Today I would like to talk about two very informative books. The first is ‘Quaid-e-Azam and the Armed Forces’ (in Urdu), written by well-known columnist and friend, Jabbar Mirza. He has 17 books to his name, all very popular. This book has been published by Shehryar Publications, Islamabad and is available at 2107 Main Road, I-10/1, Islamabad, Mobile 0333-5120692.
Mirza received his education in the good old days when cheating, postponement of examinations, corruption in the educational field and fake degrees were unknown. He obtained an MA in Journalism from the University of Karachi. Before Bhutto’s nationalisation of education folly, our institutes were doing quite well.
This book is not confined only to Quaid-e-Azam and the armed forces. He has also discussed national polio campaigns and the World Health Organisation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pak-Turkish relations, the separation of East Pakistan, the last elections, Kashmir, etc. All these topics have been discussed as the armed forces, directly or indirectly, had something to do with them.
Addressing the launching ceremony of RPNS ‘Dilawar’ on January 23, 1948, Quaid-e-Azam said: “Pakistan must be prepared for all eventualities and dangers. The weak and the defenceless in this perfect world invite aggression from others. The best way in which we can serve the cause of peace is by removing the temptations from the path of those who think that we are weak, and therefore, they can bully or attack us. This temptation can only be removed if we make ourselves so strong that nobody dare entertain aggressive designs against us. Pakistan is still in the infancy and so is its navy and other branches of the armed forces…
“You will have to make up the smallness of your size by your courage and selfless devotion to duty, for it is no life that matters but the courage, fortitude and determination you bring to it …. I trust that, by your behaviour and deportment, you will never let Pakistan down.”
In a message to the armed forces on November 8, 1947, he said: “I want you all to work with complete unity and harmony, I am sure we will march successfully forward through all the dangers that are facing us, with the honour and prestige of Pakistan higher than ever and upholding the traditions of Islam and our national banner.”
On February 21, 1948 he addressed the 5th Heavy Ack Ack and 6th Light AA Regiments in Malir and said: “We have won the battle for Pakistan’s freedom but the grimmer battle for the preservation of that freedom and building it on a firmer and sounder basis is still in progress and that battle has to be fought to a successful conclusion. Nature’s inexorable law is the survival of the fittest.”
On April 13, 1948 he addressed the Royal Pakistan Air Force at Risalpur and said: “There is no doubt that any country without a strong air force is at the mercy of any aggressor. Pakistan must build up her Air Force as quickly as possible. It must be an efficient Air Force, second to none, and must take its place with the Army and the Navy in securing Pakistan’s defence.”
On June 14, 1948 he addressed the officers of the Staff College, Quetta and said: “You, along with the other Forces of Pakistan, are the custodians of the life, property and honour of the people of Pakistan. The defence forces are the most vital of all Pakistan service and correspondingly a very heavy responsibility and burden lies on your shoulders.
“I have no doubt in my mind, from what I have seen and from what I have gathered, that the spirit of the army is splendid, the morale is very high, and what is very encouraging, is that every officer and soldier, no matter what the race or community to which he belongs, is working as a true Pakistani.
“If you all continue in that spirit and work as comrades, as true Pakistanis, selflessly, Pakistan has nothing to fear.
“One thing more, I am persuaded to say this because, during my talks with one or two very high-ranking officers, I discovered that they did not know the implications of the oath taken by the troops of Pakistan. Of course an oath is only a matter of form; what is more important, is the true spirit and the heart.
“But it is an important form, and I would like to take the opportunity of refreshing your memory by reading the prescribed oath to you. ‘I solemnly affirm, in the presence of Almighty God, that I owe allegiance to the Constitution and Dominion of Pakistan (mark the words ‘Constitution and the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan’) and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully serve in the Dominion of Pakistan Forces and go within the terms of my enrolment wherever I may be ordered by air, land or sea and that I will observe and obey all commands of any officer set over me….”
I recommend that this valuable book be made available to students of all cadet colleges and armed forces personnel through their book clubs.
The second book, very interesting and full of information, is: ‘White on Green – Celebrating the Drama of Pakistan Cricket’. It is written by famous sports writers Richard Heller and Peter Oborne. It contains detailed information on our cricket history, about all our former and present cricketers, matches, scores, etc.
I was a great lover of cricket and hockey in Bhopal. There were two high schools in Bhopal and war-like competitions were often held in both sports between them. The shouting, hooting and whistling that went on was often ear splitting. This interest encouraged me to establish cricket and football teams at KRL, of which my dear friends and colleagues, DG Mansoor Ahmad and DG Brig Sajawal Khan, were the motivational forces.
Many of our good players – Shoaeb Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Misbahul Haq, M Irfan etc – went on to play for the national team and win laurels for the country.