“My Old but Ever New Pindi” (Part 3)

By Rafique Ahmed Khan, Dubai

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Editor’s Note: The writer was born and brought up in Rawalpindi. He studied in Denny’s High School, Mission High School and Gordon College. He worked as a Consultant in Provisioning & Stock Control and Logistics in various Organisations. Finally retired from PIA and now lives in Dubai. He is writing a series of articles about the life in Rawalpindi during 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Continued from Part 2……

Image of Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi

Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi.

The Jamia Masjid, Rawalpindi, itself is now a historical beautifully constructed building since last few centuries. It was constructed with the best available material so perfectly that it still stands with big grandeur and majestic look without being modified or any addition/alteration except once when one of its minarets was struck with lightning during a very heavy rain and fell down during 1940s. Incidentally I am  an eye-witness to this episode also. The Mosque is quite visible from my house, and as I was enjoying the rain in the top floor of my house when suddenly there was a huge flash followed by big thunder and I saw the dome of a small Minaret falling down before my eyes. I still dread the scene.

To support the financial expenditure of the Mosque, many shops were wisely constructed on both sides of the entrance gate along with the entire width. Hence the Mosque meets its expenses independently without any donations.

Khurshid Cinema, Rawalpindi

Khurshid Cinema, Rawalpindi .

At a short distance of the Mosque a cinema (Luxmi Cinema) later named as Khurshid Cinema was constructed. It became a bone of contention for the Muslims. To calm down the situation the usual loud music to attract the public was stopped by the Administration to be played at the entrance/outside the cinema hall as a mark of respect. During pre-Partition days the Mosque was also used for political “Jalsas” ; and political/religious leaders/orators used to come from all over India and delivered worth listening speeches. I remember some very famous orators like Mian Iftikhar Hussain, and Maulana Atta Ullah Shah Bokhari used to speak frequently and interestingly listened by the audience. All the processions were allowed by order to pass quietly in front of the Mosque; but I remember during early 1940s Sikhs started playing their musical instruments during a procession in front of the Mosque, which infuriated the Muslims who started stoning the procession; and all of a sudden the riots started.

My father hurriedly took me in the huge building (owned by Hakim Abdul Khaliq) under construction in front of the Mosque., wherein we had to stay confined till late in the evening when the situation became calm. Thus for the first time during my early childhood I witnessed a Muslim/Sikh riot which was very violent.

There were some tombs called “Dargahs” of some sacred men in the city such as “SHAH DI TAHLIAN”, “SHAH CHAN CHIRAGH”, “SHAH NAZAR DEEWAN” etc., where people used to go daily to pray and burn clay lamps called “DEEWAS” in the evenings. Even Hindu/Sikhs used to go there and pay respect and offer money. During annual gatherings called “URS” there used to be huge rush on the tombs also called “MIZAARS”.

Bari Imam

Bari Imam.

But more imposingly there used to be annual gatherings called “MELA BARI IMAM” during spring weather on the MIZAAR of BARI IMAM in an adjacent village called Nurpur Shahan. Almost entire population of Peshawar used to attend the “URS”. There used to spring up a huge tent village containing hundreds of tents. The rich and tribal chiefs used to have tents of high quality with different size as per their status. A large number of famous male and female singers used to sing and dance called “MUJRA” at the Mizaar and in the tents also when specially hired by the chiefs called “KHANS”. It was worth seeing the KHANS armed personally with the pistols, and their servants called “KHIDMAT GAARS” carrying guns, all listening and watching the MUJRAS; and throwing huge sums of money at the singers and dancers (called “Wails”) to show their grandeur.

The event used to last for 12 days of praying, rejoicing, and all such types of entertainments throughout the nights; while days were spent resting and sleeping. It is said that millions of rupees were spent by these KHANS during the festival on the singers and dancers. After the partition this practice was totally stopped being a menace, by the Pakistan Government, and now the festivals are held quietly without any type of such entertainments; and only sober type people come and only pray. To be continued ………………..

