“Zameer aur Rooh” (Conscience n’ Soul)

By Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal (42 Long Course)

Parvez Akmal (PA Lala)

Parvez Akmal 

Editor’s Note: Maj Gen Parvez Akmal retired as Deputy Engineer-in-Chief in 2005; he lives in Rawalpindi. Following his retirement, besides editing two volumes of ‘The History of Karakurram Highway’, authored by Brig (R) Mumtaz Khalid, he has been a free lance writer for some Urdu and English dailies until 2009.  He also writes Urdu and Punjabi poetry, with pen-name “PA Lala”, often with English rendition. Here is his Urdu poem ‘Zameer aur Rooh’ (Conscience n’ Soul) recalling the bitter memories of NRO and power sharing.  

Zameer aur Rooh (Conscience n' Soul), a poem recalling the bitter memories of NRO and power sharing.

Poet’s Views: I did this poem after the sham NRO effected Gen Musharraf’s self exile; the last  couplet was, however, added when the former president returned, despite sincere advice to the contrary. I believe ‘NRO’ was his worst crime; whither Article Six, for he is no traitor. Whilst I can predict adverse comments from his fans, they may well know that I as MD OGDCL  always said ‘NO’ to any of his naive instructions, which I found against the national interests. I emphasize that such instructions were often passed on the advice of Shaukat Aziz & Co who, over all these years, have been amply proven corrupt, as well as insincere to Pakistan.

This poem also addresses comments from the likes of Mr. Haroon Wasti who had questioned why I did not target the military segment of our society (Refer his comment on my poem “Mor Pankh”). Regardless of the systems of government, therefore, we must keep raising our voice against the wrong doings of any rulers.

Urdu Poetry : Page 1 of "Zameer aur Rooh" (Conscience n' Soul) - Rawalpindi Blog
Urdu Poetry : Page 2 of "Zameer aur Rooh" (Conscience n' Soul) - Rawalpindi Blog
Urdu Poetry : Page 3 of "Zameer aur Rooh" (Conscience n' Soul) - Rawalpindi Blog
Urdu Poetry : Page 4 of "Zameer aur Rooh" (Conscience n' Soul) - Rawalpindi Blog
Urdu Poetry : Page 5 of "Zameer aur Rooh" (Conscience n' Soul) - Rawalpindi Blog

Related Pages:
Army Blog (Retired Officers)
More Punjabi Poetry from Rawalpindi
Photos of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi Memorabilia
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi

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 in this segment by sending their poems to: rashid.cheema11@gmail.com


  1. In Pakistan’s environment, the strong Army Chief can pressurize corrupt political leadership to “Behave in the best interest of the country and the people”. And surely they will listen because they know that they are plunderers in coalition and nobody can stop them. Its only the threat from GHQ that can put them on Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem. But, there is no need for a greedy Chief to take over and bring the Army as a whole to disrepute.

    I have quoted above a very interesting paragraph from Brig Aslam Khan’s comments. With due respect can I ask under which constitutional power or authority the GHQ or for that matter Army Chief can ask or threaten or pressurize the corrupt political leadership to abstain from nefarious activities. It would be just like Sher Aya Sher Aya and certainly one fine morning the Sher comes.

    The only thing is that sense must prevail among our politicians. One should never involve himself in conspiracies and challenge the integrity and ANAA of a person or group of persons. There is always a reaction to an action. If the action is under controlled gestures and on some moral grounds the reaction can not be annoying or unexpected. Democratic governments are run on strong moral grounds. Even if a peon is to be thrown out some formal laid out rules and regulations are followed. Some ‘Show Cause Notice’ is issued. What to talk of Chief of Army Staff. If some action is done wrongly, one must expect same type of or over quantifying reaction of same nature. No doubt, there is dearth of proper leadership in our country. Again we are doing the same thing. Singling out and targeting only one person to dispense justice. What about abetting and supporting law and all those people who committed crime under this law? Please ask the people sitting at the helm of affair, don’t make the nationals of this country fool.

