‘Zia Vs Zia’

By Lt Col Sajid Majeed Bhatti (R), AC (47th PMA)

Photo of Lt Col Sajid Majeed Bhatti (47th PMA) 22 Cav and 52 CavEditor: Lt Col Sajid Majeed Bhatti got commission in 22 Cavalry in Nov 1971. He was later posted to 52 Cavalry on its raising on 01 Jan 1973. He retired on 25 Dec 1998 and has settled in Islamabad.

Back in 1967, my parent unit, 22 Cavalry, was located in Multan. Lt Col (Later Gen and President of Pakistan) Zia-ul-Haq was CO and his Adjt was Lt Zia Mehmood (2nd War Course). One day a girl friend of Lt Zia rang up in the regiment and unfortunately the phone was picked up by the CO, who said, “Assalamo Alaikum! Col Zia speaking.”

The girl thought that Lt Zia Mehmood was speaking with a changed voice. She started making fun of the CO and said, ” Yes, yes, till yesterday you were Lt Zia and today you have become Col Zia. I am pretty sure that tomorrow you will say, I am General Zia.”

Col Zia told the girl, “I have recognized you and will talk to your father in the evening.”

On hearing this, the girl hurriedly hung up.

CO 22 Cavalry Regt - Zia-ul-Haq and his Adjt, Capt Zia Mehmood, at Multan, July 1967

Editor: Photo contributed by Maj Agha Farrukh S Khan (57 PMA). In the above photo the rank of Adjt be read as Lt (instead of Capt).

The CO asked for the Adjt and was told that he had gone to the garages. After sometimes, Col Zia went to the garages to get hold of Lt Zia. Since, in the meanwhile, Lt Zia had also come to know as to what had happened, therefore, he ran to the unit lines. It was after quite some time that when the CO cooled down that Lt Zia picked up the courage to face him.
Those were the good old days of my great regiment, 22 Cavalry.

Post Script: Maj Zia Mehmood retired on 29 December 1989. He has now settled at Rawalpindi.

Related Pages:
Humour in Uniform
Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. Col Shah Alam (R), AC/Avn, (34 PMA) Canada says:

    It was certainly a very wrong mix – Capt Zia with Lt Col Zia – and it looks that after all the hide & seek, Capt Zia still survived.

    Your anecdote takes me back in the time tunnel. I guess those were the days when Lt Col Zia enjoyed the unique privilege of being the Acting Col Staff at HQ 1 Armd Div and simultaneously Commanding 22 Cav. We had come over from Kharian to Multan to collect the M 47 tanks from Probyn’s, and Lt Col Zia (being ex-Guides) was kind to invite us over for a dinner. Guess where we had that dinner? On the road-side benches in a tikka shop right opposite the Dreamland Cinema. :)

  2. Col Naeem A Khan ( Retd ) says:

    One of our great COs received a call from Sta Comd. He said, ” I have confirmwd reports that your young officers bring girls to the mess”.
    CO replied, “Sir, they are youngsters. If they will not bring girls, will they bring boys to the mess?”
    All went quiet on the western front for a while & then both sides hung up.
    Great COs & great time.

  3. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd), Air Def (2nd SSC) says:

    A good story of what used to happen in those days. My experience is different. My CO Lt Col (later Maj Gen) Agha Masood, called me and asked, “Have you met your girlfriend?”
    I told him, “Sir, not yet”.
    On which he asked me to go and meet the girl, which I did.
    Editor only: You my post my story “Dangerous to have same name as CO”, Thanks.

  4. Nadir Khan says:

    Well, my experience is altogether different. Or may be I had better COs. I don’t know why the capt really had to hide from the CO?

  5. Col Sajid Bhatti,
    Excellent anecdote for the segment ‘Humour in Uniform’. Please share more.

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