Related Pages:
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 1)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 2) 
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 3) 
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 4)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 5) 
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 6)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 7)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 8)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 9)

My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 10)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 11)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 12)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 13)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 14)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 15)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 16)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 17)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 18)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 19)
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi  
Rawalpindi Blog 

Editor’s Note: If you have liked this page, then please share it on FacebookTwitter or any other social media.
If it is not inconvenient, please do write a brief comment at the end of this page under the heading “Leave a Reply here”. 
Visitors of this website are welcome to contribute their nostalgic articles about Rawalpindi by sending to: nativepakistan@gmail.com


Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email


  1. Sir Rafique Ahmed Khan sahib,
    It is another awesome nostalgic article!!!!

  2. Ch. Muhammad Yaqub says:

    Dear Rafique saheb,
    Down the memory lane you have touched the heart by mentioning people and places. I as a child used to walk from DAV College Road to Jilani saheb’s residence in the evening. Those were the days when municipal fire brigade vehicle used to sprinkle water on the route. I used to run. Cinemas were a good entertainment.
    I am an eye witness to Khan Liaquat Ali’s jalsa in Company Bagh where he embraced shahadat and left Pakistani nation, still wandering.
    Moulvi Riazuddin (Denny’s High School) Kh Obaidur Rahman (Islamiya School), his mathematics books were in our 9th/10th class, Habibur Rahman (Faiz ul Islam School) Niaz Tirmizi (Muslim School) Qazi Razaur Rahman (Model School) were respectable and known to almost all students. Their share in academics and sports in Rawalpindi of that time was exemplary.
    Then at College level teachers of Gordon College and Govt College Saidpur Road are still in the prayers and minds of the students. On 23rd March 1956 Rawlapindi celebrated the day in a very different way. Cinema houses were free for all. The tragedy at Pohrian wala pul (linking Saadar / city ) where on that night the wall towards Saadar collapsed resulting death of many because of rush celebrating the day.
    Daily Tameer and Kohistan used to be the local newspapers, Pakistan Times, Jang and Nawa-i-Waqt started with shifting of capital. A time came when some films were shot (‘Waada’ of Sabiha Santosh and ‘Daata’ of Sudhir, ‘Sarfrosh’) at Topi Rakh (now Ayub Park) and Rawal fall (now Rawal Dam) area. This also attracted the masses to follow the venues.
    Sir, I appreciate your contribution to these nostalgic expressions. My prayers for you and whole family,.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear respected Muhammad Yaqub Saheb, I have to thank you for confirming my memoirs in your own words. Your comments acted like a whip to my memory to refresh whatever I could remember. I also have to admit that you have converted my whole episode in a brief but concise and comprehensive text, which is really very appreciable. Thanking you again to re-kindle my memoirs’ dwindling candle in the wind of time with your very comprehensive comments. May God bless you

      • Ch. Muhammad Yaqub says:

        My Dear Raique Saheb,
        Thanks for reply. I pray Allah may bless you with the spirit, RETIRED – NOT TIRED AND NOT RETARDED. Sir, I am encouraged by your strength and would like to retain this. Blessed is your family to have a young man like you.
        Pindi Haj Transport came in to my mind which used to carry pilgrims from Liaquat Bagh and drop them back. The cooking party was living at DAV College Road. They had their hotel business. It used to be celebration in our area when Hajis returned. A long and tiring journey but people used this to avoid going by ship via Karachi.
        I have the honour to be the student of Moulvi Riazuddin sb. (RA) as he used to take extra classes during summer vacation at his Model School Bhoosa Mandi Saddar. Qazi Razaur Rahman sb(RA) was our Head Master. Moulvi saheb also established Sehgal Model School in his ancestral area Chakwal.
        Master Tara Singh visited Mission School when he came to Pakistan. He was an ex student. I saw him occupying the same seat in his class room and looked at the play ground where he played foot ball. Faizul Islam School, Trunk Bazar, had the pride of Quaid-e-Azam’s visit. Trunk Bazar used to be the venue of public meeting of Atta Ullah Shah Bokhari, Moulana Ghulam Ullah Khan and seerat conferences of Anjuman Faizul Islam.
        I still have in memory the grace of your Jilani family and kindness to the people in the area. May Allah grant the souls with all His bounties.
        Just opposite to Mission School in one of the shops was Ibrahim Photographer who used to snap group photos of out going classes of schools and colleges. He maintained a good record as after many years I got my snaps recovered from their records.
        DAV College Road/Committee Chowk used to be the venue where Moulana Maudoodi, Allama Mashriqui stayed.
        Dr. Gazan, Kh. Imtenan Illahi, Dr Nooruddin and Dr. Raza were prominent in our area.
        My prayers and regards.

        • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

          My Very Dear & respected Muhammad Yaqub Saheb;
          I felt wonder struck to read your memoirs which have charged my memory to an extent of extremely fresh maximum. All the incidents/gentlemen quoted by you came like a flash of lightening to my hazy but alive memory. I know all the teaching staff of Denny’s High School of those times because I have also studied there during 1931-1935. During my stay the Headmaster was Master Nisar a very prominent, well known and highly impressive figure in the high gentry of the Cantonment area. I remember Master Tara Singh’s visit, and I attended Maulana Atta Ullah Shah Bokhari’s fiery speeches with my father. I also remember the start of Anjuman Faiz Ul Islam and Maulana Ghulam Ullah Khan.
          I remember almost all the gentlemen like Dr. Gazan, Dr. Noor Ud Din and Dr. Raza, etc. I shall be highly obliged to know more about you as a person to enable me recollect more.
          Thanking you and praying for the best of your everything.

          • Ch. Muhammad Yaqub says:

            My very Dear and respected Sir,
            Thanks for my words. I just expressed my feelings after going through your articles which boosted my memory. We still have a small house on D A V College Road. Pardon me I am using the old name. I studied at Faiz -e- aam School (near my house), M.B. Primary School Moti Bazar (M.A. Shah was Head Master), then taken to Denny’s High School for admission in Class 6th. under the patronage of Moulvi Riazuddin Model Middle School was functioning in Bhoosa Mandi Saddar area where Qazi Ghulam Jilani was Head Master. The elder was advised by Moulvi Saheb to get admission there. School was elevated to 10th Class with Qazi Razaur Rahman as Head Master. May Allah Bless those teachers who worked hard to get better results and gave extra tuition selflessly. Now a days tuition is a lucrative business and one can not expect better result without attending any tuition center.
            As there was no play ground of our school we used to go at Dawn Hotel (adjacant to Capital Cinema, Saddar), Denny’s High School and sometimes to Misssion School, Raja Bazar. After School I got admission both at Gordon College and Govt College Saidpur Road. Destiny took me to Govt. College.
            After passing Intermediate in 1961 I came to Karachi and had to earn my living. I joined Pakistan Refinery and worked there for more than four decades. During my job I did my M.Sc. I was lucky to have my education when people like Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi, Dr. Mahmood Hussain and Prof Salimuzzaman Siddiqui served Karachi University. On my job I worked with a professional team of dedicated people.
            I am fond of reading books and have a collection of old books which are 50 years old (my collection) and some near 100 years. I have retained books on Holy Quran, Seerat e Pak (SAW), Sahaba nad Sahabiyat (RA), Iqbal and Rumi. At school level I learnt Persian which helps me now and trying to learn Arabic. At Karachi I had the privilege to get benefit from Mufti Muhammad Shafi Saheb (RA) and renowned scholars.
            I work as a consultant now ALHAMDULILLAH and happy to serve the nation when needed.
            Hope I covered major parts briefly. Please feel free to ask me if I can be of any benefit to you from here.
            My prayers and regards.

            • RAFIQUE AHMED KHAN says:

              My very dear & respected Muhammad Yaqub Saheb,
              Your memories of the past carry a substantial information; which you have concluded in such a successfully condensed form. The same have added a marvelous knowledge regarding the relevant times to my memoires. I am also very fond of reading and had a good collection of books. Unfortunately I could not maintain my collection of some very rare books like the first edition of Miss Mayo’s Mother India and whole set of Lands & Peoples, etc.
              After my superannuation having retired on pension I also worked as a Consultant in various organization before coming to live with my son in Dubai, since last more than 25 years. Now I am living quite retired life. Your priceless comments will remain in my memory as substantially big knowledge.
              Thanking you and praying for the best of your everything.

              • Ch. Muhammad Yaqub says:

