CCP Golden Jubilee Celebrations


22-28 February 2007

Golden Jubilee Movies (click here)

Cadet College Petaro is to Petarians what Eton was to Percy Bysshe Shelley and Sindh Madressatul Islam was to Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah. After all, it is their home away from home – a place where they spent their most memorable years. CCP is the institution which instilled confidence and discipline in each one of them. In more ways than one, it made them.

The year 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of CCP. And on the occasion the institution was poised to take a new direction – a direction which will ensure that its future is even greater than its glorious past. Having already produced a number of illustrious Pakistanis who have served Pakistan for well over five decades, CCP will soon begin making its presence felt in the area of professional higher education as well.

The golden jubilee celebrations of CCP were marked with a grand reunion of Petarians at CCP.  The celebrations commenced on Feb 22, 2007 with a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of Mr. A.M. Nizamani, followed by a wreath-laying at the Quaid’s Mausoleum in Karachi after the Friday prayers on Feb 23. In an effort to demonstrate unity in their ranks, all the alumni were attired in blue gowns which were provided to them. After this simple ceremony – that is at about 5pm – Petarians began their journey towards CCP, using either their own conveyance or the transportation provided by the college. The main function was the night celebration of the 23rd at Petaro and the function on the 24th Feb.

The culmination of the celebrations was the visit of President Pervez Musharraf to Petaro on the 28th where he announced the formation of the Petaro Technical University.

A Report on the CCP Golden Jubilee Celebrations 22-28 Feb, 2007

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif

Report dated: 25 February 2007

I got back to Karachi last night.  It was nearly midnight, and I was totally exhausted. Although I would have liked to write this report last night, I virtually fell into bed like a log and was fast asleep even before I knew it. I had been up since nearly 48 hours with barely 4 hours of sleep.

This was indeed one of the most exciting events that I can recall. I will echo Raheel Zafar's (7743/J) sentiments here.

I know that many of you who couldn’t attend the function are waiting very patiently to know what did transpire. So here are the details.

There were so many Petarians there, and just not enough time to meet them all.  I wish I could have had loads and loads of time to sit with them, relax and have a heart to heart talk with them. In particular, I met so many of them for the first time (including Raheel) with whom I have been communicating electronically or through the telephone, but never had a chance to meet before. It was so wonderful to have finally met.

Before I write down the details of this report, let me state here that Mahmood Baweja 7518/Q, Aamir Mumtaz Gopang 94101/I, Iqbal Haider Khokhar 94139/J, Abdul Ahad Shaikh 89157/J, Dr. Agha Taj Mohammad 7564/LF, Imran Latif 84152/L, Cdre. Mirza Ashfaque Beg 69/L, Mashooque Ali 9334/LF and so many other Petarians played a wonderful role in making this celebration such a smashing hit.  I want to thank them all from the bottom of my heart that they worked tirelessly and without seeking any reward or name. None of them came out trumpeting about their achievements.  Their dedication and effort must be acknowledged by all of us.

Secondly, I want to thank Cdre. Abid Saleem, Lt.Cdr. Aziz, Prof. Zabhiullah, Prof. Shaikh, Mr. Liaquat Shah, Yusuf, Imam Baksh, Lt.Cdr Qamar Zia (Adjutant) and every single member of the Cadet College Petaro staff and employees who were the real heroes of this event.  They made it possible. They have been working for months and the preparations paid off grandly.  This was truly the event.

I know that many of us couldn’t attend due to genuine reasons. Well brothers, whatever that reason was, I can say that you missed the most fantastic event, and we missed you.

Let me give you a quick run down of the proceedings.

22nd February 2007:

  • The celebrations started with the visit of a college delegation to the grave of Mr. A.M. Nizamani on 22 February, led by Cdre. M. Abid Saleem.  (Unfortunately I couldn’t attend this event). Mr. Nizamani was the driving force behind Cadet College Petaro. He was Director of Education at Hyderabad in 1957.  It was his singular efforts combined with the approval of Mr. Ayub Khuhro (Defence Minister of Pakistan) that led to the creation and vision of this college. He was deeply committed, and it was he who nurtured this college until Col. Coombes came on board. The college has paid homage to this great man by starting the celebration by laying a wreath at his grave. May Allah reward him for his dedication and service.
  • We are told that this was a great occasion.
  • The three sons of the late Mr. Nizamani (one of them is a Petarian - kit no. 200/A) - announced one scholarship each for needy cadets.
  • Also Mr. Shareef Nizamani 200/A got the rear internal road at Petaro carpeted.

