“My Old but Ever New Pindi” (Part 4)

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 3……



All types of festivals of Muslims and Hindus/Sikhs and Christians were celebrated with great pomp and show under competitive attitude. The main Hindu festivals were Dusehra, Diwali and Basant. The main Muslim festivals

Eid Milad-un-Nabi at Jamia Masjid Road

Eid Milad-un-Nabi at Jamia Masjid Road

were Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha and Eid Milad-un-Nabi. While Christians used to enjoy on Christmas and Easter. On the Hindu festival Dusehra a big bazaar was installed on Bagh Sardaran Road and all type of toys and other attractive merchandise were purchased by children and ladies; who also enjoyed a lot of spicy chaats of many varieties.



But the only big attraction was burning of three big Statues of Hindu gods in Dusehra ground. People gathered in thousands to see the function. No sooner the fire was ignited, the exploding fire works were worth seeing. Interestingly when the people were rejoicing, the pick-pockets were busy earning a lot. But more interesting scene was seen when a pick-pocket was caught red-handed. I remember one such pick-pocket was caught. Unluckily he was a Muslim. What a beating was given to him by the Muslims; because the Hindu gentleman whose pocket was picked, let him free after taking back his purse in such a way that the Muslims took this gesture as a taunt. In fact the Hindu tricked to reduce the Muslims supposing it was a usual act of Muslims to do such crimes, and as such he did not mind because he got the purse back safe.

Almost all the buildings in Pindi were lighted with candles and “Diyas” on Diwali and the whole town was lit with dim twinkling lights all the night. Special kinds of sweets were prepared on Diwali. One such sweet was Channa Murghi, very small round balls prepared with caramelized milk. The Diwali being distinctively observed was seen in the densely Hindu pockets of the population like Arya Mohalla, Bhabrha Bazaar, Naya Mohallah, Chitian Hatiyan. In some of these very old localities the streets were only 3 feet wide. The Hindus, might be being rich, were very concerned about their safety and remained alert always. Accordingly they used to build tall houses in such a way that the approach thereto was inconvenient through very narrow lanes for the strange intruders who could be noticed easily. This type of construction caused very little or no sun shine at all in the lanes, with dark and deserted look. One big advantage was that the lanes used to be very cool during hot weathers. I remember while going to Gordon College from my house in Shah Nazar street, I used to feel a very pleasant touch of cool while passing through these lanes.

The Hindus during the old days especially the old ones were very polite and pleasant while talking and least became offensive. At the time of Partition one could feel and see their pain and sorrow when departing to India. They were crying and kissing the door steps of their houses while locking the doors for good. I saw them kissing the platform of Pindi railway station at their departure.

My Hindu/Sikh class fellows and colleagues kept postal contact with me for very long: while a few visited me also. One class fellow Autar Singh Duggal who used to share with me the same desk in the class room remained in contact with me till his death till late eighties. He belonged to a very rich “Duggal” family who were big importers of tyres. They used to live at CHUNGEE No 22 near CMH Pindi. Autar used to come to Mission High School in a “Fitten” a four-wheeled horse-drawn vehicle owned by just a very few high dignitaries. In India he started manufacturing Submersible pumps and was quite well off. But suddenly his wife died, his business collapsed and he lost everything. During that period I offered him some monetary help from Dubai which he strongly refused. His only wish to see me at least once more in his life was not granted by God; and he died penniless. I will never forget his greatness when he traced and arranged repairs of the grave of my father who died in Bhopal in 1943 on a short visit; and was buried in the Shahi Qabristan near Bhopal railway station. He informed me that he had succeeded to trace the grave though with difficulty; when he faced a difficult situation in the grave yard, as his presence in a Muslim grave yard was objected by the people present there.

Allama Mashraqi

Allama Mashraqi

During late thirties a very famous movement (KHAKSARS) was started by Allama Mashriqi. He was one of the few great world-class mathematicians. He was from Lahore. ”The Khaksar” movement was started to unite and strengthen the Muslims. The members had to wear khaki uniforms with a “BELCHA”(Shovel) in place of a gun.

