By Kazi Zulkader
Petaro is located around 20 miles from Hyderabad in District
Jamshoro in the Province of Sindh, Pakistan. It is situated on the
west bank of the River Indus on the road from Hyderabad to
Dadu/Larkana/Quetta, and occupies an area of around 750 acres of
Govt Cadet College Mirpurkhas, 1958 Cadet College Petaro (Main Admin Building) - 2004
The college was initially founded
in August 1957 at Mirpurkhas, Sindh as a residential institution.
It was established under the name of "Government Cadet College Mirpurkhas". The college came into being due to the vision
and efforts of Mr. A.M. Nizamani, the then Director of Education
of Hyderabad Region. It was in 1954 that during the Chief Ministership
of Mr. Abdul Sattar Pirzada that the idea of establishing a cadet college in
the region was first floated. During the following year 1955, Mr. M. Ayub Khuhro,
Defence Minister of Pakistan finally sanctioned it, and the Government of Pakistan
approved a non-recurring expenditure of two and a half million rupees for the year
1955-56 for the construction of a college for 300 cadets along with all its
The first batch of teachers joined
the college on 25th of August 1957 at Mirpurkhas while
the college building was still under preparation. These five teachers
were Mr. Abdullah Khadim Hussain,
Mr. Feroz Yusuf Khan,
Mr. Aziz Ahmed Faruqui,
Mr. Hasan Masud Zuberi, and
Mr. Syed Zahoorul Hasan.
While the government had advertised for the position of Principal
of the college, Mr. Muhammad Hasnain was appointed as the In Charge
(Acting) Principal on August 25, 1957 for the initial few months.
He was soon succeeded by Col.(retd) J.H.H.
Coombes on March 20, 1958.
The first batch of 30 students joined
the college on 27th August 1957 in class VIII. This was
a great day - the birth of an institution that has since produced
thousands of students, many of whom have achieved a position of
eminence in Pakistan and abroad.
In 1958, a new site was sought in
order to build a permanent campus for the college. After an extensive
search, the site was chosen at Petaro, a few miles up the river
from Jamshoro. The construction of a purpose built campus began
almost immediately. Mr. Habib-ur-Rehman, Minister of Education,
laid the foundation stone of the college on 16th of January 1959.
The initial cost of construction of the buildings of the college
sanctioned by the government of West Pakistan was Rs. 2,700,000.
The college finally moved to its new premises at Petaro in August
1959. At the time of the move, the River Indus was in flood, and
Petaro was also submerged under its waters. The building in Mirpurkhas
that originally housed Cadet College Petaro was given over to the
Government College Mirpurkhas.
Facilities and Administration
The college is a residential institution
for around 900 full-time students at present, providing education
from Class 8 to Class 12 (Intermediate). At the time it was first
constructed, it was designed to accommodate only 360 students in
four houses (or hostels). The capacity was expanded to 570 with
the construction of 2 more houses in the late 1960s. The number
of students has grown gradually over the years since, and the capacity
is now set at around 900.
The main body of students is admitted
each year to Class 8. Until the academic year 1998-99, the college
used to admit a small contingent of boys from the rural districts
of Sindh to Class 7, to prepare them for competitive success with
the new entry into Class 8. However, it was decided by the
of Governors of the college to discontinue Class 7 from 1999 onwards.
From the academic year 2011 onwards, Class 7 has been reintroduced
again. In addition, the college started an "O" Levels program
as since 2011 in addition to the Matric/Intermediate curriculum
under the BISE, Hyderabad.
The College is governed by an autonomous
Board of Governors, headed by the Commander
Karachi (COMKAR) of the Pakistan Navy as it Chairman. Since 1975,
the Principal is a serving officer of the
Pakistan Navy as well. In the early years from 1957-1970, all
adjutants were captains from Pakistan Army. However, the Navy
decided to appoint naval officers from 1970 onwards. These were
lieutenants and lieutenant commanders. It was decided to reintroduce
serving army officers once again since 2010, and officers of the
rank of captain and major are now deputed to the college.
The first principal of the college
was Col.(retd) J.H.H. Coombes who retired
from the college in 1965. He was followed by Cdr.(retd)
Firoz Shah, who remained at the helm of affairs at the college
The campus is practically a small
township with its own electricity, water supply, sewerage, security
and other infrastructure. The College is controlled and patronised
by the Pakistan Navy. Since 1975, the Principal posted was at least
of the rank of a serving Captain of the Navy with vast and varied
experience mainly concerned with the administration.
Since 1998, the officer posted as Principal is now a Commodore. His tenure
is normally for 3 years which can be extended. Likewise the Pakistan Navy provides an
Adjutant of the rank of Lieutenant Commander, and other training staff like
Chief Petty Officers, Petty Officers and Sailors for military training
of the cadets. The College is staffed by 40-45 teachers (professors,
assistant professors and lecturers) who have at least a Master's
Degree. There are other officers like the Medical Officer, Administrative
Officer, Bursar, Librarian and Office Superintendent. In addition,
there are around 215 board employees and over 100 college employees
of various categories who constitute the force that makes the operation
of this residential institution possible.
A Petarian is expected to be a person
of exemplary character, superior intelligence, extremely hardworking,
ultimate piety, ultimate bravery and courage, honest, outspoken,
creative, despising corruption, fighting oppression, seeking national
unity. He is a soldier for national integrity and a builder of the
nation. In front of the Quaid Hall in the main Administration Building,
you will find two large wooden boards with the Code
of Conduct of a Petarian. Please click on the link to view this
The college has established a position
of great repute for itself in Pakistan. Without a doubt, it is considered
to be one of the finest institutions in the country, providing quality
education and an opportunity to develop a well-rounded personality.
This is reflected in the very large number of Petarians who have
excelled in almost every field of life within Pakistan and abroad.
They attained positions of
eminence in every walk of life - in the Armed Forces of Pakistan,
in government services (Civil Services and elected offices), in
Police services, in Industry, in Business & Trade, in Management,
in Technology, in Medicine, in Educational Institutions, in Agriculture,
in Journalism, in national Sports, in public service and in the
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