23rd February 2007:

  • Aaj TV brought in their crew to the COMKAR office in the morning at 11am to do an interview of the Chairman BOG.  They have prepared a documentary on the college which is expected to be aired on the 26th of Feb.  Please watch out for it.
  • Quaid's Mazar wreath-laying: 
    • Petarians started assembling at the Mazar-e-Quaid at 3:30pm. Many had come from far off places like N.America, Middle East, Islamabad, Lahore and interior Sindh.  Dr. Dhami 217/LF - Vice Chancellor of State University of Bangladesh - came all the way from Bangladesh.
    • Some of our ex-teachers had already arrived.  Prof. Bhatti, Prof. Ch. Saeed Ahmed and Prof. Nasir Mehmood Malik were already there from Lahore.  Prof. Raja Khadim Hussain had come from Islamabad. Prof. Ch. Abdul Ghani had arrived from Faisalabad.  Prof. Mohammed Ahmed Khan had come from Nawabshah. Prof.M.K. Mughal had come from Chakwal. And Prof. A.A. Faruqui was there from Karachi.  It was so heartening to see our old teachers there.
    • Four busloads of cadets had come from Petaro. Plus there was additional transport that brought in the current teachers. Cdre. Abid led his contingent.
    • It was an august assembly.
    • A booth had been set up on one side to distribute the gowns and badges to all the participants. This was manned by Aamir Mumtaz, Iqbal Haider, Mahmood Baweja and many other young Petarians.
    • Very soon, you could see hundreds of Petarians wearing gowns all over the place. While we waited for the Chief Minister of Sindh (CM) to arrive, people were busy with laughs and old time memories all over the place.
    • COMKAR - Chairman BOG Vice Admiral Sikander Viqar Naqvi - arrived around 4:15pm. He brought other Naval staff with him including the CTA - Cdre. Aslam Rana 7179/J who is also a Petarian.
    • The CM was supposed to arrive at 4:30pm. I am sure he must have had a tough time getting out from his busy schedule.  He finally arrived at around 5pm. He was received by the COMKAR, Principal CCP, staff members and senior Petarians led by Cdre. Ashfaque Beg 69/L and Dr. Dhami 217/LF.
    • On arrival, the Chief Minister Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim 7199/A also wore the gown - as a Petarian.
    • The CCP cadets formed a "U" shaped procession with all the Petarians in their midst. At the head of the procession were 8 cadets carrying 2 wreaths, followed by the CM and COMKAR behind the 2 wreaths. Behind them were the Principal, CTA and other senior Petarians and staff members.
    • At first, there was a bugle welcome.
    • Then to the beat of the band (CCP Band), the procession marched up the steps of the Mazar - in a slow march. We arrived at the grave of the Father of the Nation and the wreaths were laid.
    • This was followed by Fateha and dua.
    • Then there was the formal salami by 2 Navy buglers in the Naval tradition.
    • I do not have an exact number of the people who attended, but my estimate is that there were around 300-400 Petarians plus the 200 cadets in the procession. Plus there were staff members of the Navy and our teachers.
    • The media was there to cover the event. I have not seen the news, but I hope that many of you may have seen this procession on TV.
    • The cadets and Petarians finally boarded the buses. There were a total of 8 buses. In addition, many of the Petarians had brought their own cars.
  • Onward to Petaro
    • The buses left the Mazar-e-Quaid at around 5:30pm. Some of them arrived at Petaro around 8pm, while a couple of buses got delayed on the way and couldn’t reach until around 9:30pm.
    • The arrangements at the college were fantastic.
    • The security at the Main Gate was in place. They had set up a shamiana in front of the main gate manned by college staff and the registration desk. All those who had not been registered previously got themselves registered at the booth there.
    • The college was lit up with decorative lights. All along the main road, all the buildings of Petaro were looking beautiful with colourful lights.
    • We were driven to the area next to the basketball courts / riding club where the car parking was in place. The college staff and security was all over the place to guide us.
    • Many of the cadets were deputed to usher the visitors to their places of residence.
    • Three houses had been emptied to house the visitors.
    • Ex-teachers were housed either at the 2 guest houses or in the guest rooms of the staff residences.
    • Right in the middle of the grassy field, a massive tent / shamiana was erected. It was lit up from inside and outside. It was a grand view - unlike anything you have seen at Petaro.
