serving in ‘Inward Stores Inspection’ remarked about the character and integrity of his superior grade 18 Christian officer, with the name of Mr T.G. Mal, “Had Mr. Mal not been a Christian, his subordinate Muslim officials would have been his murids“.
      Regards, stay blessed.

  15. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa (6 OTS) says:

    Please add the name of late Lt Gen Azmat Baksh Awan who as a Major was then probably the senior most of the Auster pilots who often flew from the Nowshera ground in early 50s.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      I becoming nostalgic of the gone-by days had reminisced my personal observations and recollections. However, who can doubt about your viewpoint of Gen A.B. Awan being the pioneer, flying first the mentioned aircraft. Hope Avn Dte people eavesdropping.

  16. Maj Javed Khan Tareen (36 PMA) says:

    Dear Maj Aziz,
    Thank you for all this interesting info about the early days of Army Avn and the Nowshera landing strip in particular. It has rekindled memories of days gone by. On my very first operational sortie back in 1970, out of 2 Sqn in Lahore, I flew a retiring Director of Arty on a farewell visit to the Arty School in Nowshera and had to make a landing at the Golf Course next to Nowshera Club, it was a uni directional approach regardless of the wind direction because one could only land from the direction of the bridge. It was a hairy approach because of the electric pylons and then the limited length of the landing roll, it was with some considerable relief when I managed to stop the L-19 just before the wall of the Club.

    This strip and it’s landing peculiarities were known to me because the late Field Marshal Ayub Khan who was a relation of mine had narrated his experience of the time when he was flown by then Maj Saleem Ullah in an L-19 to Nowshera. He being the President at the time was advised against travelling in a single engine two-seater by his security detail but he, wanting to express his confidence in the Army Aviation decided to go ahead.

    After two go arounds and seeing a visibly sweating pilot sitting in the front, the Old man on the third approach at the flare put his hand on the shoulder of Maj Saleem and told him on the intercom, “Put it down, son”.

    None the less it was a very bouncy touch down but passenger and pilot landed in one piece. All this was witnessed by a very apprehensive gathering of senior brass and high civil officials waiting to welcome the President, needless to say the return journey was by road.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Dear Maj Javed,
      The part of your comment about then President General Muhammad Ayub Khan expressing confidence in Army Avn, asking the pilot to land in risky conditions. Those were ‘great people to fly with’ or for that matter to interact with. When we were deployed at Rafiqui Air Base Shorkot in 1969 and 1970 – then air field was activated for exercise purposes for brief period – Dr Herbert, probably Sqn Ldr then seconded to PAF, was the Base Medical Officer. Later, when with the efforts of Cardiologist Maj Gen Zulfiqar, AFIC / Panah was established, some of our own people would have reservations about its competency and would prefer to go abroad for treatment specially angioplasty. Dr Herbert, who had become quite senior by then in rank, had volunteered to undergo bypass surgery or angioplasty, whatever it was. Our own electronic media covered the event. The result was a beeline forming up at AFIC for treatment. Those were the leaders who led from the front.
      Thanks for sparing time for reading the article

  17. Maj (R) Amjid Quamber, 13 Lancers says:

    It takes one back in time. 30 Cannaught Road was also the place I lived in back in 1963-66. We used to sit on the roof as IAF flew sorties over Chaklala Base in 1965 War, home to Transport Wing of PAF.
    Memories are made of works like this, kind Sir.

  18. Lt Gen (R) Tahir Mahmud Qazi says:

    Dear Maj Aziz,
    Sir, a very interesting article to read. Of late, I have developed passion for reading biographies, as this is the most interesting way of reading history. Such articles or notes, add to the list of tributes paid to our mentors and stalwarts of earlier generation. Your article also mentions of a tragic incident resulting into untimely death of Capt Vajid. Had you not mentioned, many of us would not have known about it. Hardly any one would be in know of his family, but you brought his name back to this world. This is a big tribute to a Gentleman (as he gave you a ride in his aircraft, a gesture indicating his large heartedness). It also gives birth to an idea that if Col Rashid Cheema under takes an effort to compile the write ups on Aviation accidents, a way to pay tribute and remember the fallen commrades. I remember, my friend’s elder brother Maj Tahir Jilani died in an air crash while flying over Kabul River, way back in 60’s.
    I would also request to know if any book has been written on Brig T M, by any one.
    Sir, once again thank you for this interesting article.
    Stay blessed.