Allama Mashraqi with shovel

Allama Mashraqi with shovel

They had to undergo a military like tough training, and they were seen military like marching/parading on the roads. They became highly disciplined and started providing all types of service/help to the needy without any charges. They reached promptly when called for any type of help/service just like what Maulana Edhi is doing now. Soon the movement spread all over India, and most of Muslim population including high gentry, doctors, teachers, advocates, students etc., were seen parading on roads in khaki uniforms with highly nickel polished shovels glittering on their shoulders. Evidently such type of advancement in Muslims started becoming sores in the eyes of non Muslims especially by the British government; but as long as the Khaksars were not any nuisance, they could not be stopped.

Unfortunately the first sign of a deterioration appeared when the Khaksars took part in a violent incident in Lucknow where in some casualties took place. Soon after in another incident Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was attacked and injured in Bombay by a Khaksar. Eventually a ban was imposed by the British government and started arresting the Khaksar leaders. The high gentry immediately disowned the movement while the low ranking public went under ground. Such a high-class movement died down so tragically due to improper leadership and as per the wishes (conspiracy?) of the non-Muslims and the British government. 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


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  1. Rafique sb, I am reading the articles about Rawalpindi, there are lot of information may i have your contact number, mine is 0321 5075466, my mail id is journalist63@hotmail.com

  2. Omer Malik says:

    Mr Rafique,

    I am really grateful to you for sharing such interesting things about Rawalpindi. Since you know a lot about old time Rawalpindi, I want to ask a question which I am looking an answer for. What were the “chungees” in the ancient rawalpindi. I have only heard about chungi number 22 and 26. Where there other chungis aswell? And what were their function? Thanx.

  3. Naeem Khan from Canada says:

    Mr Raffique Khan, you are doing such a wonderful job by bringing lots of memories back to pindiwals , may Allah bless you always, Aameen .My name is Naeem Khan I am 51 years oldI was raised in Pindi , I m in Canada for the last 25 years I do go to Pakistan almost every year, I just want to share my experience back in 2001 I was traveling by coach from New York to Montreal a Sikh in his late 60’s sitting few seats behind me,on our way he came and sat next to me and he surprised me by his question that I still remember, he asked me in Punjabi ( puttar tusi Pindi ton belong ker day ho ? I was so surprised and I asked him how did he first guessed that I m Pakistani not Indian since we look alike and then how did he guessed that I was from Pindi and his answer bring tears in to my eyes by saying, meri janam bhoomi Pindi hai te menu Pindi de Logan di khashbow aa jandi ah, he told me he was born and raised in Bagh sardaraan and was 13 when he left Pakistan for India during partition, he added he only lived in India for 5-6 years then his family moved Canada , he said he still consider himself Pakistani as he spent more time in Pakistan compared to India even though before partition it was all India , I still remember his words and the affection he showed.


      Dear Mr, Naeem Khan, I have to thank you Sir, for your courageous compliments for my article MY OLD BUT EVERNEW PINDI. I have been receiving such worthy comments (both written and phonic) from the readers from all over the World since the day it was published in “Native Pakistan”: some feeding back with their past memories also of being a resident of Rawalpindi and adding to my recollections. While passing through the 9th decade of my life and as such gaining a rich experience I can easily understand the tense feelings for such dislocated persons who had to migrate under adverse circumstances. I had tried my best to dig out a maximum of my recollections, after being advised and encouraged by the Editor Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema to write down my memoirs. My residence is at a stones’ throw from Bagh Sardaran a locality populated by a majority of Hindu/Sikh PINDITES; and I have witnessed the Biggest Divide resulting into mass migration of unwilling residents under the compelled adverse circumstances.

  4. 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.

  5. Brig (R) Khalil-ur-Rehman says:

    Dear Rafiq Sb,
    Without waiting for reply to my email I am again here. The scene of Sikhs and Hindus leaving Pindi on Partition is really a sorrowful thing to remember. It must have been very painful for them to leave their ancestral homes. I think it was the failure of political leadership of India and Pakistan that they failed to agree to a pact for the exchange of population. In fact Muslims of East Punjab suffered more killing than Hindus and Sikhs. Your comments please.
    Praying for your health and happiness. Regards.