    • As you walked into the tent, you found that towards the swimming pool side, they had set up a massive stage with a beautiful rich maroon coloured backdrop in the colours of the Golden Jubilee, with the words Cadet College Golden Jubilee inscribed in golden colour. On the two sides were the logos of the Golden Jubilee.
    • They had set up a fantastic sound system inside this tent.
    • The tent was divided into 2 parts. On the swimming pool side along with the stage, they had set up around 1500 chairs for the functions.  On the other side (Iqbal-Qasim side), they set up the dining area - buffet style.
    • The credit for all this arrangement of tents and the food arrangement must go to Ahad Shaikh 89157/J.  Well done Ahad Shaikh!  The arrangement was virtually flawless. And the food served was extremely good.
    • Due to the late arrivals of some of the buses, the dinner was delayed by almost an hour. So instead of starting dinner at 9pm (as scheduled), we started at 10pm.  The cadets also ate with us.
    • Right after dinner, the program started. Master-of-ceremonies of the night was Dr. Amjad Siraj Memon 7515/A - whose wit and superb handling must be admired. He remained the master of ceremonies through the night, assisted by Bhibekshan Chowdhury 7837/J (who had come from the USA). They did a marvellous job.
    • The sitting area was full to its brim.  Almost all the 1,500 chairs were occupied, including all the 880 cadets plus the Petarians and guests.
    • Cdre. Abid Saleem was first invited to welcome the participants.  Abid - despite the hectic schedule of the past few weeks – was incredibly composed.  He welcomed everyone and declared the start of celebrations. He also highlighted how this college started and how we have achieved over these 50 years.
    • Amjad then surprised Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui 671/LF by asking him on to the stage. This was not on the cards. I talked briefly about the feelings of Petarians and the values that we inculcate as Petarians which distinguishes us over others.
    • This was followed by the variety program.  Mahmood Baweja, 7518/Q had arranged with a group of artists to perform that night. I must congratulate Mahmood on the selection of this group. I am not much of a TV fan and cannot comment on other performers - but I think this performance was truly excellent. It was a mixture of music, songs, humour, jokes, mimicry, etc.  There was a lot of heckling from the floor when the jokes were being cracked - which added a lot of colour and lustre to the program.
    • Most of the songs presented were rather fast for me. But I think that crowd loved it. Ex-cadets and cadets seem to have enjoyed themselves thoroughly as they were dancing to the music most of the time. We discovered that Rashid Abro  370/L is a great dancer and so is Aurangzeb Khan 431/LF. I didn’t quite know their skills. Pappoo (Khursheed Parwez Malik 843/L), Maqbool "Max" Babri 971/I, Sultan Sikandar Ghumman 766/LF, Karim Khan 406/I, Dr. Agha Taj 7564/LF, Dr. Feroz Din 761/J, and many seniors were the performers of the night on the floor.
    • Around 12:30am, Bhibekshan came on to the stage and took over the proceedings. He invited many senior Petarians and teachers to come and speak about their own experiences. This was a very heart warming part of the program. For over an hour and a half - we had speaker after speaker - expressing various aspects of their own personal experiences. This included people like Ramesh Beherwani 1/J, Cdre. Z.A. Shah 18/A, Naveed Riaz 82/J, Dr. Dhami 217/LF, Ehtesham Tiwana 7122/LF, Lt. Gen SP Shahid 332/A, Aurangzeb Khan 431/LF, Prof. Bhatti, Ali Jaffery 8046/LF, and many others. We were reminded of many of the old events at Petaro and how this college came into being and the role played by the pioneers including Mr. Nizamani, Mr. Khuhro, Col Coombes, and all the principals and staff members.
    • At around 2:00am, the variety program resumed and lasted until 4am. What surprised me is that only a few of us went off to bed earlier. Most of us remained there till the very last moment enjoying every moment of it. Towards the end, the singers sang a few of the old songs of my days - which were a lot more comprehensible to me. As the program came to a conclusion, almost all of us including the Principal stood up in front of the stage and it seems like everyone was dancing to the singing of "Ho Jamalo" and the "Al-Wida" song.
    • I want to thank Mahmood Baweja 7518/Q once again on the selection of the group that performed.
    • It is important to mention here that Sami Danver 70103/LF who is a paraplegic came all the way from Khairpur Mirs on his wheelchair to attend this function. It is only love for Petaro and Petarians that can bring a person who is handicapped from such a long distance.

