My Cherished Memories of Rawalpindi

By Capt Hasan Jawaid (1st SSC), USA

Editor’s Note: Capt Hasan Jawaid is from a Baluch Regt. He has settled in USA since 1992.

Maj Hasan Jawaid, 1st SSC

Hasan Jawaid

Reading Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi have triggered some very pleasant memories about Rawalpindi that I cherish till this day. During early 1970s, my visits to Pindi were from Karachi and Lahore when I represented Divisional Hockey Teams and participated in Army and National Hockey Championships. Those were the days when Maj Najmi (Baluchi) had just retired from hockey and Maj Mudassar (Baluchi), Capt Shahid Jaffery (FF), Capt Saeed Khan (FF), Capt Khalid Khokhar (FF), Capt Musarrat Ullah (Baluchi) and Capt Munir (FF) were at their best.  Khalid Khokhar and Munir were from the same unit. Shahid Jaffery passed away a few years back and I’ve heard that Munir is also no more in this temporary abode. May Allah bless the departed friends, Ameen.

Although days and afternoons wore us out with intense practice/matches at Army Hockey Stadium and in the ground of Gordon College, but the evenings and nights would make us forget our injuries and agonizing workouts, particularly when we hung out later in the evening at ‘Inter Continental Hotel’ or Pindi Club. We couldn’t afford eating in ‘Inter Con,’ it was more of window shopping, entertainment and hanging out than anything else, mere browsing was good enough for us. We would then hit some inexpensive restaurants in Saddar.

Rawalpindi Pictures: Front view of Flashman's Hotel, The Mall Road, Rawalpindi - Photos, Images of Rawalpindi

Flashman’s Hotel, The Mall, Rawalpindi

There were three places, two inexpensive and one expensive, that I visited very fondly in Pindi, I wish they were still around – Super’s at Bank Road for delicious ice cream, Saddar for tikka-kabab and pateesa (I think it was from Good Luck Bakery in Haathi Chowk) and Flashman’s on The Mall for chocolate pastries and club sandwiches. One of the family members of our Army hockey team player was a manager there who would give us huge discounts on food items and we would devour on them like someone who haven’t had food in days.

You can call it a coincidence, a family friend, recently visited us from Pindi and brought us a box of sweets – pateesa – from Saddar. The kids didn’t eat but my wife and I were thrifty in its consumption and made sure it lasted us good over a month.

Other times we visited our Course mates in the Aviation Mess or Signals Mess when we were ‘wailay’ and had nothing better to do.

Those were some good old days spent in Rawalpindi which was then a peaceful and tranquil town.

Related Pages:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi
Photos of Rawalpindi 

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  1. Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

    Hello Hasan,
    We did not connect for a while, we need to.
    Shehzad Ansari

  2. Khawaja Tariq Askari says:

    Salam, I was checking about hockey in Rawalpindi and among others I came across yours blog. I myself am no player but my late father used to play hockey in Pakistan Hockey Club, Rawalpindi. I think he played from 1950 to 1960-62.
    He used to take me with him when they played matches in Murree and Azad Khasmir.
    Do somebody have more knowledge about this club?
    I am collecting matter to write about Pindi.

  3. Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

    Musarrat was my team mate also. We had a club named Pindi Hawks. We used to practice at the ground next to Saint Paul’s School in front of Holy Family Hospital and walking distance from Musarrat’s home. I remember his elder brother used to play right out. His name was Farhat or Rahat.

  4. Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

    I and Shahid had Vespa scooters. mine was 1962 model which my brother still has it in Islamabad. I remember shahid had 1962 one also, Khalid sahib can verify !!!