    • Dear Brig Khalil-ur-Rehman,
      I am not receiving any e-mail since yesterday due to some technical fault in my E-mail account. The scene of the departure of the Non Muslims was really very tragic. We may blame the leaders who caused the division of India, but it was due to many other factors that the division became unavoidable. We may call it sad, tragic or unfortunate due to its physical happening.

      It were the Muslims who suffered the most. But now when we have no non Muslims; why this failure to run the country peacefully? Why now, thousands of the Muslims are being killed by the Muslims? It means that the fault lied somewhere else. Are we incapable, insincere, or unwilling to run the show. Look at India which remains a mighty power in spite of being divided a number of times.

      Apparently we need a very drastic revolution/reformation in our social, moral and of course the religious set up. An honest, hard working, courageous and selfless leader is the only requirement of the day to change the present worsening condition of the country.

      Many thanks for your nice post indicating your anxiety over the affaires.
      With blessings.

  6. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Thank you sir for making us wise and knowledgeable on so many things. After reading your article one feels like going back in the same era. Although facilities in those days were much less than what are today but the peace of mind and harmony between people was tremendous.
    Please keep writing so that we all are benefited from your experience. Regards.

  7. Shahid Salam, Canada says:

    Dear Rafique Sahab,
    A few things that stand out in your article are:
    (a) On the prosperity index, the Sikh Punjabis and the Hindu Punjabis outclassed the Muslim Punjabis in pre-Partition days.
    (b) Relatively speaking, there was far more harmony among the religious divide in those days, than what we witness today in Pakistan.

    The original allotment paper to our house in Pindi Cantonment listed the owner as Uttam Singh Duggal. Would he have been part of the Duggal clan who were your friends?

    PS. There are Sikhs all over the world who can trace their ancestry back to Pindi. I met a Sikh gentleman in Toronto who asked where I was from and when I said Pindi, he told me he was born in Dhammial.

    • Dear Shahid Salam Sahib,
      My memoirs are not my personal thoughts; I am trying my best to recollect what I saw/witnessed during the nine decades of my life absolutely without adding any personal views. Apparently these memories may be a bit faded & feeble, but they reflect a correctly focused picture of whatever I saw in the past.
      If you could precisely mention the particular area of Pindi Cantt; I could have commented on Uttam Singh Duggal. The Duggal family mainly lived in Chungee No. 22,&, Dhamial etc; and were quite well to do people doing wholesale trade. I saw one very old lonely Sikh in the outskirts of Dublin in early 1970s. Upon my asking as to how he has come to this least expected place, he spoke the same sentence as of yours “Sikhs can now be found all over the world”.
      I could feel after seeing them in Toronto that it is now their second home country where they live in quite a large number.

      • Shahid Salam, Canada says:

        Rafique Sahab: Some interesting history about the Lalkurti area:
        According to the author, the lands conquered were given or sold back to the Sikhs, in lots of 20 kanals, to build houses for leasing to British families. I guess that is how these houses had Sikh owners. Most of the houses in the Cantonment were built on very large plots of land. The location of our house ( 22 kanals ) was the intersection of Magdalla Road and Sale Road. Shores Hotel was behind or north, bordering on Napier Road which went on to GHQ. The EME Mess was across the road on the Mall and right opposite the Mess was one entrance to the old President’s House. Magdalla Road went on to the Presentation Convent.
        I would imagine there are few people like yourself who can relate to the pre-partition days, which makes your contribution to this ‘nostalgia’ blog invaluable. I look forward to reading the next instalment.

        • Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

          Dear Shahid Salaam,

          Thanks for the link. I read with interest the many facts presented by Mr. Reza. American historian, Stephen Cohen, who specialized in South East Asian studies documented Pindi facts quite well. Therein he mentions the grand houses, built so well, maintained on acres and acres of land, each with its own distinguished architecture…Similarly, many Punjab Chiefs were given high titles and lands just for siding with the British…My maternal grandfather, was one such beneficiary..

          History is charming…Colonization, battles to occupy more of the land that is already occupied, wars, partition and destruction of towns, cities, homes, customs, festivals, makes one wonder whether to smile with joy or weep with sorrow.

          I am looking forward to Rafique Sahib’s personal memoirs as well.