24th February 2007

  • We had barely slept 3-4 hours. I understand that there were many who almost didn’t sleep the whole night.
  • Breakfast was served in the Mess between 8-9am.  I don’t know how the college staff managed it after the hectic night. They must be jinns.
  • At 9am, we were all assembled in front of the main Admin Building for the assembly. Our ex-teachers and current teachers were on the stage while we ex-cadets stood before them with all the current cadets behind us.
  • The proceedings started with tilawat-e-Qur'an by Mr. Muhammad Ali Khan Durrani 482/LF. He recited verses from Surah al-Rahman.
  • This was followed by a wreath laying led by Cdre. Abid Saleem for the shuhada at the plaque where their names are inscribed. In a slow march, cadets carried the wreath and gave them a grand salute. Accompanying Abid were Prof. Akram Bhatti, Ramesh Beherwani 1/J and Noor Ahmed Nizamani 7/J, the senior-most Petarians present.
  • Then Prof. Inayat Ali Khan led the du’a for the shuhada and for all the Petarians who had passed away.
  • We then proceeded back to the tent on the grassy field.
  • The First Session:
    • Started around 9:45am.
    • The session was conducted beautifully by Dost Mohammed Baloch 126/J. He was the moderator of the session
    • We honoured some of our old teachers by requesting them to be on the stage for the session. This included Prof. Ch. Abdul Ghani, Prof. Mohammed Ahmed Khan, Prof. Raja Khadim Hussain, and Mr. Kaleemullah (first Admin Officer).
    • There were 2 speakers for this session:
      1. Brig. Dr. Nasim Akhtar Khan, 533/Q, who spoke on how Petarians have contributed towards the development of Alternate Energy in Pakistan. He himself is the Secretary of the Alternate Energy Board, and has 5 patents and numerous articles and books on this subject. Ch. Zaka Ashraf 715/L was mentioned in particular - who has contributed towards development of ethanol as a fuel. He also talked about opportunities in this area, particularly wind energy for which a wind corridor has been discovered by a Petarian between Gharo and Mirpurkhas.  Salim Mastan 336/L then came on the stage and pointed out that he is working on a wind energy project and is interested in bring in investors to Pakistan in this field. It was a wonderful and a lively presentation.
      2. Maqbool Babri 971/I then spoke on Anger and Fear Management. It is often that we are unable to control our anger, or to convert that anger into love. All I would like to say was there so many people came to me after the presentation to tell me that this was one of the best presentations they have ever heard.
    • This was followed by short speeches by the 4 senior teachers on the stage, i.e. Prof. Ch. Abdul Ghani, Prof. Mohammed Ahmed Khan, Prof. Raja Khadim Hussain, and Mr. Kaleemullah. Their advice to all of us and some of their memories were worth listening to. 
  • Tea Break:  We then had a tea break for half an hour.
  • The Second Session:
    • Started around 11:30am
    • Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/LF was the moderator of this session.
    • There were 2 speakers in this session as well

      • Lt. Gen S.P. Shahid 332/A, CEO of The Citizens Foundation, who spoke about the role of education and how we Petarians can make the difference. He also talked about the unity of Petarians and how we should forge ahead and avoid futile allegations against each other.

