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
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
He participated in the 1971 War in the Sialkot
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
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
Lt.Gen. S.P. Shahid delivered a lecture on
"Education and Careers in Pakistan" at the
Jubilee Celebration of CCP at Petaro on 24
February 2007. Please click on the following links
to see the lecture:
"Education and Careers in Pakistan" part 1
"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?
Salim Mastan, 336/Liaquat
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”).
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Shahid became a Prefect in ninth class and
eventually rose to become the Senior Under Officer
(SUO) of Cadet College Petaro.
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
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
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.
great part was played by the Principal
Shah who fed us extra food, which was a boon to Munawar Pasha,
Raees Ahmed Khan,
Arshad Raja, SP,
Shaheed Saadat Farooq, and others.
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.
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.