                My very Dear and respected Sir,
                I am grateful for your comments on my brief. I thought personal piece might be boring, but your encouragement forced me to write and keep connected.
                On your last paragraph I have to say that Surah 74 (Al Mudaththir) ayat 12-13-14 are befitting.
                Quote ; “And to whom I granted extensive wealth, And children present (with him) And spread (everything) before him (easing his life): Unquote.
                Your son and grand children are also blessed to have a pleasant elder who loves his past, lives in present and prays for a better future.
                There used to be a magazine Khilona Delhi if you happened to see. They had on their title “8o saal tak ke bachchon ke liyae“.
                Now a few lines to revive the memories.
                With creation of Pakistan, people migrated to Rawalpindi also. Temporary shelters were provided in schools and several occupied the evacuee properties. In occupying the houses locals also benefitted. This gave rise to land grabbing by the powerful, thus open land like Committee Chowk, near Marir Hasan , Gowalmandi ground near Nullah Leh (Laie) and several other sites. This happened after 1970. The conditions are worsening with the passage of time.
                In early times veteran Muslim League woker Syed Mustafa Shah and Sh. Masud Sadiq (who used to reside/stay in a house just opposite to Gordon College) maintained the peace within the city. Under Shah sahib I have seen the things being distributed among the displaced persons at Muslim League Office off Trunk Bazar.
                Colonel Maqbool also came in light when he got control of present Imam Bargah site on Gordon College Road. I could never compromise as a child for use of mandirs and gurdawaras fro residential purposes. If you remember Gurdawara Narankari Saheb in Ganj Mandi was handed over to Sikhs at the time of Master Tara Singh’s visit. Otherwise a school was being run there. D A V College was occupied by offices of Azad Kashmir and transit arrangement to Gilgit Baltistan and some portions for residential purpose. I remember one class room was opened in 1955/56 it was full of badges of Quaid e Azam and group photos of teachers / students since 1917. These all were taken away by the strong boys and destroyed. Thanks now the site has been again converted to a School. It pains me to see the construction work in the ground of Islamia School, Murree Road after nationalization. This is also reported that some more than 30 acre land of school has been grabbed.
                Pohrianwala Pul (as it was called) joins city and Saddar area for comfort of padestrians and cyclists. There were collies who used to carry the cycle for 2 paisas. Slowly and gradually the steps were occupied by the beggars and space on the bridge by palmist, quakes and sellers. Thus a mess created. Long time now I could not visit. Surely the things would have not improved.
                There was an ice factory near railway under pass after Marir bridge which is now closed and across are REPCO offices.
                Khan Sher Bahadur Additional District Magistrate Rawalpindi who used to live on Murree Road was also once a prominent personality because of his speedy actions. Later on he also served as an Administrator Rawalpindi Municipal Committee for some time. There used to be a cinema show on every Wednesday for ladies exclusively. I heard that Khan saheb prohibited this show to avert misuse by girl students.
                Presence of Ch. Ghulam Abbas, Mir Waiz, Sardar Qayyum in the city was also an honour to see them around. I attended the public meetings of all these along with Kh. Nazimuddin, Ch. Muhammad Ali, Sardar Nishter, Sardar Bahadur Khan, Qasim Rizvi, Allama Mashriqui, Maulana Maudoodi at Liaquat Bagh. The old pine trees in Liaquat Bagh could not survive. I hope Badminton court, Ladies Park and Press Club are still there.
                My prayers and regards,

                • RAFIQUE AHMED KHAN says:

                  My dear Muhammad Yaqub Saheb,
                  After going through your so detailed but highly condensed revival of your memory that one feels dreaming to be living in the same past. I know almost all the gentlemen you have mentioned in your reply. I presume that you have inadvertently omitted the “Gilani” from the name Sayed Mustafa Shah Gilani who used to live in the same locality where I have lived during my early age. He was a politician (Muslim League) and very good orator delivering speeches in the political gatherings. Sh. Masud Sadiq an immigrant from Amritsar was also a politician and member of the Municipal Committee. He used to visit frequently the Imperial Cinema to see my father-in-law Agha Ghulam Jilani.
                  The Pohrhyan Wallah Pull has since been modified and widened but without any roof: because the beggars had started becoming nuisance to start living there with their families. Now there being no protection from the rain and scorching sun, no one is occupying the bridge to live in.
                  Now the Islamiya High School has no imposing view due to raising of the Murree Road as a result of multiple carpeting during the past years. We have to go down few steps to enter the foreground of the school.
                  I also know the Magistrate Sher Bahadur Khan. He gave us some tough time while we the allottees of Satellite Town were in the process of completing the construction of houses. He used to chase us to expedite the construction of the houses; as the Government was in dire need of residences for the Officers who were transferred to Pindi at the time of shifting of the Capital. I benefitted from his chasing to receive an ample supply of wood, glass, iron and cement etc; (which were in short supply in the market) from the MES department on control rates. Unfortunately I could not escape the requisition of my house by the government. I had to fight for ten years to get the house de-requisitioned.
                  Kindly do go through my memoires “MY OLD BUT EVERNEW PINDI” on its website (bit.ly/pindi) to know more about your city. I shall be highly obliged to receive your nice comments in this regards.
                  Thanking you,

                  • Ch. Muhammad Yaqub says:

