Syed Parvez Shahid, 332/Ayub


Lt.Gen. S.P. Shahid, 2004

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif

Syed Parvez Shahid, kit no. 332/Ayub House joined Cadet College Petaro in 1962 and left the college in 1967 after completing his Intermediate.

He was born on 10 June 1950, and was married to Mrs. Asma on 27 April 1975. They have 5 children - Mustafa, Muneeb, Mubeen, Momina and Mohsina.

S.P. Shahid gained a virtually legendary position in the annals of Petaro and amongst Petarians. He has been a figure who most Petarians look up to. He won the Badge of Honour after Matric and the Stick of Honour after Intermediate. He rose up to become the SUO (Senior Under Officer) in 1966-67.

He was an all-rounder. While he was the best in his class in academics, he was also the best in sports. In the Matric Board examination, he stood first in the district.

He was the captain of the College Cricket team and led the college teams at the ICCST tournament in 1966. He was a member of the Famous Forties in 1966.

After Petaro, he was selected to join the Pakistan Army in the 41st PMA Long Course in 1967, and was commissioned in the Baloch Regiment in 1969. While he was at the Pakistan Military Academy, he was the first cadet to be awarded the Sword of Honour, President's Gold Medal and the Norman Gold Medal. Overall, he won six of the possible nine individual awards at the time of graduation from PMA.

He participated in the 1971 War in the Sialkot sector.

Throughout his army career, he was chosen for some of the most prized appointments in command, staff and instructional institutions. Besides being a Brigade Major, he has been Chief of Staff of Corps and Director General Joint Staff Head Quarters. He has been on the faculty of Pakistan Military Academy, School of Infantry and Tactics (which he later commanded as well), and Command and Staff College Quetta.

During service, he also attended a two-week executive course on security management at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2000.

He attended the Command and General Staff College, Forth Leaven Worth, USA, and the US Army Infantry School at Forth Benning. He is also a graduate of Command and Staff College Quetta and National Defence College Islamabad.

During his tenure, he had the privilege of commanding an infantry battalion, two infantry brigades, two infantry divisions and a corps. He was Deputy Commander of UNFOR (UN Protection Force Bosnia) in 1995. He was also the contingent commander of all Pakistani forces in Bosnia.

During his career, he became the first Petarian to become a three star general and retired as the Corps Commander, Bahawalpur (Lieut. General) in 2005.

After retirement from the Pakistan Army, he joined The Citizen's Foundation (TCF) as its CEO for a period of 3 years. The foundation grew tremendously during his tenure, and the number of schools in operation all over Pakistan exceeded 500 by the time he left the organization in 2008. In 2007, he attended an executive course on leadership of non-profit sector at Stanford University, USA.

Lt.Gen. S.P. Shahid delivered a lecture on "Education and Careers in Pakistan" at the Golden Jubilee Celebration of CCP at Petaro on 24 February 2007. Please click on the following links to see the lecture:

  1. "Education and Careers in Pakistan" part 1

  2. "Education and Careers in Pakistan" part 2

He was also chosen to deliver a key note speech on behalf of all the Petarian alumni on 28 February 2007 in the presence of the President of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf during the celebrations.

Who is SP Shahid?

By Salim Mastan, 336/Liaquat

Lt Gen(R) SP Shahid retired from the Pakistan Army with all the honours a Muslim, a Pakistani, and a Petarian can get - mashallah. Subsequently, after taking an honourable retirement from the Army he joined an educational NGO – The Citizens’ Foundation – as its CEO to educate the kids of Pakistan. He could have joined any organization for money or worldly benefit, but he chose to follow Allah SWT first command Iqra (“read”).

I met him last year and asked him this question “SP why did u not join any of the major multi national company? Why did u not continue in the army? Why did not become an ambassador?” He replied, “I have served the Armed Forces with the best of my ability and retired honourably. I have played my innings now it is time for serving my country in educating the poor and underprivileged. And I am doing it happily”

People like him come rarely in a lifetime.

