POST CONVENTION REPORTS:
The first convention of
Petarians was held at Cadet College Petaro on 24-26 December 2004.
This was truly an amazing event. Over 400 Petarians registered and turned up at the Convention -
though many of them could only attend the sessions on Saturday alone. They came from far and wide - from the Americas, UK, Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia,
Bahrain, and from all over Pakistan.
Some of the key highlights:
Love was in the air - love is in the air - and love continues to be in the air
Ex-teachers who came:
From Lahore: Mr. M.A. Bhatti,
Ch. Saeed Ahmed,
Col. Nasir Abbas
From Rawalpindi: Mr. Affan Maqsood,
Maj.Gen.(R) Z.I. Abbasi
From Karachi: Mr. A. A. Faruqui,
Mr. Abdullah Khadim Hussain,
Dr. Qamaruzzaman Khan Yusufzai
From Hyderabad: Mr. Inayat Ali Khan
From Nawabshah: Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Khan
From Chakwal: Mr. M.K. Mughal
From Faisalabad: Ch. Abdul Ghani
Ex-cadets who registered / attended - over 400
11th + 12th classes who attended - over 300
Present staff members who attended - around 50
Thus, total in attendance was around 750
Ex-cadets were housed in the following dorms:
Shahbaz House - all the entries of 50s and 60s
Latif and Ayub Houses - all the entries of 70's and 80's
Qasim House - all the entries of 90's
The 11th and 12th class were staying at Jinnah, Liaquat and Iqbal Houses
Thus all the loudest snorers were in Shahbaz House - which was shaking like an earthquake at night - (I guess I must have been the loudest of them all)
Every one was required to wear the uniform shirt, with epaulettes (5 stripes), arm badge, CCP brass, and berets. We got the epaulettes and badges according to our own house colours.
All food was served in the Students' Mess, and cooked by the college mess staff. The outside caterers were dropped upon great demand.
The program was as follows:
Friday - people started arriving since the morning. And it was a crowd by dinner. Scenes of hugs between old long lost friends was a continuous sight.
Friday - Waseem Sipyo 8648 was the one man who manned the Registration Headquarters at the Latif House Master's Office - which we had occupied.
Tajammul Husayn, 439/Jinnah and his team managed the Registration Desks inside a shamiana that was put up next to the parking lot near the riding gate for the incoming cars. Tea and coffee was available for the tired
travelers in the tent. No one wanted to leave the shamiana. It became the center of all activity.
Friday - Dinner at the mess followed by a speech delivered by
Bashiruddin Memon, 63/LF, President Petarian Association. Bashir Bhai talked about how he wants to take the Petarian Association into the next couple of years, and prepare us for the 50th anniversary
celebrations. This was followed by short speeches by
Mr. Abdullah Khadim Hussain,
Mr. A.A. Faruqui, and
Ch. Abdul Ghani
Friday - There was a movie screened at the main auditorium after dinner.
Friday night - It was a cold night - while we were wrapped up in blankets, the 94 and 96 entries were out there in the wilderness making noises into the wee hours of the morning. Sounded more like howling wolves looking for a prey. Or was it the moan of a lost beloved?
Saturday - College had arranged for hot water in the taps and in the showers. Some of us bathed, while others braved the cold by simply deciding to use only perfume.
Saturday - The sun rose at 7:10am. No one dared to go out for PT in the cold except for the 11th and 12th classes. But at 7:30am, most of us had donned the uniform and were out at the mess hall for breakfast. Menu: Parathas, chana choley, qeema, omelette, fried eggs, toast, butter, corn flakes and tea. We hogged ourselves as if we hadn't eaten for ages.
Saturday - At 8:15am, all the ex-cadets donned in uniforms assembled near Shahbaz House on the main road. At 8:30am, the troops marched (some straggled) to the Assembly Area in front of the main Administration Building. All our old and new teachers were assembled on top of the stairs, while we ex-cadets (regardless of age, entry, admiralship, rank, wealth, ethnicity, religion, etc) were all standing attention in rows below.
Cdre. Abid Saleem shouted the command in Urdu to be "At Ease". ex-Cadet
Muhammad Ali Khan Durrani, kit no. 482/Latif (passed out 1965) recited early verses of Surah Al-Rahman in one of the most beautiful voices and also read out the translation. This was followed by "News" of the day read by Shajar Abbas Khan, kit no. 75113/Liaquat.
