Cdr.(R) Shahbaz Ahmed Khan

The Tenth Adjutant (1975-1976)

Cdr(R).Shahbaz Ahmed Khan - 2011

By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, Kit no. 671, Latif House

Lt.Cdr. Shahbaz Ahmed Khan was the tenth adjutant of Cadet College Petaro from 1975-1976.

He was born on 7 November 1942 at Phalia in Zila Gujrat and got married to Mrs. Shamsa (late) on 18 January 1970. They have four children - Shahzad, Shahab, Sharam and Shusma.

His wife Mrs. Shamsa expired on 18 January 2012 - exactly 42 years after they were married on the very same day. May Allah grant her jannah.

Shahbaz Khan acquired all of his primary and secondary education from the Municipal Board (MB) High School in Mandi Bahauddin and completed his Matric from the same institution in 1958. He then joined Zamindara College in Gujrat a year later. Living in the hostel there, he completed his Intermediate (FSc) in 1961.

A year later, he joined Pakistan Navy in 1962 and was commissioned an officer in the Operations Branch in June 1966.

During 1965 while he was still a midshipman under training at PNS Himalaya, the Rann of Kutch operations against India had started. All through these operations and during the September 1965 War, he was on patrolling duty at the beach front.

Soon after he was commissioned, he was posted to PNS Khyber in 1966. In 1968, he was posted to PNS Munsif (minesweeper).

In 1969, he was sent on deputation to the Abu Dhabi Navy.  At the end of 1970 when UAE was born, he was still in Abu Dhabi. He returned to Pakistan in March 1971.

Upon his return he was first posted as a Navigator on the destroyer PNS Alamgir. Civil War was already brewing in East Pakistan and India was preparing for war with Pakistan.  He was transferred to PNS Babur to be sent to East Pakistan. But then there was a change of plans. Two gunboats PNS Rifaquat and PNS Sadaqat were to be sent. He was posted to PNS Sadaqat. There was confusion on how to transport them as they could not carry enough fuel to be able to get to Colombo. Again this plan was scrapped and he was posted to PNS Mujahid (minesweeper).

While he was getting ready to be sent to East Pakistan, he found out of the break of war when it was announced on television. He was rushed to sea and his ship remained at 8-10 nautical miles off Karachi for mine patrol.

When PNS Khyber and PNS Munsif were drowned by the Indian missiles, they were within sight of his ship. The Indians had done their homework well and were assisted by the USSR Navy. The very boats that USSR was supposed to have given to Pakistan were used by the Indians against Pakistan Navy.

After the war was over, he was posted to different ships such as PNS Tipu Sultan and PNS Shahjehan. He was also at PNS Himalaya for a short while. When the Pakistani prisoners-of-war returned, he was posted at Lahore for 100 days as a part of the reception camp. He then went to the UK for a short training course on computers.

During 1975-1976, he was posted as the adjutant at Petaro. He joined just before Prof. S.S. Azim retired as Principal and then served under CaptPN Shukruddin.

He recalls that those nearly 2 years at Petaro were among the best years of his navy tenure.  He got tremendous love from the people there, and he was extremely popular amongst the cadets and the employees as he was able to provide them guidance and would help resolve their problems. He narrates that once the Principal and the Admin Officer wanted to impose a water tax on the employees and he was instrumental in getting that waived aside. Another incident was when some of the cadets had misbehaved with Prof. Ghouri and were to be sent home. He got them to stand with him and he apologized to Prof. Ghouri and had the matter resolved. With his popularity, many suggested to him to run for elections.

After return from Petaro, he was again posted to various ships and at the JS Headquarters. He was also sent to China to bring ships from there. During 1981, he was also posted as commanding officer of PNS Zafar at Islamabad. PNS Zafar is named after the shaheed commanding officer of the submarine PNS Ghazi.

Finally in 1986, he took premature retirement from Pakistan Navy while he was a Commander, despite requests to take back his resignation.

He returned to Lahore and settled down as a zamindar. He did go back to the sea with the Merchant Navy during 1989-1990 briefly though.

In 1993-1994, he joined Bahria Foundation and worked at the Head Office as Deputy Director and also as Principal of one of their schools.

Since then, he has been into property development. He has built plazas at Lahore and Khairagali.

At present he is leading a retired life at Lahore.