Maj Zafar Mustafa – ‘Daddy’ of Our Course

By Maj Muhammad Mujib Aftab (SS-2)

Maj Mujib Aftab, Maj (SS-2)



Harvard (T-6). Photo from the Internet.

I joined 51st GDP at PAF Academy Risalpur in 1968 and stayed there for about 2 years. I also flew for 30 hours on Harvard (T-6) but was later grounded. I along with Ikram Cheema (H-1), who was from 49th GDP, joined 2nd SSC at Tobe Camp in Nov 1971 and landed in SS-2 platoon.

After the 1971 War, the Bengali officers left for Bangladesh and there was a shortage of officers in all branches of PAF. They sent me a telegram at my house in Rawalpindi asking me to immediately join their Ground Branch. My father informed me about the development. After having tasted the tough routine of Army training in PMA, I was inclined to accept this offer.

Ahmad Abbas, Brig (SS-1)

Ahmad Abbas

It was Saturday evening when I received the info. I along with Ahmad Abbas (Later Brig) ex SS-1 went to the house of my Pl Comd, Maj Zaheer Malik but he had gone on weekend. Then we went to the residence of our Coy Comd, Maj Zafar Habib. He too had gone to Rawalpindi over the weekend.

Zafar Mustafa, Lt Col

Maj Zafar Mustafa

Some one suggested that I should meet Maj Zafar Mustafa, the Coy Comd of Abdali Coy. So I along with Abbas went to Maj Zafar Mustafa’s house. He received us with warmth and listened to my story and politely said, “Son, Why do you want to join the Ground Branch of PAF? You have an equal opportunity in Army too.”

When I told him that I had made up my mind to join PAF, he said, “If you know some one in PAF, go to Air HQ Peshawar on this weekend and discuss the matter.”

I said, “Sir,I don’t know any officer in PAF. Abbas’ father is serving in Air HQ. I will be obliged if you allow him to accompany me.”

Maj Zafar Mustafa replied, “Sure”. He got our Leave Passes sanctioned.

We reached Peshawar the same night and on Sunday morning Abbas’ father took us to the home of an officer who was serving in Air Secretary Branch (Same as MS Branch in the Army). The PAF officer told me that they didn’t know that I had already joined PMA. He said that they will have to request the Army and the process may take a long time. He advised me to go for the Army as I had already spent a few weeks in PMA. We returned back to Tobe Camp at night on Sunday.

I was really impressed by the fatherly and loving attitude of Col Zafar Mustafa. Though I was not from his company but he still helped me. Then I came to know why he was called ‘Daddy’ by the GCs of Abdali Coy. In fact, he was not the ‘Daddy’ of Abdali Coy alone, he was the ‘Daddy’ of entire 2nd SSC. May Allah give him good health and long life, آمین .

Mujib Aftab with Rashid Minhas (later Nishan-e-Haider) in PAF Academy Risalpur in 1968

Mujib Aftab in PAF Academy 1968

Related Articles:
Tribute to Pl/Coy Comds 
Tribute to Course Mates

Editor’s Note: Please do write a very brief comment at the end of this page under the heading “Leave a Reply here”.  


  1. Lt Col Shaukat Zaidi (SSH-2) Kinshasa, Congo says:

    AA Mujeeb, there could not have been a better anecdote to describe ‘Daddy’s’ qualities par excellence…………..and I was not aware of your writing skills too. Just called your home to find that you are in New York. Need your new email address. Ramadan kareem to all and my very sincere regards/good wishes for ‘Daddy’. I have the honour of serving in 76 Mtn (1980-83). AH

  2. Maj Khalid Saeed Shah (GHR-3) says:

    I served under ‘Daddy’ in 76 Mtn Regt Arty. My Bty was a few yards away from RHQ. I was GPO/ Bty Capt and am really honored having spent the YAADGAAR period of my Army life. 76 Mtn will always remain indebted to him being its CO at most demanding and trying moment of the Unit History. Col Zafar Mustafa jaisay farishta seerat, imaandaar aur Khoobsoorat insaan duniya mein kum hongay.

  3. Maj Javed Arshad Manj (HDR-3) says:

    He indeed was the Daddy of 2nd SSC. Mujib, I am sure you are not regretting your decision to stay back in the Army. How could we be friends had you proceeded to join PAF.

  4. Lt Col Zafar Mustafa (Abdali Coy Comd) says:

    I am humbled by your affection. May Allah bless all of you and your families. Aameen!

  5. Lt Col Masood Alam (SSH-3) says:

    Thanks Mujib for sharing this story, it has confirmed that Col Zafar Mustafa is ‘Daddy’ of whole Course. Regards.

  6. Azam Gill (HDR-1), France says:

    Well done, Mujib Jee. You have deftly handled different issues with clarity and brevity, while contributing to the well-deserved tributes to Lt Col Zafar Mustafa.

  7. Lt Col Javaid Ahmed Kamal says:

    Well done Mujib. There could not have been a better and simple way of expressing your gratitude to Col Zafar Mustafa. I fully share yours’ and others views about him.

  8. Lt Col Kamran Gul Abdullah (SSH-4, Later SSH-1) says:

    Good article Mujib, I visited Col Zafar last Saturday. We spent almost three hours talking and discussing good old Army days. I am amazed at his memory (better than ours). May Allah keep you and your family happy and in HIs hifazat آمین.

  9. Maj Munir Ahmed (HDR-3) says:

    Dear Mujib, Thank you for sharing your generous feelings about a man who has already earned tremendous respect & regards through his conduct. Your feelings have certainly enhanced his respect in our hearts.

  10. Maj Rehmat Elahi (GHR-3) says:

    I agree that he was the ‘Daddy’ of or Course. In my opinion all Comds were having fatherly attitude towards their cadets.

  11. Editor: Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (ABD-1) says:

    Dear Mujib,
    Good article. We thought that the Abdali Coy guys alone owned ‘Daddy’. But surely he was ‘Daddy’ of our entire Course. May Allah give long life to ‘Daddy’, آمین.

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