Saturday - At 9:00am, the first session started, chaired by
Prof. Inayat Ali Khan and moderated by
Cdre. Ashfaq Beg, kit no. 69, and with presentations by
1.Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif - on "Petaro and Petarians over the past 47 Years"
2.Shabieh Haider Zaidi, 7102/Liaquat - on "Good Governance"
3.Shahid Mahmud, 74104/Liaquat - on "Elements of National Power"
All three presentations were done using a multimedia projector and Powerpoint presentations.
The first session ended with one of the most marvelous presentations of a summary of the session in poetic format by
Prof. Inayat Ali
Khan. He was an instant star.
Saturday - At 12 noon, the second session started. Upon great demand,
Prof. Inayat Ali Khan was requested to recite more of his "kalam". At 12:30pm, the main second session was held as a panel discussion with
Prof. Abdullah Khadim Hussain in the chair,
Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom, kit no. 97 as the moderator, and Sohail Malik 83140/Qasim as the discussant.
Panelists were Nauman Ozair 556/Ayub, Mahmood Baweja
7518/Qasim, Qaisar Zaman 7523/Iqbal, and Shabieh Zaidi, 7102/Liaquat. Topic of the discussion was "Is it time to Redefine the mission of CCP?" in terms of education.
Saturday - Lunch at the Cadets Mess at 2pm. We had daal, chawal, deep fried chicken and chicken
salan with bananas. Cdre. Abid Saleem, Principal made his welcome address right after lunch, followed by a keynote speech by the COMKAR, Rear Admiral Asad Qureshi.
Saturday - After lunch, there were three matches held between ex-cadets and present cadets as follows:
Cricket at the new stadium
Hockey in the field next to cricket
Football in the main grassy field between the houses
The most famous star of yesteryears was Lt. Col. Yunus Changezi "TARZAN", who was on the field playing football.
Tarzan is now the Baluchistan Minister for Environment, Sports, Forests, etc. Though it was a pleasure to see him on the field, of course age and fat has gotten to him. Right after the match, he was standing in the middle of the road with his hands slipped inside his trousers rubbing Iodex. Jokingly I told him to go inside, but he was totally relaxed, saying not to worry - he
wouldn't strip. Tarzan is the same old Tarzan despite being a provincial minister. Also present was the famous
Arshad Raja who was Football captain in 1966-67. He was wise enough not to play this time though.
The ex-cadets won the matches - don't asked me who fixed them.
Saturday - 6-8pm, we had the session on reminiscences and nostalgia in the main auditorium. Tens of ex-cadets walked up to the podium to tell their tales of yesteryears and a bit about what they are doing.
Saturday - 8:30pm was dinner time. Dinner was with Chinese rice, Nan, Qorma, Daal, and firni. After dinner, Dr. Agha Taj, 7564/Latif presented the Petarian Association Hyderabad chapter, and Javaid Soomro, 8593/Ayub told us about Petarian Association of Europe (PAE). Unfortunately,
Naeem Saroya, 504/Liaquat who was supposed to talk about
Aurangzeb Khan 431/Latif who was to present
PASA were not present.
This was followed by a keynote speech by Lt.Gen. S.P. Shahid, 332/Ayub.
Saturday - 10pm the variety program started in the main auditorium. The show continued on till around 3am. There were 4 artists who were brought by the Hyderabad chapter, but interspersed were songs, ghazals, jokes, skits and dances by Petarians. There was a lot of hidden talent on display. The cadets and ex-cadets had a ball of a time. In fact, when we decided to call it a day at 2:30am, many of them just didnt want to leave the hall. The
boys danced all night.