  2. Munir Ahamd, Sharjah says:

    Assalamoalaikum to all, and a humble request, not to convert this Blog into a political game. May Allah bless long life to Rafique Ahmad Khan Sb., this page is meant for sharing good and sweet sentiments. I believe, so lets talk about something which makes us all happy.

    Yes, the poem is nice, in the sense, that it reminds of the bitter memories and we must understand and learn a lesson, why all that happened. I remember 1965, as a year of respect and pride for the nation and remember 1971, as a year of crying.

  3. Brig (R) Aslam Khan, 33 PMA says:

    Musharraf is a downright greedy opportunist with diabolical lust for power. Blatantly, he overthrew, imprisoned and sent Nawaz Sharif abroad as a homeless individual. Now he is hiding in a military hospital and bringing Army to further disgrace. Everyone knows that even after heart surgery in AFIC, the patient is discharged within a week. Shame on Musharraf the coward!

    Lets remember that factually he did nothing for the country. The dollar did not slide because there were heavy remittances coming from abroad and from USA for Musharraf’s servitude to Washington so as to stay in power, even if meant mayhem of own countrymen which led to unqualified casualties of uniformed personnel as well.

    Corruption was lesser in Musharraf’s time because our corrupt politicians were fewer at the helm. But that does not give licence to takeovers by dictators. In Pakistan’s environment, the strong Army Chief can pressurize corrupt political leadership to “Behave in the best interest of the country and the people”. And surely they will listen because they know that they are plunderers in coalition and nobody can stop them. Its only the threat from GHQ that can put them on Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem. But, there is no need for a greedy Chief to take over and bring the Army as a whole to disrepute.

    His lack of sincerity can be gauged by the fact that in his personal political ends, did not even build the Kalabagh Dam which would have been the lifeline of Pakistan.

    I agree fully with Maj Syed Zahid Salam’s views.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan, Dubai says:

      It is very strange to believe that almost all the ex army officers are feeling that ex Gen Musharraf is bringing shame to the Army while taking shelter cowardly in the AFIC to avoid/delay his presence in the court; but the serving Army command apparently is helping him in his efforts in this regard. Musharraf was surrounded by the civilian cronies/time servers who misled him as usual while he was in power resulting into an unceremonious exit from the country. And again the civilian advocates are misleading him to adopt cheap delaying tactics to avoid his presence in the court only to offend the court and spoil the case.

      His is the case of international fame, and the result will be a historic one. Hence the courts will never take any risk to dispense any injustice to avoid international condemnation of any such injustice dispensed in Pakistan.

      As he must personally be having justification of whatever he has done to take over the country, he must gather the necessary courage to appear, & plead his case openly in the court, disregarding the misleading advice of his lawyers for delaying his presence. It is the same lawyers who spoiled the case of Mr. Bhuto, who was hanged due to weak prosecution.

      It will be quite appropriate if a deputation of ex Army officers see him to advise accordingly in this matter to keep and maintain the prestige of the Army.

      Editor’s Note: Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib is 90 years old and writes regularly for the
      Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi
      segment of this website.

  4. Major (Rtd) Siraj Syed (17th PMA Long Course), USA says:

    Gen Parvez AKmal and Brig Mumtaz Khalid,

    I hope you guys have mentioned in your two-volumes of ‘The History of Karakurram Highway’ about the role played by Pakistan Army Aviation in the construction of the Karakorum Highway. After seeing this Post, I immediately dug out my Flying Log Book.

    We were probably nine H-13 (S ) helicopters with 18 pilots led by our unconventional great Commanding Officer Lt Col (later Maj Gen) Nasir Ullah Khan Babar, SJ & Bar. I say unconventional because Col Babar made us fly at times over 15,000 feet without oxygen whereas PAF pilots always took oxygen when flying 12,000 ft above sea level. This was the first Recce Mission all the way from Dhamial Air Base to Khunjrab Pass and back to Dhamial Base. Here are some details of our Recce Trip:
    15 Sep 1966 Dhamial Base to Gilgit
    16 Sep 1966 Gilgit – Hunza – Gilgit
    17 Sep 1966 Gilgit – Passu – Gulmit
    17 Sep 1966 Gulmit – Khunjrab – Gulmit
    18 Sep 1966 Gulmit – Skardu – Gulmit
    19 Sep 1966 Gulmit – Baltit – Gilgit
    20 Sep 1966 Gilgit – Chillas – Pattan – Dhamial Base

    After this recce, Army Aviation got Alouette and MI-8 helicopters for the Karakoram Highway.

    • Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

      Dear Maj Siraj Syed,

      It’s a pleasure hearing from you sir. During the course of editing, all arms and services, and also the glorious civilian laborers, which contributed towards the construction of the KKH, have been especially given well deserved coverage and rich tributes. You’ll love the coverage given to our great Aviators. We salute you all!

      Best regards. God bless you.

  5. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:


    Many thanks to you all for kind words of appreciations as well as candid criticism. In such brief accounts, especially verse, a lot is left unsaid and so, therefore, a lot has to read between the lines.

    I had requested Wasti Sahib earlier also to communicate on my address separately so that I could send copies of my Urdu and English articles published already. As for blaming Shaukat Aziz n’ Co, they would often complain to Gen Musharraf about my ‘non cooperation’ on the matters of privatization, dolling out millions of dollar contracts, letting off the corrupt, hiring and firing etc, hoping that I would be shown the door. Often summoned to the CE’s Secretariat or COAS’ office, the simple truth told plainly would turn the tables, for Gen Musharraf would listen patiently. In fact during my very first such meeting barely four months after I was made MD, I must have been the first one to tell him that he had picked a corrupt and insincere cabinet! That I completed a year more than my two year tenure in OGDC amply proves he was sincere alright but caught up in a wicked circle.

    Thanks again and best regards.

  6. When Gen Zia or Gen Musharraf took over, how many officers resigned on morality grounds? Now the time has passed and Kitabi Shers can write a lot. In fact ours is the generation responsible for what all is happening surrounding us today. We all have failed in meeting our responsibilities.
    Let us make use of our this spare time in some positive and constructive work instead of continue blaming each other and giving opportunity to others to defame our reputed institutions. The fore most among all these things is how to re stitch the fiber of our torn off society. The writer community can contribute a lot. Let us support our all law enforcing agencies to eliminate the evil of terrorism from this country. Let us bring thoughts and deeds of this nation on one page to live with pride and honor among other nations on this globe.

  7. Lt Col (R) Nasir Ali Siddiqi (2nd SSC) says:

    Its true picture of the era of Dictator. Wish you all the BEST, Keep it up.

  8. Lt Col (R) Javaid Ahmed Kamal (2nd SSC) says:

    He was no one to dismiss an elected Prime Minister. He thought he is the wisest man in the world. Look at the turn of events, only a sensible person would understand. He has to pay back for what he did. For him and his supporters MUKAFAT-E-AMAL is an absurd phrase. For a change he and they should pause and look at it from this angle. He may find the answer.

    I appreciate Gen Parvez Akmal’s effort and wish he continues it as humble gesture.

  9. Capt (R) M Tariq Zaid Rahmani says:

    Truth is living for the people who are aware, where as ignorant ones deny the truth. Individuals imposed on Pakistan by foreign powers served their masters to damage sovereignty, economy, integrity and the resources of the country. Any person who damages the reputation of armed forces must be put to accountability. I am afraid, to protect such individuals from due accountability is need of the present government seat holders. If one example is set on merit that shall boost morale of people disheartened by NRO, corruption and and the ‘Thappa Elections’.
    P.A. Lala’s qalam-kari is appreciable, needs to put in more and more.

  10. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa (6 OTS) says:

    A poem oozing with the feelings of a patriot.
    Late President Truman famously said more than half a century ago, “The buck stops here.”
    A leader worth his salt must hold himself responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

    Accepting the advice of Shaukat Aziz on major economic issues like Privatization, and having relied on other cronies in the matter of NRO (they have since deserted him), Musharraf cannot shift blame on others now. He considered himself and actually was all powerful. He should have been more discreet in selecting his team and patently straight forward while conducting affairs of the State.