        • Dear Mr. Shahid Salaam Sahib,
          The British were the direct successors of the Sikh rulers in the Punjab; obviously the Sikhs were the best beneficiaries of such British “generosities”. The Muslims who were in majority in this locality did not lose any chance to obtain their share in obtaining such benefits in lieu of their “Loyalty” to the new rulers. .

          • Shahid Salam, Canada says:

            Rafique Sahab,
            The policy of ‘divida et impera’, ‘divide and rule’ goes back to the time of Julius Caeser; it was used by the British with great success in keeping control over the vast, sprawling territories of their Indian Empire. Religion, ethnicity, language have throughout recorded human history been a source of friction and conflict. People in the West are making an effort to move past these age-old divisions. Fortunately I live in one of THE MOST peaceful countries in the world, where diversity is seen as adding to the ethnocultural mosaic.

            • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

              Dear Mr. Shahid Salam Sahib,
              Excuse me sir, but in my case I would not have the courage to live most peacefully by myself leaving my 18 million fellow citizens without sharing their plight of reeling under such cruel circumstances which have any parallel in history. I have visited almost half the world including Canada, but believe me sir, I didn’t find sentimentally warm, soothing, religious, and true affection any where else except in my own poor country where a hell has been let loose by the “MOST PEACEFUL WEST”.

              While we pray for your ever lasting peaceful life, kindly do remember us also in your prayers for return of our old golden past. Thanking you for your valuable comments

              • Shahid Salam, Canada says:

                Dear Rafique Sahab,
                I see the earth, the universe as our home; it is all created by God, NOT JUST Pakistan or Rawalpindi. Who do you think created the other 198 countries? I am not sure which “golden past” you are referring to and I don’t know who you met in the West to have such a negative opinion of a whole people. It is a convenient ruse to blame the West for all the evil that goes on in Pakistan. Our society is riddled with all sorts of ailments and instead of taking ownership of the ills and doing something about it, we’d rather pass the buck on to the West.

                There are good and bad people all over the world. I can assure you our plight would be a lot worse, were it not for the billions of dollars transferred by the overseas Pakistanis from these Western countries which you find so repulsive. I find it incredible that Pakistan is the only country in the world where you found warm and affectionate people. I, too have traveled across the globe, to all continents, about 70 countries and I have met wonderful, decent human beings everywhere; people who do not make it a habit of wearing their religion on their sleeves but who will not cheat and rob you at every step; which is quite the norm in our great ‘Islamic’ republic.

                • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

                  Dear Mr, Shahid Salam,
                  While thanking you for your detailed rebuff, I believe that we are unwillingly entering into an argumentative lane which has no end. Being a retired person I have ample time at my disposal for such activity; but I can’t allow my self to waste other’s time on such avoidable topics.
                  But before saying Good Bye to you I must express disappointment If NRPs are feeling that their remittances only are a life line for Pakistan they are mistaken. In fact they are primarily supporting their own dependents and resultantly to Pakistan. The dollars/sterling which are thus coming in exchange are just a fraction of what only one America is giving us in material aid and in other services. In addition to this real substantial help/aid, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia and Arab Emirates are helping enormously Pakistan without any obligation. But in spite of all this I feel ASHAMED of it.
                  While agreeing to many of your contentions in respect of good qualities you mentioned of other advanced nations, I express my sorrow, disappointment & shame over the shortcomings in our nation as mentioned by you. But again the question arises “ Who is Responsible ?” The answer is We Are, whether residents or non residents. Will we wake up or how long we remain in the prevailing sub humane condition at the mercy of others.
                  Can you very kindly agree to consider this chapter as closed and allow me to invite you to please continue going through my subsequent memoirs.
                  Thanking you very much for your interested comments.

                  • Shahid Salam says:

                    Mr. Rafique: Just one correction. What you state about expatriate remittances is the obvious. No where in the world are these remittances for charity; they are either to fund family needs or for investment; either way the foreign currency is used by the Govt. to service it’s foreign debt or for much needed imports. How else would the Govt. meet it’s foreign currency requirements? Presently the level of remittances matches Pakistan’s exports, dollar for dollar. So, there is no mistaking, it is definitely a lifeline. And, it is becoming increasingly difficult to transfer funds to Pakistan because of stringent money laundering laws. Our country, as you must know, is on the terrorist radar and has one of the worst images in the world. It is becoming more and more difficult for expatriate Pakistanis to defend the country against legit. criticsm. Blaming the West for all that ails our society is a way to shift responsibility, and I am glad you agree that we need to put our own house in order.