    • Editor (Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema) says:

      Dear Gen Tahir Qazi,
      The Avn accidents and all other details about Avn have already been compiled in “History of Pakistan Army Aviation, 1947-2007″ (a 600 pages book). In fact, the details about the said accident and some photos have been taken from that book. Being an old Aviator, I was given a complimentary copy.
      Brig TM’s elder brother, Brig Syed Masud ul Hassan, is also an Aviator. I will send him the link of this article. He will be in a position to tell about any book written on Brig TM. In my personal opinion, Brig Masud will be the right person to write a book about his younger brother, the legend of SSG & Pakistan Army.

      • AzizurRehman says:

        Thank you General Qazi for your encouraging comments. Sir I dont know about your political leanings or sympathies toward any political party of the country, but if you are not die-hard INSAAFIAN (supporter of PTI), I may suggest that you read and if you are alreay doing it intermittently, do not miss the section ” Pages from History ” appearing every weekend in the daily The News, mostly on the back page of “City Section.” First, the articles are very interesting. Second, since these are selected excerpts from the history books, keeping in view the interest of the readers, these dont tax your brain or put you under some stress for continuous reading. Beside the point, I dont remember the year when you were serving as COS in Headquarters AIR Defence Command but you had introduced an SOP of informing all serving and retired Air Defence Corps Officers residing in Rawalpindi / Islamabad about the demise of AAD Corps officers. The result was, one : every one would know ‘ kaun kooch kar gaya hai’ and two : one could attend the last rites of a comrade – in – arms, with whom one had spent memorable time through thick and thin. That practice was subsequently discontinued. In todays world of advance IT technology, it should not be a tall order to re-implement the policy. Your good offices are solicited in approaching the concerned authorities in this connection.Regards

  19. Dear Maj Aziz,
    Sir, we remained so close so many times in so many units and at so many stations, yet I never knew that you are such a beautiful writer too. And the beauty is that you wrote about the Army Aviation history before the Army Air Defence, may be because you encountered the Aviators before the Air Defenders. :)

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Thanks for the compliments. Isse kehtey hain ‘na heeng lgai na phatkaree’. I didn’t carryout any spade work nor any research work for the substance. Col Cheema threw the bait and my memory came handy. Allah Karim ne surkhru kia.
      I wanted to contact you to inform you about the sad demise of our ex CO, Brig (Retd) Nazar Abbas, who expired in July this year but we came to know of it last month. Col (Retd) Atta Awan, SJ info me that you had gone to Dubai those days. My apologies for not contacting you at Dubai. He was another example of impeccable character in out today’s materialistic world. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace – Aameen.

      • Brig (R) Anwar Khan (16 War Course) says:

        Oh, how sad. What a great gentleman! May Allah bless him and give him the best place in Jannatul Firdaus. This is the way and all must go. I pray that before becoming useless we too are honoured with dignity.
        My email is: anwarkhan07 @gmail.com.
        Warm regards,

        • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

          Thank God it is 07 and not 007 before @ otherwise you would have invited the unintended attention of our sleuths. Thanks for email address.

  20. Maj (R) Farooq Ahmed Hashmi (41 PMA) says:

    A good article. Remembering history is important for a nation’s glory and for future generation.

  21. Dear Maj Aziz,
    Welcome to the writers’ forum of Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers). It’s a wonderful nostalgic article. Being an old Aviator, I have fully enjoyed it.
    When you were our 2IC back in 1985 in 74 LAA Regt, then located at Clifton, Karachi, I didn’t know about your excellent writing skills.
    I hope you would like the photos added by me in your article?
    Please keep sharing more articles.

    • Maj Aziz ur Rehman says:

      Thanks for appreciation. No doubt the photo-addition was the value-additon for the article. Will keep in touch, Inshaallah.

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