    In my view, the poet has no-where exonerated Musharraf of his responsibility of over-seeing the shenanigans of Shaukat Aziz and ensuring corruption free administration. This way, no fingers would have been pointed his way. Actual truth about the integrity of a human-being is of-course known only to Allah SWT.

    Without going into the legal niceties of the case, I did not expect Musharraf to act like a malingering Cadet who reports sick just before the “9 Mile Test”. He should have faced danger like a Commando that he was as a young officer.

  11. Syed Haroon Wasti says:

    Thanks for feeling the weight of my honest comments in my earlier email.
    Nice try in the field of poetry. Keep it up please.

    You Sir, wrote that:
    “…… said ‘NO’ to any of his naive instructions, which I found against the national interests. I emphasize that such instructions were often passed on the advice of Shaukat Aziz & Co who, over all these years, have been amply proven corrupt, as well as insincere to Pakistan.”

    How nice of you to very softly brushing aside “against the national interests” instructions of Mush, as just ‘naive’ while heaping all the burden of ills, and dirt of corruption on a civilian …. Shaukat Aziz. Yes, he (Shaukat Aziz) was not a nice man by all accounts but remember Who brought in Shaukat to this high position and why? And what was the background of his unholy alliance with Mush? Perhaps I don’t have to tell YOU Sir, of all the people. The world knows.

    Article – 6? Well, why jump the gun? Let the Special Court decide, on behalf of the Nation, whether he was or not ?


  12. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd), 2nd SSC says:

    NRO was the biggest mistake of Gen Musharraf but then every one commits mistakes. All his decisions were in the best interest of the nation. But then it may be wrong too. Why we forget that his era was excellent period for every one and that is what a common man wants. He did not involve in any corruption. He is in trouble because of some other reasons. All who have left him are Hypocrites and MUTLAB PRAST. Specially those who took maximum benefits and advantages during his period. His wrongs are less and goods are more. I salute Musharraf.

    I also want to add that both Gen Ayub and Gen Zia did lot for Pakistan. During those days Pakistan had good name and our neighboring country dare not look at Pakistan with bad intention. Today even IRAN and Afghanistan are Showing eyes to Pakistan, what to talk about India. If there was any thing wrong done by Gen Zia then the incoming government should have deleted or undone it. If they could not do it then it was their incompetency. Why keep harping only one sentence “it is due to previous government”. What Talibans are doing is not due to Zia or Musharraf, it is because for last 6 years the hands of Army were tied due to wrong policy of the government. Killers are not hanged and are set Scot free and only limited action is taken against the Taliban. How the heavy arms and vehicles are entering our borders and how the foreigners are operating in our motherland?

    OK, I accept your version that it is due to the wrong planning of our generals then what? We keep on crying we are suffering due to Gen Zia who did this to us 26 years back? Are we a failed nation or our Army cant tackle these traitors and mercenaries? Please do not fall victim to the PROPAGANDA AGAINST THE PAKISTAN ARMY once we blame our generals, actually we are blaming and defaming our ARMY. We should ask the present /ruling government for taking correct decisions and take Pakistan on the path of glory and success.

    • Syed Haroon Wasti says:

      He kept 180 million people hostage at the point of gun and threw a bit of perks to his HASHIA BARDAARS and you call that era, an era of peace and progress? If not the gun, then YOU please tell us, what was his constituency/authority to reach the post to rule the nation?
      Military is a FORCE which is totally bound by the discipline. If that discipline is eliminated from that sacred institution, then what is left? What will you call such a military? Indian COAS recently had a problem with his P.M. He went to Supreme Court. He did not break the law/discipline and committed a Coup. Now let us wait & see what the Special Court decide on behalf of the nation. The law is the only guarantee of a state, not its force.

  13. The lowest point in morale of our Valiant Armed Forces (even worse than surrender at Paltan Maidan, Decca) was when our COAS Mush refused to own our brave soldiers, mostly NLI, labeling them as ‘militants. These courageous soldiers had given the supreme sacrifice of SHAHADAT in Kargil Conflict. Their bodies lay rotting on the ice-cold peaks, they were later returned in view of the world by telecast of BBC TV. They were wrapped in Pakistan flag coffins by Indian Army and were only then accepted by Mush.