      • Qaisar Zaman 7523/I, who spoke on market economy and investment and various aspects of how Petarians can contribute.
    • In this session, we honoured 5 of our teachers by calling them on stage. They included
    • Firstly, Inayat Sahib presented wonderful thoughts through prosaic and poetic expressions. Inayat Sahib as usual was the star of the occasion. He really knows how to enlighten his audience in every way. The spark created brought tremendous applause, smiles and laughs.
    • Then Ch. Saeed Sahib, Bhatti Sahib and Faruqui Sahib brought back old memories of their times and honoured many of the past personalities. Bhatti Sahib reminded how Asif Ali Zardari 991/J had been instrumental in getting funding for some of the major projects at Petaro like the stadium and the mess during the PPP government. They also had extensive words of advice for all of us and praise for the current administration.
    • This was followed by a speech of Cdr. Asrarullah, the only permanent ex-Principal who could attend. Of the 8 past permanent principals, 4 are no longer in this world and 2 couldn’t travel due to old age problems, i.e. Cdr. Firoz Shah and Prof. SS Azim. We missed them sorely. Cdre. S.Q. Raza was the only one left out who couldn’t come for some personal reasons it seems.  But it was great to have Cdr. Asrarullah who represented all the ex-Principals.  He brought blessings from Madinah Munawwarah. And a lot of memories and well wishes.
    • Lastly, we had the Chief Minister of Sindh Dr. Arbab Ghulam Rahim 7199/A (who had arrived in the middle of the session on his helicopter along with Maulana Tariq Jamil, Maulana Najib, Junaid Jamshed, and others).  He spoke more about his old memories of Petaro than about politics. It was like having a cadet on the stage.  He talked of his days at Petaro and of how he has fared in his early career after leaving Petaro. It was refreshing to see him speak with a lot of nostalgia.
    • During this session, Petarians stood up and made commitments for 15 scholarships for CCP deserving cadets who are good at studies but cannot afford to pay. In addition, Sultan Sikander Ghumman announced 10 scholarships for children of CCP employees at his Cadet College Sialkot (which he owns and runs). The donors for these 15 scholarships are as follows
      • Lt.Gen. SP Shahid 332/A – 1
      • Salim Mastan 336/L - 1
      • Safdar Amin Khawja 433/Q - 1
      • Tajammul Husayn 439/J - 1
      • Imtiaz Ahmed 622/L - 1
      • Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui 671/LF - 1
      • Brig. Javed Khan Alpial 845/Q - 1
      • Qaisar Zaman 7523/I - 2 scholarships
      • Bhibekshan Chowdhry 7837/J - 2 scholarships
      • Ali Jaffery 8046/LF - 2 scholarships
      • Shoaib Malik 8285/J – 1
      • I am forgetting the name of 1 other donor - Cdre. Abid Saleem has the final list. Shall try to get this list from him.
      • In addition, a private donor who donated the new mosque also committed to give Rs. 100,000 for scholarships.

I would like to congratulate all the above donors for stepping forward to make these commitments to the college on its golden jubilee.  This is a great gift indeed. Thank you all indeed.

    • We then declared all the past and current teachers to be the "Golden Teachers" - those who were part of the golden 50 years of Petaro.
  • Lunch:  Ending the sessions, we had lunch.  The food was excellent once again.
  • Publications:  A truck load of books had been dispatched from Islamabad 2 days earlier. We had rented a separate truck for this purpose. On the truck was Mashooque Ali 9334/LF to ensure that the truck didn’t get lost.  I must salute Mashooque for having been up on the truck for 2 nights. Before reaching Sukkur, the truck had a minor accident which delayed it. It was further delayed after Sukkur, when it had starting problems.  Mashooque and the cleaner on board had to push it to get it to start in the middle of the night. While the truck was supposed to have arrived Friday evening at Petaro, it finally got there on Saturday around noon time. I want to thank Mashooque for this wonderful service to Petarians. We did get the books.  There were 4 books which were distributed or sold.
    • The Cadet Magazine (Golden Jubilee Edition) - softback version distributed free to all participants
    • Petaro and Petarians over 50 Years - Souvenir - softback version distributed free to all participants
    • Directory of Petarians 2007 - free for those who paid for it at the Convention, and Rs. 500 for those who didn’t.
    • Col. Coombes The First Principal - Rs. 300 for hardbound copy.
  • Other souvenir articles were also available - like mugs, T-shirts, etc. for sale by the Canteen contractor.
  • After Lunch, we proceeded to the beautiful new masjid that has been constructed.  Chief Minister Sindh inaugurated the masjid. After Zuhr prayers, Maulana Tariq Jameel delivered a sermon which lasted until 5pm when we all prayed Asr prayers.
  • The buses then left for Karachi.