SP joined CCP in 1962. He was in Ayub House and from the earliest days I witnessed him going to the masjid in a white pajama, the one that has the strange design at the seat with a short shirt. He used to go early to the masjid to call the Azan. I have never seen him miss a namaz. He was here in Fremont California some time back and alhamdulillah I see that he continues to be firm in his namaz always.

I would like to share a small incident with you all. He was ironing his clothes at my house when my Yusra Baji my elder sister-in-law came by visiting and saw this stranger ironing his clothes. She was startled and for a moment thought that she was in the wrong house. Seeing her expression, SP asked if there was a problem. She replied “Oh I think I am in the wrong house”. He responded by identifying himself to be a guest. 

She asked him “Who are you?”, and he replied “Gen Shahid”. Since she knew about the Army etiquettes and culture having lived in Gammon house in Islamabad, she again inquired “Are you really a general presently serving in the Army?”, and he confirmed “Yes I am a general and a corps commander”. 

Her immediate response was, “Then why are you ironing the clothes, and why is Salim Mastan not ironing them for you?” His reply “It is ok I can do it” was a reflection of the simplicity or greatness of the man.

During the 5 years he was at Petaro (if memory serves me right) he always stood 1st in every exam except once when another great Petarian Khalid Aslam (now retired brigadier) stood first. 

In 1964, during our days at Petaro, a team of 20 cadets who were best in academics were selected to go to East Pakistan on a tour. We sailed aboard a ship  called Rangamati. SP was chosen as the leader of the group, which had many Petarian greats like Ghanzafar, Mojiz Raza, Zahid Iqbal, SM Saleem, Saeed Ahmed Sargana, Mohammad Younas, Afzal Akram, (late) Amin Mukhtar, Fayyaz  Sargana, Mirza Arshad Hussain, Abbas Shafi, Jamil Ashraf, Khalid Aslam, Zubair Tunio, Wasim, Abdul Razzaq Bughio, Altaf  Rasool, and Tajamul Husayn.  I am certainly forgetting some names. Two teachers including Mr. A.A. Faruqui Sahib accompanied us.

SP Shahid became a Prefect in ninth class and eventually rose to become the Senior Under Officer (SUO) of Cadet College Petaro.

He was the Captain of the Famous Forties. He was the captain of the cricket team. He inspired the Petarians to win the coveted ISSST championship trophy for the first time beating the other cadet colleges in five out of the six team events in 1966. After that year, Petaro never lost the championship at ISSST (ICCST) as long as those games existed. It set a tradition that placed Petaro at the top for sports championships amongst colleges in Pakistan. Prior to that year, Petaro was known only for winning the shooting event.

It was through SP’s leadership skills that the 40 Petarians became legends with their names immortalized as the “Famous Forties”. These names appear on the boards outside the Auditorium even today including people like Tarzan, Arshad Raja, Yamin, Kaleem Hussain, Nouraiz Shakoor,  and all the other heroes of Petaro along with the teachers and staff and of course Ustad Mirullah Jan. We all loved Petaro more than life itself. And SP was part of it. He helped us lay the tradition of great sportsmanship and respect.

A great part was played by the Principal Cdr. Firoz Shah who fed us extra food, which was a boon to Munawar Pasha, Raees Ahmed Khan, Arshad Raja, SP, Shaheed Saadat Farooq, and others.

SP Shahid won the Stick of Honour at Petaro in 1967. 

After passing out from Petaro, SP was selected to UET Lahore in Engineering. At the same time he was selected in the Pakistan Army with the great efforts of Cdr. Firoz Shah, and he chose to join PMA, a decision which brought him great laurels.

SP Shahid is from the 41st PMA Long Course. At PMA, he won the Sword of Honour as well as the Norman Medal. Sword of Honour is offered to the overall best cadet while the Norman Medal is given to the one who is the best in academics in the whole course. This was a record for the PMA.