    As for Shukat Aziz, he was known ‘conman’ and known for whitening black money and making it disappear into safe havens to off shore islands. His repute was well known while he served as head of Investment Division in Citi Corp, a Jewish entity. He was brought into Pakistan by Mush first as Finance Minister and then as PM for this particular expert talent alone.

    Was the country short of Financial wizards? He did his job exceedingly well and all ‘cuts’ from dozens of sources were made to vanish, leaving no tell tale marks. Sale of Steel Mill for a song was stopped by Supreme Court. He acted as a front man of India’s Mittal Group. The biggest fall in stock exchange amounting to 13 billion dollars took place during this time.

    Indians built over 40 Dams on our guaranteed rivers during the 9 year rule of Mush. This is having the most serious effects on the country, lack of water and floods. Why was no hue and cry raised at international fora? Rather to the contrary a ‘out of Box’ solution was being considered on KASHMIR issue during his tenure as head of state. How hypocritical by one who had launched the KARGIL Conflict? And last but not the least, to save his own skin, NRO, which invited the most corrupt govt in Nation’s History.

  14. Maj Gen Parvez Akmal,

    This is an excellent piece of poetry based on true & naked facts. Gen Musharraf being a typical Pak Army soldier with usual simplicity, clear bigheartedness without any visible evil intention, lost only when he got surrounded by usual historic courtiers & cronies who always play their evil parts to obtain their benefits at the cost of the rulers. The history repeated as usual in his case too. The courtiers vanished leaving him alone to face the music by himself only. Even now he is surrounded by another kind of courtiers in the shape of his civilian lawyers who are using hypocrisy and false excuses in his defense.

    He might have broken the law (as per him with good intentions); but he is definitely not a traitor. He should appear in the courts bravely like a soldier without any Hippocratic lawyer, plead his case boldly and face the circumstances. He will surely make the History; and will not be called a Coward (the Biggest insult/disgrace for a soldier) at least.

  15. Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Chaudhry, Punjab (2nd SSC) says:

    Sentiments conveyed through poem by P. A. Lala are highly appreciated. Sir, keep it up.

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

    Sir, KAMAAL Aye Jee. Allah karey zor e qalam aur ziada. A true depiction of Mushi’s greatest ever folly. Many thanks for sharing. We appreciate your courage during your stay with OGDCL. Stay blessed.

  17. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi (2nd SSC) says:

    Real depiction of Musharraf era!!!

  18. Farida Rahman says:


  19. Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

    Thanks and salaamz Akmal Bhai,

    Nice indeed! Some people including my dear friend marhoom and maghfoor Gen Jamshed Kayani believed that the start of terror war was his biggest mistake! NRO for sure–which made billions of haram $ into halal as if Mushy was god.

    Many duaa-e-khair for everyone and Pak Watan.

  20. Mehmud Ahmed, Canada says:

    My dear Col Cheema,

    You have mentioned in Editor’s Note that a book called “History of Karakoram Highway” written by Brig Mumtaz Alam and edited by Maj Gen Parvez Akmal. Could you let me know where this book is on sale in Islamabad? My daughter-in-law is currently in Islamabad and I would ask her to bring it for me. Thanks.

    I am getting better but am still very week and cannot walk without a walker.

    • Gen Parvez Akmal is requested to indicate the book stores in Islamabad where the above mentioned book is available.

      Mehmud Sahib, thank God that your health is improving. Wish you a speedy recovery.


      • Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

        Dear Mahmud Sahib,
        You wanted to know where these books can be found; here are the author’s contacts; 0515590069 (Chaklala Scheme 3), 03335590069; I have already requested him to assist. He’ll send you both the volumes for Rs 1000 plus postage. The market cost is Rs 1800 but it’s also out of stock there for some time.

        Best regards.

  21. Azam Gill (2nd SSC), France says:

    As usual, very effective talent.

  22. Pervaiz Musharraf ZINDA ABAD!!!

  23. Sir,
    An apt poem about the bitter memories of NRO and power sharing.

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