                  • Shahid Salam says:

                    Mr. Rafique: I think this may not be the right forum to debate foreign policy. My email address is salam_43@hotmail.com. You are welcome to write to me if you so wish. Your belief that China, Saudi Arabia and others help Pakistan ‘without any obligation’ couldn’t be further from the truth. Let me assure you that every nation is driven by it’s national interests, in pursuing foreign policy objectives; no one helps just for the love of it.
                    I see the so-called Saudi Royals as one of the worst scoundrels on the face of the earth and the sooner the Saudis are free from these tyrannical despots the better for the region and the world. With the world now working on alternative sources of energy, I hope the reliance on middle eastern oil will diminish and hasten the end of these oil Sheikhs.

                    • It’s good that the discussion is closed now.
                      You may contact Rafique Khan Sahib at his email address:

                    • Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

                      Hon. Rafique Sahib,

                      That was such a worthy response. You wrote: {“The dollars/sterling which are thus coming in exchange are just a fraction of what only one America is giving us in material aid and in other services…..”

                      “{ While agreeing to many of your contentions in respect of good qualities you mentioned of other advanced nations, I express my sorrow, disappointment & shame over the shortcomings in our nation as mentioned by you. But again the question arises “ Who is Responsible ?” The answer is We Are, whether residents or non residents.”}

                      – Allow me to add, when you love something or anything, you don’t calculate its value, its good and bad points, you just love it. Therein lies a mystical connection, and what needs to be done is to recognize your part in making it wholesome or WHOLE. “Joyful participation in the sorrows of life….”

  8. Shahid Mohammad says:

    It is a beautiful article. I lived in Bhabra Bazar and then lived in Arya Mohallah. if anyone can write about Arya Mohalla during 1950s-60s, it will be much appreciated.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Shahid Mohammad Sahib,
      I am trying to recollect my memories of pre Partition (pre 1940s) period. I may also cover Arya Mohalla which was quite modern and well built area dominated by Hindu/Sikh population.

  9. Rafique Sahib,
    A beautiful and heart touching sketching of festivals of Diwali, Dusehra & Basant on Sardaran da Bagh Road. In fact Basant and Dusehra were celebrated on the crossing of the Sardaran da Bagh. Your sketching was so live that while reading I felt I was lost in the melas on Sardaran da Bagh. It also reminded me of small lanes connecting Bhabra Bazar to Chitian Hatian. It is matter of satisfaction to read about about Mr. Duggal for doing a good job of getting the grave yard of your Rev. father repaired and it created a sense of sorrow to read his pathetic end Mr. Duggal. Aap ke Gordon College kay gate to Bazaar Sarafan say Murree Road School jatay waqt salam kar kay jata tha.
    Please continue more.

  10. Good to see an old hand writing about Pindi – I am sure those who belong to Pindi would cherish his memories.

  11. Lt Col Naeem Ahmed Khan ( Retd ), 2nd SSC says:

    Dear & Respected Rafiq Sahib,
    I wonder if I can do even a small justice in paying my humblest gratitude and appreciation to what you have penned down. While reading your article, I recalled my late father, who used to narrate to us the same history. We saw him crying like a child when he used to look through the old times. But his one advice I can never forget, “Never ever believe a Hindu, he can Never be a friend of Muslim and will always hit you from your back”. His every word has proved and is proving right, what Hindu is doing to us under the garb of Aman Ki Aasha. Watch Out those who do not know or read Indo Pak History.

    • Dear Col Naeem Ahmed Sahib,
      I feel your comments & observations of your Rev. father are misconceived. I will not like to comment more in good taste. Regards.

      • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

        Dear Yaspal Sethi,
        I knew my memoires will penetrate right into your paining heart because I am travelling through your own past also. I really appreciate your sad feelings to miss your Janam Bhoomi even if you are much better off.
        Thank you for appreciation and encouragement. May God bless you.

      • Shahid Salam, Canada says:

        Humans have no control over which family they are born into or on where in the world. Although some belief systems I understand do claim that the human spirit does make that decision; something I find hard to believe. If we as humans do not choose our birth family, then, all the hatred and bigotry just doesn’t make sense.

