Asrar Sahib fondly recalls that
he was always considered to be a pioneer in the
setting up of many of the Navy educational
establishments. This is borne out by looking at
his career achievements.
His first such
assignment was in the establishment of Cadet
Training School at PNS Himalaya, Karachi in 1951,
where he was amongst the initial Instructors.
He was then
sent to the UK in 1954 for post-graduate
specialization in Navigation. This was called the
Instructor Officers Dagger Navigation
Specialization at the Royal Naval College,
Greenwich, London, UK, which he completed securing a first class
first. Right after this specialization, he undertook a number of practical courses in
various ships and establishments of the Royal Navy collectively
called the ND.
He was then
posted as an Instructor/Training Officer on board
PNS Shamsher - the then newly commissioned Midshipmen Training ship,
where the first batch of midshipmen were receiving training.
These midshipmen then later on constituted the top core of
the Pakistan Navy, many of them becoming admirals and chiefs of the
The following year, he
was assigned to the PN Staff and Tactical College
at Manora, Karachi (which was later on split into
the PN Tactical College and PN Staff College). He was
amongst the first batch to do this course, and in
1957 he was appointed DS (Directing Staff) in the
despite the fact that he was from the Educational
Branch, he was involved in the first ever
multinational exercises under CENTO, being a part of the
assisting staff in planning, briefing, execution and
de-briefing (Cdr. Roberts was the Chief
Planner). He was serving as Dy. Director PNSTC in
During later years, he served on various other training ships and
establishments for training of cadets, midshipmen
and officers. He served at PNS Karsaz - the
engineering training establishment, PNS
Babur, PNS Tariq and others, and for a period at
the Pakistan Naval Academy.
He was still in service,
when he was assigned to Cadet College
Petaro as the first "Naval Officer" from 1959 to
1962 (another first for him).
The Pakistan Navy used to have its presence at the
college through the "Naval Officer". During this
period, he was also given other duties. For
example, he was the President of the Mess
Committee, Patron of Sea Scouting and Quiz Master
for conducting the weekly Inter House Quiz
competitions. He used to arrange visits of cadets
to naval ships and establishments and joy cruises
on war ships. In addition he worked nearly as a full-time
Maths teacher. (Photograph on right: As Lt.Cdr.
in 1962 when he left Petaro).
first tenure at Petaro gained him great love from
the early Petarians. Soon after he left in 1962,
he was posted to the newly established Marine Academy in Chittagong,
East Pakistan as the Chief Education Officer for a period of six years
upon the insistence of Adm. A.R. Khan who was the CNS (another first).
During his stay there, he was instrumental
in attracting a number of Petarians to join the
Merchant Navy. These boys moved to East Pakistan
for their training at Chittagong.
Upon his return to West Pakistan, he was posted as
Dy. President of ISSB Kohat (1968-69) and then as Director
of Studies at Pakistan Naval Academy at Manora in 1969.
In 1973, a new
Marine Academy was established at Karachi on the orders of the Prime Minister
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and Cdr. Asrarullah was given the task of Chief Education
Officer and later as the Deputy Commandant and Acting
Commandant until 1980. Thus, those
Petarians who joined the Pakistan Navy during the
1970s got his patronage there.
His return to Petaro
in 1980 as the Principal of the College was more
of a home-coming. It was during
his period as the Principal that the Petarian
Association was formed in 1982. He recalls that
63/LF, Qamar Hashim
211/LF, T.J. Siddiqui
535/J and others approached him in 1981 to
patronize the Old Boys. Thus, the famous first
meeting took place at the Metropole Hotel Karachi
in 1981 where Cdr. Asrarullah took his staff en
masse to be present and encourage the Petarians to
form the Petarian
Association. He thus became the Founder Patron
of the Petarian
Petaro in 1988, he became the Secretary of the
Pakistan Navy Education Trust which used to run 16
schools of Pakistan Navy. He was also the Advisor
to Commander Karachi until 1994. During this
period, he was instrumental in establishment of
Govt of Sindh Degree College in Arts, Science and
Commerce for Boys and Girls in Pakistan Navy
residential area, and Cadet College Sanghar.
meritorious services during the 1965 and 1971
Wars, and was decorated with the Tamgha-e-Jang and
Sitara-e-Harb after each war.
Cdr. Asrarullah last visited Petaro at the Golden
Jubilee celebrations on 24 February 2007. He was
received with full honours and was a key guest of
the college. He was the most important speaker of
the day. Please
click here to listen to his golden words
spoken on that great event.
It is a matter
of honour for me to have gotten to meet and know
Cdr. Asrarullah personally after all these
decades. May Allah grant him health and the best
in both the worlds.