I know that I may have missed out on a lot of detail here. And I would appreciate it if other people who were there may fill in the blanks.

There were so many people and so many names. I apologize for not mentioning all the people who came. I hope that we will get a final list of names of those people who came or registered which we can place on this group.

Photographs were taken and a full movie has been made. I don’t have details yet, but I am sure you will all hear about how you can get copies or where they may be uploaded.

My thanks once again to every single Petarian who did work for this occasion. And my thanks and congratulations to Cdre. Abid Saleem and his staff members for the wonderful work they did for this function.

25th February 2007

  • The COMKAR Vice Admiral Sikander Viqar Naqvi and his team converged on Petaro for a full dress rehearsal in preparation for the President’s visit on the 28th. The cadets and the staff rehearsed the total proceedings.

  • In addition to this, Dr. Hadi Bux Jatoi 171/J along with a team of 18 doctors from LMC organized a FREE HEALTH CLINIC at that CCP Sick Bay (old dispensary) for the people of the area. I do not have the statistics, but I understand that lots of poor people of the area availed of this facility, and the doctors were busy all day. Unfortunately, I was in Karachi that day and I am unable to provide you any more details. But I am told that this was a great success.

The army battalion will take control of Petaro from tomorrow and will be in charge of all the security arrangements.  

I have so much more to say, but I would like to end this now otherwise it will become a book.

Proceedings of the 28th February 2007

Muhammad Ali Khan Durrani 482/LF, Tajammul Husayn 439/J, SP Shahid 332/A, Anisur Rehman 121/L and I chose to travel to Petaro on the night of the 27th to avoid the hassles of the security agencies on the 28th morning.  We stayed the night at Petaro. Thus, we were able to go into the campus directly.

The local army unit had thrown a dragnet over the entire area, and CCP was under their complete control. The college administration could not move an inch without their permission.  They sealed off most of the college buildings like the classrooms and all facilities not inhabited by the cadets or the staff.

Most guests chose to come on the 28th morning. All visitors who came in the morning had to come in through the rear gate, and were ushered straight to the large stadium.  There was a very strict compliance for security.  Anyone who didn’t have a proper invitation card stamped by the IB was turned back by the agencies. In addition, we had to carry our NIC or passport with us. No cameras and mobile phones were allowed.  Therefore, we couldn’t get any photographs of the function. The official photographers were there. We hope to get copies of those photos later on.

There was a proper electronic gate installed and a thorough body search before anyone could enter the stadium area.

They had also set a deadline of 10am by when everyone had to be seated. No one was allowed in after that time.

I would also like to state here that the college played an extremely helpful role in facilitating the ex-Petarians so that they could attend the function.  They tried their level best to get security clearance for everyone who applied in time.

At almost the last minute - on the 26th - Abid Saleem called me and told me that the Presidency had cleared most of the people, but they had refused entry to anyone who had a foreign address as they could not verify them. This was like a bombshell.  So many Petarians had travelled from abroad to Pakistan to attend this great function. Abid was then on the phone and left no stone unturned.  He finally was able to get the Presidency to accept entry for these persons on condition that the college guarantee these people, and will take full responsibility for them.  He finally got the clearance.  Three cheers for Abid Saleem! The cards for the foreign visitors were thus dispatched on the 27th morning, barely in time for people to come.