  5. Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

    Dear Hassan Jawaid and Khalid Jaffery,
    After reading your comments, I have tears of joy and “sorrow” and it is very very difficult for me to keep writing as I am overwhelmed with memories and emotions. My name is Shehzad Ansari. Played hockey for Rawalpindi Zone since my “childhood” and captained it in 1975/76. I am saying proudly that Shahid Jaffery was my good friend and we have been team mates. I remember those days as a witness when he was “asked” by Mudassar (at Gordon College practice) to play as a center forward instead of playing as in side right.
    Please excuse me for not addressing you as Maj and Maj General and you will see my writing going here and there as my thoughts and tears are taking me …………… I used to or still hold the hockey stick having my grip with my left hand under the right hand, meaning that had a nick name Shehzad “Khabbaa”. I and Shahid have played for Pindi Zone for years, me as a right-in and him as center forward. I believe Mudassar joined Army before him. Our in side left was Khalid Butt (Chungee) from Denny’s High School and he became my team member when we toured Sri Lanka in 1970. Yes, you are correct, I have turned 62 years old young man.
    Khalid Khokar has been my team mate for Pindi Zone for years. He played for Sir Syed College.
    Dear Hassan, when we see one another I believe that we will recognize but I do not think that you played for Pindi Zone during the time frame of your mentioning but you played for Karachi. I had a cousin and my real uncle named Khalid Khursheed and Mr. Marghoob Ansari (both late).
    Dear Khalid, I heard about Shahid when he was serving his love hockey as a camp incharge or may be as a manager for Pakistan team. Kahavat hai kay kissi aik kay chaley jaaney say dunyaa yaa zindagi mein koi faraq nahi parhtaa, laikin mein yeh kehtaa hoon kay lakhoun logoun ko bhee milaa ker uss aik jaisay ko nahee banaa suktay. Jo iss duniya mein hain, Allah unhain sehetmund aur khush rakhey aur jo achay hum say judaa ho gaey hain, woh Allah kay paas khush rahein, Ameen. Let me stop here and let’s see if any memories are there by reading my name.
    I will be waiting for your comments/reply.
    Oh, Khalid! Do you remember right-out Tashfeen. He joined the Army also and after getting retired lives in Lahore. How can I forget umpire Majeed from Hameed Tent Service, Saddar. He was the owner of Friends Club, my private team. later!!!!

    • Hasan Jawaid (NJ) says:

      Shehzad saheb,
      Good to hear from you. You have taken me back to the golden days when we would practice in the morning and play games back to back from 3 pm till end of the day. Not sure if it was Khalid Khokhar or Maj Shahid Jaffery who would drop in around 1:30 pm or so in Officers Mess and ask if I could come and join him (not sure) to play for or against Sir Syed College. If I am not mistaken there was once a match where Baghdadi (ex national player) played from the other side in Sir Syed College. Some events are simply unforgettable, time can’t erode them.
      You are right, I played from Karachi not from Pindi and I am sure we will recognize if we meet, besides as the expression goes, we are old as we feel/think.

      • Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

        Dear Hasan Jawaid Saheb,
        What part of NJ you live in? I am in Durham, North Carolina. I worked for PIA at Islamabad airport before moving to USA.
        You mentioned Baghdadi, WOW, Shafaat Hussain Baghdadi. There were a few others named Pervaiz Kayani, Zaki and Ghulam Rasool (Gulla, another nick name Chirhee).
        Just read in daily Jang that Shehnaz Shiekh has taken over as the president of Pindi Hockey Association from Akhlaq Usmani (goal keeper). As a matter of fact, he won the elections. I did not play many matches/games at Sir Syed College ground. Most of the hockey players of the area in that era have been my fellow team players.
        Thanks for your reply and sharing memories. Hope to hear from Gen Jaffery. I do not remember if Shahid Jaffery had a brother ………. memories coming back!!!
        If you want, please call me at 919-699-6159.
        Your 60 plus young friend,

        • Hasan Jawaid (USA) says:

          Dear Shehzad saheb,
          Will call you tonight (3/6/2015), Inshallah. I live in Bridgewater, 15 miles north of Princeton university. My number is 908-595-0786. Yes, I remember them all. As a matter of fact national team selection camp for 36 probables was once held in Aitchison College and I happened to witness Zahid (Shehnaz Sheikh’s cousin) impressive footwork, what a classy and talented left-in he was.
          I don’t know if you know/remember Safdar Abbas (Pakistan’s left-out) and Naseem Mirza (Pakistan’s right-in) & Asif Mirza (Center forward), I am in contact with all of them, they have all retired. Indeed good memories.