Sunday - 8am (all of us skipped PT). Went for breakfast. Same breakfast menu as previous day
Sunday - 9am, 3 workshops were held as follows:
Workshop 1 on Education -
Prof. Affan Maqsood in chair, and speakers being
Dr. Ahmed Makhdoom 97/Ayub and Syed Raza Mujtaba
Workshop 2 on Infrastructure and Development -
Prof. Ch. Saeed Ahmed in the chair, Tariq Hafiz 7581/Ayub as moderator and speakers being
Brig.Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan, 533/Qasim (on solar and wind energy), Dr. Shahid Iqbal 7538/Liaquat, Syed Waqas Azher 7935/Iqbal,
Khalid Qasim Malik 7561/Jinnah and
Prof. Mohammed Ahmed Khan
Workshop 3 on Career Development -
Col. Nasir Abbas (ex-Adjutant) in chair, Nizamuddin Siddiqui 75111/Qasim as moderator and speakers being
Lt.Gen S.P. Shahid 332/Ayub (on army and airforce),
Rear Admiral Saeed Sargana 263/Ayub (on navy), Javaid Soomro
8593/Ayub on IT/Telecom, Arif Hashmi 75102/Latif on Hotel and Travel industry, Nizam Siddiqui 75111/Qasim on Media/journalism, Dr. Amjad Siraj Memon 7515/Ayub on Medicine.
Sunday - 12noon - Session no. 5 (CONCLUDING SESSION) where summaries of workshops were presented and the
Petarian Declaration 2004 was announced. There was a unanimous approval of the
The GIFT TO PETARO was also announced. We had a total collection of around Rs. 40 lacs out of which we expect that the expenses for the convention would be
around Rs. 7 lacs. The rest would be the GIFT. It was decided to utilize this GIFT for paying better salaries to teachers and thereby hiring better quality teachers. Details would be worked out with the Board of Governors of CCP.
Sunday - 1:30pm - Keynote speech by Vice Admiral Farooq Rashid, kit no. 236/Jinnah, who is Chief of Staff of the Navy.
Sunday - 2pm - lunch
Sunday - 3pm - buses started to leave for Karachi and Hyderabad.
The Chief Minister Sindh was called to Islamabad on Saturday evening by the Prime Minister, and therefore
couldn't make it on Sunday lunch. He called and apologised.
The "DECLARATION" summarises the outcome of the
convention. Do read it by clicking on the link.
I want to personally thank all the organizers whose tireless efforts made this convention a great success. (I will publish a full list later on). I would also like to thank
the Principal CCP, and all the staff members and workers there for the great effort and work on their part. They did a tremendous job. And lastly I want to thank
the COMKAR for his support which was essential for this event's happening. We are most grateful to all these people.
More on this later on.
With Best Wishes,
Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
The Petarian Convention 2004 is over!
While it ended Sunday afternoon, it marked the beginning of a new era. A new era for CCP… reflected in
Petarian Declaration that speaks of Petarians’ passionate love
and affection for their alma mater. The new era that will see, I hope, not only the CCP playing wider role in imparting quality education but also the Petarians paying back
the debt of honor they owe to their college as well as to the society. The convention reinforced the hope that mutual efforts may bring the change we always talked about.
The convention was a wonderful demonstration of superb teamwork. It was simply terrific! Hats off to all who made it possible - to those who conceived the idea, to those
who translated it into action, to those who supported with their intellect, time, effort and money and to those who made all the way to attend.
The convention proffered renewed love and fraternal bonding among long lost friends that time and distance had been trying hard to abate. While it was wonderful to see
many of those who were earlier just another email address on the group, it was even more exciting to re-discover the many old friends with their newer dimensions, both
physical and intellectual. It was interesting to note, the frozen images carried carefully for decades, of carefree teenage frivolous faces, suddenly swapping with those of
matured, seasoned and somewhat somber ones. Within few minutes of readjusting the images, however, it wasn’t too difficult for anyone to dig out the lost child from
within each other. It was just wonderful to re-live another weekend of joy, fun and the season in the sun!
The departing scene on Sunday afternoon was even more emotional; the warm hugs, the last moment exchanging of contact numbers and promises to keep in touch….
resembled the day of our passing out from CCP. Some one commented that we were experiencing a second passing out! Departing with a heavy heart we all carried with
us yet another set of memories and images that will perhaps be stored again with care, deep down in the heart, and who knows if those will ever be replaced!!!
Dukh main khoye khyal si
Gharri thi gehray malal ki
Shaam-e-wida thi wasal ki!
(a kavita by Shakir Mahmud Kit no. 7814)
Thank you every one for this wonderful event!