                    My Dear respected Sir,
                    Thanks for guiding me to read your memoirs in book form. You have expressed in such a way that I feel myself in your company viewing the past. The memories preserved are a good record.
                    The kerosene lamp post was just near my house, whenever in the evening caretaker with his ladder on shoulder used to fill up the oil and clean the soot, we used to gather around. Sometimes my amman ji used to entertain him with a cup of tea. The light used to be off near Fajr prayers.
                    You have mentioned names of lady health visitors in a decent and respectable way. I remember that we used to call them amma or khala and obey their orders.
                    Eid Mela at Liaquat Bagh used to be the part of attraction post Eid along with release of new films. Circus and theatre (Inayat Hussain Bhatti), “Mout ka kunwan” in addition to rides were amusing.
                    At Imperial Cinema famous films; Baghi, Intezar and Qismet were exhibited for many weeks. Although we were not allowed to see the picture alone or with friends. Only some elder could be kind to take us. But visit around the posters and hoardings were interesting then.
                    I was a member of Municipal Library (then in Liaquat Bagh) and frequent visitor and beneficiary. It was well kept at that time.
                    I remember when Iskander Mirza (President of Pakistan) inaugurated Jubilee Hall, Gordon College.
                    My prayers and regards,

                    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

                      Dear respected Muhammad Yaqub Saheb;
                      Thank you for your reading my book and appreciation thereof.
                      I was also a very frequent visitor to the Municipal Library.
                      During those times no underage persons were allowed to go to Cinemas. Even the elders were reluctant to take them along while visiting such places. I still remember the big posters of the films on the walls, and Tongas were fitted with the posters on both sides for the publicity of the films.
                      I was personally known by both Fathers Rev. J B Cummings and Prof. R R Stewart being friends of my father. I had been their student also
                      How happy those days were
                      With best wishes and regards

        • Farooq Ahmed Bhatti says:

          Sir, Rafiq Sahib, Assalamo alaikum,
          I passed my SSCE from Model High School Bhoosa Mandi Sadder in 1968. Late sir Raza Ur Rehman, Master Abdul Hadi, master Feroze Uddin, PT master Sir siddiq, were among the teachers. These days I am working in Saudi Arabia as Project Manager Architecture,

  3. Idrees Barlas says:

    The picture shown here as “Jamia Masjid” is actually showing Ahl-e-Hadis Masjid. The original masjid is situated about 500 ft toward south of this masjid.

    • Dear Idrees Barlas Sahib,
      Thank you sir, for the observation. Which is correct. I will try to amend the introductory footer under the photo.

      • Dear Idress Barlas sahib.
        Thank you for pointing out the mistake. The correct photo of Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi has been added in the Post.

        • idrees Barlas says:

          Great work done sir. I have offered only once I’m this masjidfrom raja bazar.the floor while returning the courtyard floor is madeup of octagonal brick tlies. Other unique feature is that the front wall is painted showing tree
          s and flowers. I hope and pray that pindi will develop its culture, arts, ethics and tolerance, get rid of this wagon culture, and open up.
          Salami to all

  4. Ejaz Hashmi says:

    Very informative article as well as comments.

  5. Hello Sir,
    It was great reading this article about the city I grew up in. I recently moved to Lahore and realised the worth of my peaceful, beautiful hometown. I am the great grand-son of Late Hakeem Abdul Khaliq and I am glad to inform you that those premises are still there and are still very much the same, although I never really got a chance to reside there but know the value and feel proud reading about it and my great grandfather on your blog.
    Thank you for bringing back Pindi to me!

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Saad Sheikh,
      Late Hakeem Abdul Khaliq was our family friend & Hakim. After him his son Hakim Ayub started the Hikmat. His son Maqbool from his 3rd; wife was my playmate and my wife’s class fellow. Pleas advise who’s son you are ?
      Nice of you for your contact.

      • Saad Sheikh says:

        Maqbool Ahmed is my grandfather (dada). I am son of Asif Maqbool Sheikh. My family is still back in West-ridge, Pindi but I’m here in Lahore studying film at NCA. My grandfather still lives in the same house you mentioned. I often visit him when I’m back in Pindi. Would love to meet you in person with Dada someday. Hakim Ayub’s family is also very close to us.

        • Dear Saad Sheikh,
          I felt so happy to know you. When you meet your father next, just remind him about me. We were friends. I am son-in-law of late Agha Ghulam Jilani owner of Imperial Cinema, and used to live on Pul Shah Nazar.
          With best wishes.

          Editor: Saad Sheikh! Rafique Sahib now lives in Dubai. You may meet him during your visit to Dubai or wait for his visit to Pindi. 🙂

          • Saad Sheikh says:

            Unfortunately my father passed away in 2009. I have heard about Sir Agha Ghulam Jilani and the Imperial Cinema from my father a lot of times now that I recall. Glad to know you too.

            • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

              Dear Saad Sheikh,
              Very sad to learn about your father’s untimely death. May God bless him.
              If I do not make any mistake late Haji Feroze Din, Zahoor Biloo Nisar and Aunti Shaho are your maternal ancestors?