          • Shehzad Ansari, North Carolina (USA) says:

            Again …… WOW !!!! Asif Mirza was my center forward of our PAK youth team of 1970. I was there for the mentioned trials. Yes, Zahid for very artistic one but very moody one also. Azam used be a reserve right-in for me for Pak university and Punjab Board team but when the same selection committee selected Pak team, my name was omitted. Any way, no regrets but ……….. !! Safdar and Naseem came after a couple of years later.
            I will need Asif Mirza’s number from you. Is he in Pakistan? We will talk. thank you!!!!
            Oh, I am a witness of one thing also …… Saleem Nazim was asked by very respected late Chaudhry Ghulam Rasool (Akhtar Rasool’s father) “Puttar jey Pakistan daa color lena ae tey center-half dey trial nahee dainey” and that’s what happened. Nazim’s original position was center-half. Akhtar Rasool could have never been selected as right-half (his original potions) as our very dear and one of the best produced half-back Saeed Anwer (late) was fit and playing. I am saying this without any hesitation. it is true that Akhtar played very well and became the star and captain.

            • Hasan Jawaid (USA) says:

              You are absolutely right, we all know how Akhtar Rasool made it to the Pakistan team, his father wielded lot of influence in the team selection who made sure Akhtar was part of Pakistan’s playing eleven all the time. I remember there were some extra ordinary players who, not having enough pull, didn’t even qualify among 36-48 players. I feel bad for one particular player from Lahore Shahbaz (left-in) who played against us in Karachi Hockey Stadium, very sharp and lovely step work, but fell victim to someone’s disliking.
              Hats off to Nur Khan, what a great administrator he was but his successor Brig Atif was just his opposite. A man of strong liking & disliking and ignored, rather, destroyed such player’s career like Shahbaz Khan (Lahore) & Hasan Askari from Khairpur. Not sure why Azam made it to the team, wasn’t that great of a right-in unless I missed most of his games. His exit created the space for Mudassar.
              I will try and get you Asif Mirza’s number, Naseem is his younger brother. Actually, we all played from the same club and gave tough time to PIA and Customs in major championships. Strange as it may sound, we used to practice “daily” with pretty much full Customs & PIA team, to name few: Islah Uddin, Munawwar-Uzz-Zaman, Kasahani, Waheed bhai, Annu bhai (Anwar Ahmad Khan), tall left-full-back Riaz Uddin, Gulrez (Pakistan’s captain), Shaukat bhai (right-out PIA), sometimes Iftikhar Syed, Muzzafar Tahir, Asif Zafar.. and the list goes on.
              Our Practice used to start around 4 pm and would last until maghrib prayers. Later in the evening most of our club members and some national players would hang out at my place. My father never micro-managed me but had setup high baselines for academic and sports performance. He wouldn’t monitor my grades/division but expected first division in every class and I maintained his trust all the way.

  6. Maj Gen (R) Khalid Jaffery (2nd SSC) says:

    Capt Hassan,
    Thanks a lot for reviving the memories.Those were indeed golden days for hockey, especially in the Army. My late brother was involved with hockey right till the end. He was Manager of the National team when he passed away.

    Pindi has changed over the years, but the old spirit lives on. May Allah Almighty bless you and keep all of us safe. Best wishes.

    • Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

      Your brother, Maj Shahid Jaffery, was one of my favorite hockey players. Let me narrate a small incident to you. I was away on P/Leave to Karachi as my sister was getting married. It was the day after wedding and we had just returned from Walima to find a surprise waiting for me. My unit had sent me a signal asking me to report back immediately to my unit in Lahore. My family was little worried but, regardless, I boarded the first morning flight to Lahore, I was in my unit at 11 AM and guess what was this all about? Your brother had perhaps talked about the national championship and national trials to my CO, Col Iftikhar Ali Khan, who himself was a great hockey and cricket player and later retired as CGS. He had influenced Col Iftikhar to get me back on ASAP basis. Maj Shahid Jaffery found out about my arrival from Adjt and was in my unit at noon and briefed me all about the national championship and national trials which were to take place after championship. Such was his passion for hockey. He was very fond of Hav Noori who was indeed a great center half. May Allah give them and all the departed souls best of the places in Heavens. What a friendly and brotherly person he was; there are some people that are made to stick and they just never leave your memory. He belonged to that class. May Allah rest him in peace. Ameen.

      • Maj Gen (R) Khalid Jaffery (2nd SSC) says:

        Capt Hassan,
        My apologies for the late response. Somehow I missed your subsequent comment till Rashid Cheema pointed this out. Thanks a lot Rashid Cheema.
        I really did not know about this particular episode of yours with my brother, but that was typical of him. As you know, his original position was right-in. Muddassar, who was his friend from College days, requested him to change positions with him and move to centre-forward, as Muddassar thought he had a chance as right-in with the National team. My brother agreed immediately, and Muddasasr did make it to the National team. He never had any regrets and was very happy at Muddassar’s success. What a team the Army had in those days.
        Noori was a great player. I have also played with him and Mahmood, another great centre-half.The Army had no dearth of world class talent back then.
        Thanks once again for your kind words about my brother. Please pray for him. Warm regards.

        • Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

          Gen. Jaffery,
          Thanks for your reply. How long did Maj. Shahid Jaffery keep his good old Vespa? Regardless it was Pindi, Lahore or any other city, he had his Vespa with him all the time.
          Moda (hockey player Mahmood) was another good player, he was from armoured, if I remember correctly. I remember Maj Najmi, Maj Muddassar and Maj Shahid Jaffery from days prior to joining Army. I played Karachi zone a year or two before joining Army and remember playing against Maj Najmi and Maj Muddassar at National Hockey Stadium Karachi in the National Championship. Maj Muddassar opted for right-in position because Azam, right-in national player, had pretty much outlived his utility and Islah had moved from center-forward to right-in to right-out position. You are absolutely right, those were golden days and there was no shortage of talents in any discipline in Pakistan Army.
          Col. Rashid Cheema mentioned that you were our Course mate too, which Company were you in? I will be attending a Walima in England in the end of August and I am told that one of my Course mate or may be from 2nd SSC who retired as Lt. Gen might also be coming to attend it. I am looking forward to reminiscing with him.

          • Maj Gen Khalid Jaffery (Retired) says:

            Capt Hassan,
            Thanks for the prompt reply. Yes, My brother’s Vespa was quite well known and he kept it till 1990 when he was posted to Quetta. Col Najmi and Col Muddasar were in Lahore the last time I met them. Khokhar is heading the Pakistan Mineral Devolopment Corporation in Islamabad. Mahmood (Moda) was training the Baloch Regt Centre team till 2005, but I think he should now be back in his village. Hockey, unfortunately, has taken a backseat in the country because of the money and glamour of cricket and is not being played even in the schools and universities.
            I was in Khalid Coy(K-4) in 1st SSC and was part of the famous weekend group, which got relegated.
            I am not sure about our Course mate who may be coming to the UK. Can you find out his name? I’m sure I would be able to locate him.

            • Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

              Gen Khalid,
              My apologies, I have been busy with my research article that I am supposed to submit next week. I don’t know his full name because I have never met him but have been told that he knows me. His name is Lt Gen (R) Rizvi. It is weird that you and I know people that we have played with and yet our paths have never crossed, at least so it seems. May be it did but my memory evades it.

              I do remember about some of our Course mates that were relegated on a/c of AWOL. Yours was trivial than KS Wyne, it was a miraculous survival for him while others who were party to some stupid thing paid a pretty heavy price for it. If I am not mistaken, one was even drummed out. If you don’t remember or not aware of it may be someone from Tariq/Khalid company can you fill in with details.
              – Hasan

  7. Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

    Hasan Bhai,
    salaamz & duaa.
    Thanks for another walk by the memory lane. I lived in Pindi from 1954 to 1961. We Pindiwaalz may be scattered all over the world but those special times in a sweet old Pindi bring us together. May Allah bless & be kind to all, Aameen.

    • Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

      Assalamo Alaekum.
      Long time no see. We usually run into dinners, parties and iftars but we need to get together sometime.

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