  12. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    Hon. Rafique Khan Sahib,

    I loved reading every line of this powerful piece of history, punctuated with folk tales, festivals and celebrations. You wrote:”The Hindus during the old days especially the old ones were very polite and pleasant while talking and least became offensive. At the time of Partition one could feel and see their pain and sorrow when departing to India. They were crying and kissing the door steps of their houses while locking the doors for good. I saw them kissing the platform of Pindi railway station at their departure.”

    I am reminded of a similar story when we bid our good byes to Pindi in 1958.

    One of our neighbours who had been living in the area for over 10 years told us, that she had heard that a few months before the Partition, the owners of this house decided to leave for India. They wept and kissed the walls, the doors, the windows, kissed their servants, bipeds and quadrupeds. They requested that the servants keep an eye on their home, hoping to return as soon as things settled down!!! They left their car in their garage and it is said that they stored their jewelry inside the fireplace and had the fireplace sealed. One of our fireplaces was sealed, but my mother never bothered to explore the truth behind the hidden jewels. What of their jewels… my mother said, they had to leave behind their fondest gem, this house.

    Looking forward to the next one.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Madam,
      Thank you for your appreciation. Most of the Hindus/Sikhs left only to return in due course; but the circumstances took such a tragic shape with blood and wholesale killings, that not only it stopped any such return but a sense of deep hate was created, which could not be eliminated up-til now.

    • Gurpreet Singh Anand says:

      Dear Maam,
      Yes, it is true most left hoping to return when fires of hatred would die as they all lived amicably with their neighbors..but alas it never happened. I guess this was not so from this side to Pakistan as all people went to a promised land vowing never to return.
      And see we Sikhs, like me, feel I belong there amidst our people, who like us, think like us, have a language like us.
      Rafique Khan Sahab is doing a yeoman’s work knitting memories for coming generations.

      • Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

        Dear Gurpeet Singh Anand,

        Yes, there are so many small and large stories around those turbulent years and of families leaving their homes, hoping to return one day, or perhaps a bit more mysterious — as you wrote: “all people went to a promised land vowing never to return”.

        For us, each year in Pindi, where we harvested tons and tons of grapes, we did wonder as to the hard work and labour of those before us. I feel the act of loving the land and learning its roots becomes a path to humility. We begin to recognize and honour those who cared for the earth, planting, cleaning, fertilizing and tending to its needs without ever knowing who will eat the fruits of the new harvest. That’s Pindi’s mysterious gift to me.


  13. Major (R) Munir Ahmed ( 2nd SSC ) says:

    Dear Sir,
    Thank you so much for unveiling the history, to which most of us are unaware. Pre-Partition sketch drawn by you seems to be a beautiful dream. In fact, impunity, self centeredness, race for wealth, nepotism, state of uncertainty & panic in society we are living in have taken us far away from that conducive environment which you have witnessed & undergone. Allama Al- Mashriqi was a real Giant. I happened to witness his funeral in Lahore & what a scene it was. Now mothers have stopped giving birth to that kind of breed.
    Once again thank you for sharing the treasure of your memories. Keep sharing.

  14. Dear Major Munir Ahmed,
    Thank you sir, for your worthy comments. Kindly do not lose hopes in MOTHERS; they do give births to such Giants but once in centuries
    May God bless you.

    • I occasionally used to see the parades of Khaksars when I was at Koh-Murree. They were much disciplined and we never felt any terror on their march. I may add besides Khaki uniform they used to wear long military leather shoes also.

  15. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Sir,
    You took us back to the golden era when tolerance was at its peak and people used to live like a family without any discrimination and enjoyed the festivities of religious TEHWAARS. Sir, I suggest shape your memoirs and publish it in the form of a book. It will help the new generation to peep into the glorious past of PINDI.

  16. Azam Gill, France says:

    Rafique Khan Sahib,
    History at its best: readable, anecdotal, and vivid.
    Thank you sir, and I look forward to the next installment.

  17. Rafique Khan Sahib,
    A very nostalgic article about Rawalpindi of pre-Partition era. Anxiously waiting for the next episodes.

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