Mahmood Baweja, 7518 MQ
A country with all the virtues of egalitarianism,
brotherhood, welfare and well-being of all, intermingled with faith,
honesty and sincerity of purpose. A country, called Pakistan
, the ‘Land of the Pure'.
with this vision that our Founding Fathers fought hard to create this
country. Fifty-seven years later, we still profess to have a vision that
remains to be realized. Looking back, we become disillusioned at times. The
past few years have been particularly difficult in the history of Pakistan
. The fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1997 should in reality have been
a time for introspection on the part of us Pakistanis – particularly those
who have been endowed with education and with the good things of life.
After all, there was little left to celebrate.
fifty years, the literacy in this country has stagnated and probably
degraded in real terms. The vast majority of our population does not get
clean water to drink. Our health conditions are deplorable, and life
expectancy is very low as compared to international standards. Our per
capita income still hovers around $400 per year. Our cities, rivers, lakes,
and countryside are polluted. Our living conditions – at least for most of
us – are miserable.
ye daaG daaG
ujaalaa, ye shab gaziidaa sahar
intzaar thaa jis kaa, ye wo sahar to nahii.n
the greatest achievement for a common Pakistani is to get a job abroad, or
to obtain immigration to a North American or European country. Our country,
our soil, our waters are unable to hold us. Bahadur Shah Zafar's lament
rings loud in our ears in which he yearns for the 2 square yards of land in
his own homeland. He was forced out by invaders from England
and died in prison in Burma
, while we happily give up our own lands for the sake of voluntary
servility of other nations. We dream of escaping from the miseries here and
deserting our own people to seek livable conditions on this Earth for
ourselves. In this process, we end up serving other nations and peoples.
Our skills, our labour and our intellect are for the sake of others. As a
result, we stagnate in our own land.
state of affairs is a result of insincerity on our part and on the part of
our leadership. After 57 years, we have degraded ourselves from being an
unburdened nation to one of the most impoverished and indebted nations on
the face of the Earth. In return for the loans, all we have left are ghost
schools, bankrupt industries and a torn infrastructure. Our agricultural
produce cannot even sustain our own population. This land of the five
rivers now no longer produces enough food to sustain its own inhabitants.
Economically we are a disaster.
main problem seems to be a lack of honesty and sincerity on the part of the
power brokers in the country – the political leadership, the bureaucracy,
the armed forces and the feudal landed aristocracy. Over the years, this
insincerity has filtered down to the masses in the form of rampant
corruption. This corruption is not merely financial, but intellectual one
as well, which is the anti-thesis of the much-needed sincerity and honesty.
the nation suffers, the leadership deludes us by portraying their ‘achievements'.
They try to hide their corrupt practices through comparatively meager
achievements like the nuclear explosion. A much larger explosion awaits us,
as compared to a nuclear explosion, if we are not able to set ourselves
right. We need to steer away from our suicidal path.
nation's wealth has been siphoned off in a most organized manner. While the
VIPs enjoy royal lifestyles, the nation is further burdened with even
greater loans. More than half of the annual spending now goes towards servicing
debt. Truly, 'interest' on loan is a curse. It is the power of these loans
and interest that forces our government to follow the dictates of the
international financing agencies even in developing normal policies and
turn back to our duty as Petarians towards this nation. In general, God has
blessed us as a community. Most of us have been fortunate in having
acquired the best possible education that is available anywhere. We have
risen to the heights in most of the professions in Pakistan
and abroad. We are leaders in government, the armed forces, the police, the
bureaucracy, business, industry, agriculture, media and sports, besides
some other fields.
this endowment, can we Petarians not join hands in rebuilding the nation? We
need to create institutions. We need to contribute our time, our efforts,
our intellect and wealth for this noble cause. We need to build the future
for our children.
like the plantation of a date palm, which bears fruit only for the next
generation. We need to work today so that future generations may benefit
from our efforts. Today we are reaping the fruits of our insincerity,
dishonesty and deeds of the past. Let us turn the tide so that our coming
generations will recognize our efforts and are able to lead their lives
with honour and prosperity. Let us come forward with concrete ideas and
work to make this into a reality.
then is the theme of The Petarian Convention 2004 – to be held from 24 th
to 26 th Dec 2004. We hope to address these very issues and give an
opportunity to the Petarians to examine how they can rise to the occasion
to contribute towards the future of Pakistan , and Petaro as well.
Come one, come all! Let us
be there in force to ensure that we truly move forward in a positive
Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif