By Brig (R) Banaras Khan Jadoon, FF (2nd SSC)
When I was commanding my unit (33 FF) on the LOC in Kashmir in 1991, we used to get meat on hoof on weekly basis from the Supply Platoon. The goats being provided by the contractor and overlooked by ASC people used to be so emaciated that some of them would never reach the unit alive and had to be slaughtered in the truck by a watchful soldier. Having traveled long distances from down country without water and fodder, the poor creatures used to be very hungry and thirsty. Before handing over to the unit reps, they were made to drink salty water which increased weight of an animal by 3-4 kg.
Seeing their poor health, I ordered postponement of their slaughter for minimum 3 months and asked the companies to let them graze in the forest under the supervision of down category soldiers. After 3 months, most of the goats became fat and multiplied in numbers as some of them were pregnant. Reluctantly, we built huge stock of surplus fat goats and 6 months before we were to be relieved, the unit had to consume mutton twice a day on every day of the week. Still, we took two truck loads of goats to Bahawalpur.
One day, the SM in his morning ‘OK Report’, informed me, “Sir, Raat ko aik bakri nay bacha diya tha, laikun woh marr gaya”.
I ordered that the soldier deputed to look after the goats be charged for negligence.
When he was produced before me on the Charge Sheet, I asked him, “Why the newly born baby goat died?”
He very simply answered, “Sir, uss ki Ammi ka doodh nahi utra, iss liye woh fout ho gaya”.
Suppressing my laughter I let him off.
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