I didn’t count, but I believe that nearly 100 or so of ex-cadets came for this function. I will name some of the seniors who did come.  These included:  Noor Ahmed  Nizamani 7/J, Cdre Ashfaque Beg 69/L, LtGen SP Shahid 332/A (with wife), Rear Admiral Azhar Hussain 227/LF, Rear Admiral Anisur Rehman 121/L, Dr. Hadi Bux Jatoi 171/J, Mr. Naseem Farooqui 309/A, Muhammd Ali Khan Durrani 482/LF, Tajammul Husayn 439/J, Nadeem Ansari 513/A, Brig Dr. Nasim Akhtar 533/Q, Dr. Kamal Qureshi 689/LF, Aurangzeb Khan 431/LF, Salim Mastan 336/L, Brig.(R) Khalid Aslam, 453/L, Intizar Zaidi 465/A, Bhibekshan Chowdhury 7837/J, Saad 79123/L, Khursheed Parwez Malik Pappoo 843/L, Liaquat Jatoi 195/J, Col. Mir Akbar Ali Khan 284/A, Iqbal Jumani 317/LF, CaptPN Ahmad Zaheer 483/L, Anwar Aziz Farooqui 521/Q), and many others. 

Many of our old teachers who had come on the 23-24 Feb function were also present including Bhatti Sahib, Saeed Sahib, Nasir Mehmood Malik Sahib, MP Durrani Sahib, and RAK Ghouri Sahib.

Two special guests who also came were Mr. Arshad Jamil (the first Pakistani ever to go to METU Turkey in 1957 and who is Director of the METUPAK Foundation and lives in NJ, USA), and Mr. Mohammed Aslam who was at METU between 1969 and 1975 and who is also a director of METUPAK Foundation.  He lives in Karachi.  Arshad Jamil travelled all the way from the USA to attend this function to witness the announcement of the university.

Several parents of the children had also come.

The stadium was almost jam packed.

The senior most Petarians were seated in the VIP section (in the centre) along with the other VIP guests.  All others (including myself) were seated in the left section adjacent to the VIP enclosure. Cdre Ashfaque Beg 69/L (who was supposed to sit in the VIP section) chose to sit with us. I had to dutifully vacate my seat for him.

We were all seated well before 10am. Since 9am, the college commentators (present cadets) had been reading out the history of the college and its achievements over the sound system for all of us to listen to while we waited for the guests to arrive. But I suppose as the ex-cadets started to pour in, we were busier socializing amongst ourselves.

The Chief of Naval Staff and the COMKAR arrived around 10:30am and took their seats.  Mr. Liaquat Jatoi 195/J had arrived around 10am. Most other VIPs - admirals, generals, and civilians had arrived.

The President's helicopter landed at 10:45am, and he was taken to the Golden Jubilee monument for its inauguration.  We could not witness that, since it is located in front of the main Admin Building.

The President's entourage, including Governor Sindh and CM Sindh then arrived at the Stadium at around 11am amidst clapping.

The cadets were assembled in formations in the field in front of us.

Proceedings started with the National Anthem and guard of honour for the Chief Guest. He then inspected the Guard of Honour, with Abid Saleem marching behind the President in a slow march.

This was followed by speeches as follows:

