“Senior ‘KABOOTAR’ of 28 Cavalry”

By Maj (R) Zuha Saeed (12 OTS)

Zuha Saeed Major, 28 CavalryEditor’s Note: Maj Zuha Saeed is from 28 Cavalry. He got early retirement in 1995. He has settled in Islamabad.

We shall remain faujis even DECADES after we are OUT OF UNIFORM. Our training and the army imprint deep on our roots shall FORTUNATELY never leave us. I want to share an episode that is hardly 24 hours old, but I shall never be able to forget it till I am alive.

I left my unit (28 Cavalry) for staff in 1987 and then, somehow, never went back. When I left the unit, in those days our Sig NCO was Daffedar Shakoor. Years passed, I moved on, trotted all over the globe and finally settled in Islamabad.

Yesterday I received a call on my mobile phone, an old man spoke in English, with crisp voice, “Sir, As’salamo Alaikum. Abdul Shakoor this side, Sir”.

I obviously did not place him, so I said, “W’alaikum Assalam. Bhai, kahan say bole rahay hain?”

Fauji KabootarIn response, the voice was even more forceful and more crisp,”Sir, Major Zuha on mobile?”

“Yes, it is Maj Zuha”, I replied.

He continued, “Sir, Chakwal say Daffedar retired Abdul Shakoor speaking. I was senior ‘KABOOTAR’ of 28 Cavalry jub aap Kharian may ‘Markhore’ thay”.

GRC-9 Wireless setWhat we talked later may be of no importance to you all, but this old man who now approaching 75th year of his life, nearly blind in both eyes and badly beaten by time, FOLLOWED AN IMPROVISED VOICE PROCEDURE on the mobile phone that he followed on old GRC-9 wireless sets that he was trained on in late 60s. His mannerism, respect and BONDAGE, reflected in his talk, was the same that was there when he was in uniform. MY GOD!!

How can one ever be more proud of our parent institution and its COMPLETE GRASP on all of us?


Related Page:
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. Naeem Ur Rehman, 28C says:

    Interesting, Sir.

  2. Brig (R) Aslam Khan, 30Cav (33 PMA) says:

    Dear Zuha,
    I remeber you fondly. Only Faujis can relate to the significance of what you have narrated. Its such an evelasting, strong and pleasuresome bondage that you could not have found anywhere in your travels and experiences – the bondage between uniformed men even much after retirement. And yes, as Brig Naseer says in his comment, this holy marriage with Armed Forces from one’s teen age continues after demise with the soldier’s proud rank on the tombstone.
    Stay blessed.
    Armoured Corps & Pak Army Zindabad.

  3. Capt Amjad Majid Abbasi (retd) says:

    Very interesting and nostalgic.

  4. Brig (R) Naseer Azam Khan says:

    Uniform bond always stays…… till even after death….when your name with rank is there on “Grave Marble Plate”…. This is our reward form ALLAH for devoting our life to Pak Army… Hats off to KABOOTAR.

  5. Col (R) Maqbool Rabbani, Arty (41st PMA) says:

    A fantastic bondage between Comrades in arms, no matter what the rank was. Even after 24 years that I relinquished the command of a unit, the unit lives in my heart as if it was only yesterday that we were like an unbreakable coterie.
    God bless Pak Army!!

  6. Dear Major Zuha,
    Thank you for a very powerful narrative – God Bless both the Kabootar and the Markhore. People like you make the bond of the uniform stronger.
    Much Respects,

  7. Waseem Zafar Iqbal says:

    Very nice article. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Kabootar Zidabad, Pakistan Army Zindabad.

  9. I was posted in 31 Corps Res Bahawalpur, suddenly one day in the afternoon it started raining, since rain was a rare phenomena so I went home to fetch my wife and took out my motorcycle. While moving in the Garrison, I saw a Sepoy who was watering the plants. I showed my wife that see how much dedicated this soldier was, that he was ordered to water the plants, even though it was raining………order is order.

  10. Ahmed Salim says:

    Maj Zuha,
    Being a Kabootar, no one can appreciate the importance of correct voice procedure more than me even while using mobile phones. Dedication of soldiers like Dafadar Abdul Shakoor will always remain our valuable asset.

  11. Col (R) Shah Alam says:

    Thanks for sharing your personal story, Zuha. It drove me back in the memory lane to my days in AC of 1965-70. It’s only after reading such true anecdotes that one is reminded of how blessed and privileged we were to have been associated with such loyal and dedicated soldiers.

  12. M. Ayub Javed says:

    ADORABLE. This reminds me how anxiously I used to wait for the glow of GRC-9, for establishing of communication.
    Ayub Javed, kabutar.

    • Ahmed Salim says:

      I knew of officer who went to the extent of memorizing the dial settings of some of the commonly used frequencies.

  13. Lt Col (Retd) Irshad Ahmed (11th War Course) says:

    As an old Kabootar myself, I really enjoyed this article. God Bless you and us all.

  14. Hamid Raza Banguash says:

    Kabootar aataa jaataa acha lagta hai.

  15. Dear Zuha,
    Nice article about a simple FAUJI.

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