              • Saad Sheikh says:


                Yes sir, all three of them are my ancestors. Haji Feroze ud Din was my grand mother’s father and Zahoor Biloo Nisar is my father’s uncle. Aunti Shaho is also related to us.

  6. Munir Ahmad, Sharjah says:

    May Allah Subhanaotaalah bless you with long long trouble free life and happiness and prosperity. InshaAllah, soon, I will visit you personally. By writing articles on “PINDI”, you are blowing new souls among PINDIWALAS. Hope through this we will find some old days friends and “karen gay bachpan ki baatein.”

  7. Zahir Khan says:

    Rafique Sahib,
    Let us have your views about Maulana Ghulam Ullah who used to lead the Eid Prayers in Liaquat Bagh during days of President Ayub Khan. My dad stopped going there and we used to say our Eid prayers at the Islamia School Mosque, Murree Road whose Imam was indeed a very soft spoken person. Kh. Obaid ur Rehman Sahib, an icon of Rawalpindi used to be the Principal in those days. Your memory is admirable.

    • Sajid Baig, UK says:

      Dear Zahir Khan sahib,
      I agree, Khawaja Obaidur Rehman was indeed a great literary icon of Rawalpindi, he was a close friend of my father Late Mirza Anwar Beg who was In Radio Pakistan Pindi ln late 1950 to early 1960s. Is Khawaja Sahib still alive?

      • Maulana Ghulam Ullah as I remember him was very outspoken and sometimes he became disputed due to his utterances. Quite a lot of people differed from him on so many religious points. As he is dead now I should not go into the details why so many people did not like.
        I know late Maulana Khwaja Obaidur Rehman. He was a very popular figure and as you say a great literary icon in whole of Punjab. He used to gather a large audience during his speeches.

        • Omar Farooq Ahrar says:

          What a wonderful account of pre Partition Pindi!! Masha Allah. In that era, Rawalpindi was the centre of the activities of Majlis Ahrar Islam. Sufi Inayat Muhammad Pasruri, Sufi Wasma walay (Eid Gah Road) and his son Sufi Ghulam Naqshband and their colleagues Hakeem Abdur Rehman owner of Rehmania Dawakhana, Hakeem abdul Ghani, etc. were the main leaders of Ahrar. Please write about Ahrar members and their activities with detail, if you can.
          May God bless you.

          • Dear Omar Farooq Ahrar Sahib,
            Thank you sir, for your comment. I know personally Sufi Inayat Muhammad of “Wasma” and familiar with their residence in the Eid Gah very well. I know very well Hakim Abdur Rehman of Rehmania Dawakhana. We used to get pure Araq-i-Chahar from him. His other products like “Maajoons”, “Kushtas”, “Araqs” and various “Tonics” were very famous and liked by the public. You must be knowing Maulvi Muhammad Ismail a famous orator of his time. He was my neighbour. I have already mentioned about them in my memoirs.
            With blessings.

            • Omar Farooq Ahrar says:

              thanks for sharing your memories but still i am waiting for your coment on Majls Ahrar’s activities in Rwp.

              • Dear Mr. Omar Farooq Sahib,
                The Majlis Ahrar being Deobandi back ground could not attain a permanent long lasting popularity: especially after the “KHILAFAT MOVEMENT”. I only remember Maulana Attaullah Shah Bokhari, Agha Shorish Kashmeeri, & Maulana Zafar Ali Khan were taking leading parts in organising & speaking in “Jalsas” in the Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi. As it was opposed to creation of Pakistan and hated Mr. Jinnah; it could not penetrate in the masses, and remained confined in the religious type elements. It however puffed momentarily during 30s/40s, with its large crowded frequent “Jalsas”; but fizzled out prematurely like a bubble.

                • Dr Omar Farooq Ahrar says:

                  جناب آپ نے مجلس احرار اسلام کے راولپنڈی میں کام اور سرگرمیوں کے ذکر کی بجائے احرارکو پاکستان کا مخالف قراردینے پرہی سارا زورصرف کردیاہے جوکسی بھی حوالے سے قرین انصاف نہیں ہے۔احرار اور مسلم لیگ سیاسی جماعتیں تھیں اور دوجماعتوں کے درمیان اختلاف رائےکوئی جرم نہیں۔مجلس احراراسلام پانی کا بلبلا نہیں تھی کہ جو آپ کے بقول ہمیشہ کے لیے ختم ہوگئی۔بلکہ آج بھی مجلس احرارآپ کے راولپنڈی میں بھی موجود ہے اور نظام اسلام کے نفاذاورمنکرین ختم نبوت قادیانیوں کے خلاف جدوجہدمیں مصروف ہے

                  • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

                    Dear Dr. Omar Farooq Ahrar Saheb,
                    Your worthy comments dated April 16, 2015 appeared in garbled Urdu script which I can not read properly. While regretting in case my comments offended you, I would like you to please reproduce your comments in English to enable me clear any misunderstanding further.
                    Thanking you and with blessings

      • Munir Ahamd says:

        Oh Great, It reminds me of my boyhood, when I hear of Denny’s High School. I was a student from 1963-1967, Our Headmaster Sahib’s name was Malik Misri Khan, and our 2nd Head master Sahib was a tall gora-like personality Majeed Khan Sahib, and during 1965 War we had ‘morchas’ (trenches) dug in our school.
        Will be very happy to read more and more about PINDI. I am in Dubai for the last 35 years. This article of Rafiq Sahib is really wonderful and took me back to my school time.

        • Dear Mr. Munir Ahmed,
          I was very happy to read your comments regarding Denny’s High School wherein you have been a student also. You can also contact me like various other gentlemen who contacted me via emails and even paid personal visits to me in Dubai from abroad. My email address is: rafique1@eim.ae
          Waiting for you.

  8. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Sir, thank you for such a beautiful and informative write up. I do not have much knowledge of Rawalpindi therefore your write ups are increasing my knowledge. Eagerly waiting for the next write up. Regards.

    • Thank you very much sir, for the encouragement. Col Rashid Cheema is kind enough to print succeeding episodes regularly as and when space is available in the Rawalpindi Blog of his website.

  9. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    Extraordinary!! What a marvelous and awesome memory. Loved reading that part of Pindi which I hardly knew.

  10. Sir, Another superbly written article. I use to go to Bari Imam, Shah Dian Talian and Shah Chan Chiragh in my childhood days in 1960’s. I was born in 1952 in Bohr Bazaar in a big house near the mosque. As you enter Bohr Bazaar opposite Moti Bazaar.I remember there was a big tree, you keep going down, turn left, there was our family nai shop. After that was the this mosque opposite that was my house.

    My nana jan’s name is Mirza Fazal Karim, his cousin Mirza Lal Khan had properties in Trunk Bazaar kocha Lal Khan. Another cousin of my nana jan was Mirza Mohammed Sharif who was a famous government contractor in Pindi before Partition. His wife dadi Rabiya used to take me to Bari Imam melas.

    Janab Rafique Ahmad Khan Sahib do you remember any of my ancestors, may Allah grant them Jannat? My old house has been converted into a school now. If you go on the other side I can remember there was a baqarkhani kulcha shop. His kulchas used to be really delicious.

    My father was programme organiser in Radio Pakistan in 1960s, his name was Mirza Anwar Beg. Syed Ansar Nasri was Regional Director Radio Pakistan Rawalpindi on Peshawar Road. We moved to Satellite Town in 1956 (H.No. B-709 near Chandni Chowk) where we lived until 1969 when we came to UK where my late father served in Pakistan High Commission, Birmingham when he passed away in 2006.

    Going back to my house in Bohr Bazaar there was a Hindu temple. I have vivid memories of that as I was 4 years old when we moved to Satellite Town. Janab Rafique sahib I think you mentioned in a previous article that you used to live in F block Satellite Town.

    Sir, your article is so nostalgic, all pictures are fabulous, especially that of Jamia masjid. I would love to hear from you, Rafiq sahib. My email adress is: sajidbaig@hotmail.co.uk.
    Allah Hafiz.

    • Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

      Dear Sajid Beg,

      Was your father a program manager for the Rawalpindi Radio Station? During the 50s, the Radio Station performed many functions, and few of them being: social-justice; announcement for prayers and festivals; lost and found announcements. A fabulous service that has stirred another piece of childhood-memory for me.


      • Sajid Baig, UK says:

        Dear Sister Shaheeda Rizvi,
        My father late Mirza Anwar Beg was in Radio Pakistan Rawalpindi from 1956 to 1964, then he came to UK. There used to be two studios. Myself and my sister used to get a part in children’s ‘Bachon ka Programe’ for which we used to be paid Rs. 5. Late Syed Ansar Nasri Regional Director was my father’s boss, and also Mr. Qutub who was a Director. I used to see Azhar Lodhi, he was announcer in those days, also Nahid Niazi and Muslah uddin. They all went to Rawalpindi TV in 1966.
        Radio Pakistan used to be a fabulous place. I have vivid memories of the studios, the canteen and my father’s office, often I used to accompany him he used to get me small parts in dramas. Yes, I agree Radio Pakistan provided a fabulous service in those days and provided talent for Rawalpindi TV. May Allah grant Jannat to my Late Dad and all his colleagues in Radio Pakistan who are deceased, Ameen.

        • Dear Mr. Sajid Beg,
          Yes, I am acquainted with all personalities you have mentioned above. Mr. Azhar Lodhi used to live near Teli Mohalla on Murree Road. I have a faint memory of his quarrel with some people was published in the Press.
          Yes, I live in 775/F Block Siddiqui Chowk which is very famous house due to my watchman selling all type of earthen ware (Matkas, Gharhas, etc) at the gate. Now half the building is occupied by The Educators School.

    • Abid Iftikhar says:

      Dear Sirs,

      i simply have to mention here that i am the grandson of Late Syed Ansar Ali Nasri…. he indeed was a great personality… and till date… people admire him for his work and contributions in the Pakistan Movement…. it is pertinent to mention here that he translated the Great Quaid’s independence speech to urdu for the general masses…. we still have it on the old records…

      • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

        Dear Mr. Abid Iftikhar Sahib,
        Thank you sir, for the valuable information

      • Sajid Baig says:

        Abid Iftikhar, I remember your granddad Late Syed Ansar Nasri sahib, he was RD Regional Director Radio Pakistan, Peshawar Road. My dad Late Mirza Anwar Beg was programe organiser in Radio Pakistan and was a close family friend of Late Syed Sahib. Nasri sahib’s son did CSS as far as I can remember and joined civil service. Your house was on Peshawar Road, we livde in B-709 Satellite Town, Rawalpindi, we came to UK in 1969. I have vivid memories of your house and Radio Pakistan where I used to go to bachon ka programme we used to be paid 5 Rupees for taking part in dramas to be broadcast.
        This article is so nostalgic, Rafiq sahib.

  11. Azam Gill, France says:

    Sir, it keeps getting better – how do you do it? You have evoked the mystical and semi-mystical syncretism of South Asia with a light yet masterful hand. Thank you once again.

    • Zahir Khan says:

      Azam Gill Sahib,
      Are you related by any chance to Gill Sahib, our PT Instructor at St. Mary’s School, Murree Road in the mid 50s onward?

      • Azam Gill, France says:

        Unfortunately not, but my father, A. P. Gill, an old Gordonian who also served on the Board of Directors of Gordon College, received his first posting as a Magistrate in 1947 in Rawalpindi, when Justice Anwar ul Haq was Deputy Commissioner and General Azam Khan was a Brigadier and neighbour. This was before my birth, but up until a few years before leaving Pakistan, we maintained contact with Master Khuda Bakhsh’s of Gown House and some of his family members and relatives.

        • Fortunately I know Mr. Gill PTI of St. Mary’s, who resigned and went to Saudi Arabia, worked there for some years and came back to open a shop on the Murree Road. I have a faint memory of Mr. AP Gill of Gordon College also. I know Justice Anwar Ul Haque whose father Late Maulvi Siraj Ul Haq was an advocate who was known by my father very well. Justice Anwar Ul Haq now lives in the Civil Lines. Master Khuda Bakhsh was a very famous tailor in Saddar having special type of clientage.

          • Azam Gill, France says:

            Thank you sir,
            As a student, my father was also secretary of the Tennis Club and a keen debater. My deepest respects to you, Sir.

          • Dr. Farhat Nazir says:

            Dear Rafique Sahib
            I think Mr. Gill is talking about Anwar ul Haq who later became CJ of Pakistan, He moved to judiciary from civil service

  12. Abbas Hayat says:

    Now Bari Imam has become a security risk area. I remember my childhood in 1960s swimming in the fresh water stream, and later going there with friends as medical student in the 70s to get some herbs from the malangs over there.

    • How unfortunate. May God bless Pakistan.

    • Idrees Barlas says:

      Mazaar, masjid, madrasa, etc have become a very profitable business now. The mazaar specially hold people with bad habits and narcotics are readily used there. Money is being made in the name of Islam. People of Bari Imam had taken money from CDA thrice for their land but never evacuated. “Nur Pur” has become “chor pur” again.

      • Dear Idrees Barlas Sahib,
        Thank you sir, for the observations. There are so many moral, social and false religious reasons for this menace, which seem to have become incurable in the absence of some miracle.

  13. Sir, a really nostalgic article.

Comment Box (Leave a Reply here)