  1. Cdre Abid Saleem, who welcomed the Chief Guest and all others.  He highlighted the history of CCP over 50 years and talked of how this institution emphasized excellence. He talked of its achievements in every area. He thanked all those who made this institution into a great one, started from Mr. AM Nizamani, Mr. Khuhro, Col. Coombes and all principals, staff members, employees, Sindh Govt, Pakistan Navy etc. In the end he appealed to the President to support the establishment of the Petaro Technical University as a Golden Jubilee gift, which would provide career opportunities to future cadets. He also requested for scholarships for cadets, and recognition of the staff members. A very forceful speech and to the point. He spoke for around 5 minutes per schedule.
  2. Lt.Gen SP Shahid then spoke on behalf of Petarians.  His speech was very eloquent.  SP Shahid spoke of our nostalgia, achievements of the ex-cadets and how this institution was the cornerstone of our achievements. He also gave some excellent advice to the present cadets. He appreciated the work done by Abid Saleem and all the previous principals and staff members. During his speech, he also appealed to the President to support the establishment of an institution of Higher Learning for technology at Petaro.
  3. This was followed by the COMKAR presenting Sindhi ajrak and topi to the Chief Guest along with the set of 4 Golden Jubilee books. The Golden Jubilee books set was presented jointly by Abid Saleem and Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui 671/LF who had written and published them.
  4. Then the President delivered his speech. At the very outset, he announced that he and the Pakistan govt are fully behind the establishment of Petaro Technical University. He expressed tremendous pleasure that METU, Ankara Turkey has signed and MOU with the METUPAK Foundation to provide technical support, faculty, administration, etc. This brought about spontaneous applause. He talked about how the present govt is committed to Higher Education and his promoting establishment of 9 other universities in collaboration with other countries. He talked at length about education and higher education.  He expressed extreme happiness at the performance of Cdre. Abid Saleem and how CCP has become a truly great institution and how it has produced some of the great Pakistanis.  In a lighter vein he talked of SP Shahid being better than him, particularly in the intellectual framework. He appreciated the Petarian politicians and others. He seemed to be in an excellent mood. He then also had a lot of advice to offer to the cadets on how they can contribute towards the future of this nation. Lastly, he announced a grant of Rs. 1 crore to establish an endowment fund for scholarships.

These speeches were followed by the following shows – Parents’ Day style:

  • National Anthem played by the college band
  • March past and salute to the Chief Guest by the Guard of Honour followed by all the 7 houses and the Riding Squad
  • PT display by cadets of 8th, 9th and 10th classes
  • Karate display with excellent feats
  • Tent pegging by members of College Riding Team

There wasn’t enough time for the Gymnastics show so this was cancelled.

The President was so overwhelmed by this show of excellence by the cadets that he immediately made 2 more announcements as follows:

  1. An additional grant of 50 lacs
  2. A one month bonus salary for all employees of CCP

The Govt of Sindh (which is financing the cost of building an 8th house) announced that this house will be named as Musharraf House - to appreciate that Gen Musharraf is the second President of Pakistan (after Field Marshall Ayub Khan) to ever visit Petaro.  This happened after 44 years.  President Ayub had visited in 1963.

As President Musharraf walked down the stairs to go to his vehicle, our METU graduates shouted "Çok Teşekkür Ederim" in Turkish (meaning "Thank You Very Much").  President Musharraf stopped and looked up to see who is talking in Turkish.  He then responded in Turkish that it was his pleasure and kept smiling.

He was then escorted to his helicopter to make his journey to Larkana where he was to inaugurate a bridge.

The Governor and Chief Minister also departed.

All participants were taken to the grassy field where a sumptuous lunch was served. The entire grassy field was covered with a beautiful shamiana with sitting arrangement.  There were small tables with chairs and buffet serving.  The food was excellent.

All credit for the food and shamiana arrangement must be given to Abdul Ahad Shaikh 89157/J.  Ahad did a wonderful job.  We are really proud of you. The arrangement was excellent and moved very smoothly. Thank you Ahad Shaikh!

On this day, there were two important publications in the public sector as well:

  • DAWN (newspaper) brought out a supplement on Cadet College Petaro to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the college.
  • Pakistan Post Office brought out a commemorative stamp on Cadet College Petaro Golden Jubilee and a First Day Cover. 

After lunch, we all dispersed.  I had to catch the evening flight.  I would personally like to thank Tajammul Bhai who drove me to Petaro and back to Karachi. 

This was truly an event to be remembered.  We had a great time. And it brought back the best of Petaro.

Lastly, I would like to congratulate Cdre Abid Saleem and all his staff members for the superb arrangements. They had rehearsed every minute out.  And every job that was done was with excellence. They worked day and night and made sure that there would be no hiccups.  The beauty was that every single event was the very best.

Three cheers for Abid Saleem and his staff.  May you all be rewarded at every step of your lives for the tremendous job.  You are truly the Golden Jubilee heroes.

Long Live Cadet College Petaro

Pakistan Paindabad

Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif