My Mentor; Lt Col Zafar Mustafa (‘Daddy’)

By Maj Khalid Saeed Shah (GHR-3)

Khalid Saeed Shah, Maj (G-3)

Maj Khalid Saeed Shah


Zafar Mustafa, Lt Col

Lt Col Zafar Mustafa

Being an officer from 76 Mtn Regt Arty, I feel myself lucky enough having served under adroit and benevolent leadership of Lt Col Zafar Mustafa affectionately known as “DADDY” by 2nd SSC cadets. At Leepa Valley in late seventies Gen. Zia ul Haq, Army Chief, had to pay a visit and 76 Mtn Regt Arty had to arrange a demonstration of moving a section of 105 mm Pack Guns from its present location to alternate position on mule back. My battery was given the responsibility to conduct the demonstration. The preparation rehearsal was conducted daily. One fine morning ‘Daddy’ along with a guest officer Maj Amin Ullah paid a surprise visit to my battery location. He found the gun position untidy and got annoyed. He gave his peace of mind to the detachment in his usual way and after that ordered me to tell them to put the things right.

I being the GPO of the battery got little perturbed by ‘Daddy’s’ outburst to the detachment and further admonished the detachment by over reacting and chose very harsh words in doing so. ‘Daddy’, could hear me what all I conveyed to the gun detachment. After awhile he called me and said, “Being the father of the unit, I could afford to convey a bit harsh words to show annoyance for that but you as young officer should always be careful in choosing the words while addressing the under command”.

He then advised me, “Khalid, your Battery and work place should always be neat and tidy”.

From that day till now I had kept that advice in mind and reaping the uncounted benefits in my life. Today, I am working as Senior Manager Administration with an export oriented prestigious group of companies having more than 2000 work force producing garments. With the help of Almighty Allah and keeping ‘Daddy’s’ advice in mind and acting accordingly, my efforts are praised by all. For that I remain indebted to ‘DADDY’. May Allah bless him with good health and prosperity (Ameen).

Lt Col Zafar Mustafa on Election Day (11 May 2013)

Lt Col Zafar Mustafa in Karachi on Election Day (11 May 2013).

Related Pages:
Tribute to Pl/Coy Comds 
Tribute to Course Mates
Writers’ Forum

Editor’s Note: If it is not inconvenient, please do write a brief comment at the end of this page under the heading “Leave a Reply here”.


  1. Lt Col Masood Alam (SS-3) says:

    Dear Shah Jee, nice to read your very well written article. I hope you will contribute more. Yes, Col Zafar Mustafa was known to all the cadets of 2nd SSC, but lucky one were those who served under him. Regards.

  2. Major Munir Ahmed ( H-3 ) says:

    Dear Shah Jee,
    Thank you so much for sharing a memorable event. You have been lucky to have Col Zafar Mustafa as your CO. He is one of those rarely found officers who act as an institution. He has always been a role model for all the Tobians. He is symbol of love & affection for all & very rightly named as Daddy.The incident narrated clearly indicates “The Art of Command at its Best” . May Allah bless him with good health (Aameen).

    • Maj Khalid Saeed Shah (G-3) says:

      Dear Munir,
      Many thanks. Indeed, I am lucky and you are absolutely right, Daddy is a rare commodity.

  3. Brig Farooq Maan (A-4) says:

    We the cadets of Abdali Coy owe a lot to our Pl Comds but the role played by ‘DADDY’ will always be remembered. I think all of us have some act of his kindness which will always remain in our memories. May Allah bless him and his family with health and happiness. Ameen.

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

    Dear Khalid,
    Thank you for remembering me with such kind words. I recollect the CAOS was so happy with the quick action of your guns that he ordered on the spot promotion of our senior-most Subedar as Subedar Major although an outsider had been posted to us by the Arty Centre (an unjust posting) and had reached unit’s rear HQ at Sawan Guchcha.
    I commanded 76 Mtn from 7 Nov 1974 till 14 Oct 1976.

  5. Brig Asad Hakeem (G-2) says:

    Well done. I was moved to see the pic of Daddy waiting to vote. I hope it would inspire others to vote for a change, don’t wait for angels, please.

  6. Maj Masood Iqbal Akhtar (A-5) says:

    It was in mid 70s when Daddy was commanding 76 Mtn Regat. I was also there in one of the indep Med Bty (‘Darang More’). Golden memories! Maj Amin Ullah was 2IC of a Medium Regt (newly raised) at Garhi Dupatta.

  7. Azam Gill (H-1) says:

    Thank you Shahjee for sharing this precious anecdote of a great man, whom you too, had the greatness to recognise.

  8. Maj Rana Saeed Bhatti (A-2), USA says:

    Dear Shah Gee,
    Though I can guess what Daddy must have said to the troops in ‘his usual way’ But, it is not the whole truth you are narrating. Tell us what he told you as well and that too in vernacular. I assure you the confidentiality of it.

    • Brig Khalid Hassan (SS-1), USA says:

      I endorse Saeed Bhatti’s remarks. I was also in AK Bagh Sector in a medium Bty and can imagine Khalid’s fate in that situation. Khalid Saeed Shah was a lively company in AK those days and must have narrated complete to all his friends there.

    • Maj Khalid Saeed Shah (G-3) says:

      Dear Saeed Bhatti & Khalid Hassan,
      I tell you the truth that Daddy during his stay with Us in 76 Mtn Regt Arty never used harsh words with any one of us. He had lot of patience and a very big heart as at that time 76 Mtn Regt was full of unique characters, you name one and a separate book could be written on them including me, but he was always kind and loving in choosing his words. He being gem of a person supported everyone of us as most of the lot did not deserve to be in uniform. He supported even officers of other Arty units as well. THE GREAT MAN HE IS.

  9. Maj Farooq Rana (A-4) says:

    Khalid, I envy you to have him as your CO. May Allah bless him always with health, happiness and a long life enjoying with his children and grandchildren, Ameen.

  10. Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (A-1) says:

    Dear Khalid,
    I think ‘Daddy’ commanded 76 Mtn Regt in Leepa Valley during mid 70s because in late 70s, he was commanding a unit in Quetta.

    • Maj Khalid Saeed Shah (G-3) says:

      Dear Cheema,
      Many thanks for posting my article. Yes, Daddy commanded 76 Mtn Regta from 1974-76.

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