sixth Vice Principal (1993-1996) and Professor / Head
of Dept of Chemistry (1970-1996)
Prof. Abdul Ahad Khan -
By Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui, 671/Latif
Prof. Abdul Ahad Khan joined Cadet College Petaro
in 1965 and retired from the college at the rank
of Vice Principal in 1996.
He was born in 1934, but his official date of
birth is 20 March 1936. It was not uncommon in the
early part of the twentieth century for parents to
declare a year or two less as the official birth
date in order to gain on retirement age.
He was born at Jind Estate in Kaliana, District
Dalmiya Dadri (now known as Charkhi Dadri), which
is located in the present Haryana State in India.
At present, the areas comes under the Bhiwani
District of Haryana State. Kaliana is located
around 100Km from Delhi.
He was married to the late Mrs. Shamim
Akhtar (who also belonged to a Kaliana family) on 1 January 1966 within months of joining
Cadet College Petaro. They had seven
children - Muhammad Taqi (late - died an infant),
Shahnaz Bano, Shahzad Khan Sherwani, kit no.
8378/I, Shehryar Khan, Shahbaz Khan, Sarfaraz Khan
and Durre Shahwar.
Ahad Sb died at Karachi on 25 January 2003 of a
Ahad Sb's father was Abdul Samad Khan who was a police
officer, while his grandfather Abdul Yaqoob Khan was
"Lumberdar" (sometimes called Numberdar) - a revenue
officer - over 40 villages of the area. His grandfather
was known for being a strict man - a characteristic
which seems to have been inherited by his grandson.
His mother's name was Umm-e-Salma.
He had only one sister -
Fazal un Nisa - and no brothers. He remained very close
to his sister throughout his life.
The young Abdul Ahad Khan
was sent off to Delhi for his primary education. He was
still in school at Delhi when Pakistan gained
independence in 1947. Abdul Ahad's father Abdul Samad
Khan decided to migrate to Pakistan amidst the chaos and
mass killings. The family ended up at Matli in District
Badin, Sindh, where they settled down, and the father
Abdul Samad Khan joined the Pakistan Police force. He
was posted at Hyderabad.
After completing his
H.S.S.C. (Intermediate) with distinction, he obtained
his B.Sc.(Hons) and M.Sc. in Chemistry from Sindh
University. Soon thereafter, he joined Govt College Hala
as lecturer in Chemistry in BPS 17 and remained there
until he joined Cadet College Petaro in 1965.
After his retirement, his
parents settled down with him at Petaro. His father
expired in 1979 and was buried at the Petaro graveyard.
This was a tough time for Ahad Sb, and with the loss of
his father, he seemed to have lost his humour and
smiles. Four years later, his mother expired in 1983 and
was also buried at the Petaro graveyard. This was the
end of an era for him.
Ahad Sb gave most of his
career to Cadet College Petaro with full dedication.
During his years at Petaro, Ahad
sahib was appointed the Officer In Charge / Head of the
Chemistry Department in 1970 when
Mr. Feroz Yusuf
Khan left the college. He got his next promotion to
the rank of Assistant Professor (BPS-18) in 1973, and
subsequently as Professor (BPS-19) in 1990. While he was
still a Professor, he got a move-over to BPS-20 in 1993.
He was initially the Assistant House Master of Qasim
House, and was then appointed the House Master of
Qasim House from 1976 to 1989. He was appointed the
Vice Principal of the College in 1993, and he remained
in that position until his retirement in 1996.
He also held several other
administrative positions. At different periods of time,
he was the Officer In Charge of Scouting, Office In
Charge of the Poultry Farm, Office In Charge of Central
Stores, Messing Officer, Office In Charge of
Chemical Hobbies Club,
Divisional Coordination Officer, Chairman Purchase
Committee, Member of Scholarship Committee, Member of
Purchase / Contract Committee, Member of the Academic
Council / College Council / Appointment Committee.
In recognition of his
overall excellent performance, he was given the "Best
Teacher Award" in 1992-93.
Sahib was amongst the most unique personalities of
Petaro. His style of talking and his sarcasm is
remembered by every single student of Petaro over those
nearly three decades of his stay at the College. His
personal behaviour, sense of the strict discipline,
moral values and exemplary character, coupled with
mature outlook and insatiable love for work, left a
lasting impression on the developing young minds of the
He also enjoyed a good
reputation among his colleagues, subordinates and
cadets. He was genuinely respected for his cordial human
relations, able guidance and advice. As an effective
Professor of Chemistry, he always went about his job
unobstrusively and was an asset to this prestigious
teacher, he was one of the best. He taught me only for
one year during my 11th class. It was teachers like him
and Feroz Yusuf
Khan Sb who were able to bring out the best in my
understanding of Chemistry.
After his retirement from Petaro in 1996, Prof.
Abdul Ahad Khan continued to work as a teacher.
At first he moved to Karachi and worked at the Kalyana
Academy for a year.
1997 was a very difficult
year for him. His dear wife and life long partner Mrs.
Shamim Akhtar expired when it was least expected. He
could not absorb the loss, and became a heart patient
In order to overcome this unbearable loss, he moved to Islamabad
in 1997 upon the invitation of the ex-Principal of
Petaro Cdre. S.I. Malik to teach
Chemistry at the Bahria College. He was also appointed
the Vice Principal of the college. He remained in this
position for a year and a half until 1999.
He then became one of the
founding members of Cadet College
Murree at Sunny Bank along with Prof.
Hafiz Mushtaq Sipra,
Petarian Nisar Dastagir, kit no. 7345/A and a few others. He
left Murree at the beginning of 2001 along with Sipra Sb
and returned to Karachi to lead a retired life. He
remained at Murree until 2001. However with asthma
problems, he was advised by doctors to move back to
Karachi, which he did so in 2001. While he was still at
Murree, he also performed Hajj in 2000.
Capt.PN Altaf Nabi Dar
(Kit no. N-1 from Petaro) who
was the Principal/Commandant of Cadet
College Sanghar, found out that Ahad Sb had
settled down in Karachi, he was able to convince him to join Sanghar as the Vice Principal
During the next two years, Ahad Sb made the difference
at that college to bring up its academic standards.
was still working at Cadet College Sanghar when he died.
He had not been keeping very good health and was
spending more time at Karachi. However, on 18 January
2003, he came all the way to Sanghar on the Navy bus to
attend the Parents' Day despite ill health. He insisted
on being present. He then returned to Karachi the same
day. A week later he collapsed all of a sudden and
expired on 25 January 2003 of a cardiac arrest while he
was having dinner. He did
not go through any period of suffering, which was a
great mercy of Allah on him. He was buried at the
Kalyana Qabrastan at Karachi.
Ahad Sahib last on December 28th, 2002 at the Petaro
Parents Day function. He was one of our ex-teachers who
was present at Petaro that day. In fact, I had met him
for the first time since 1969. It was a brief meeting.
What did surprise me was that he recognized me
immediately despite this passage of 33 years. His mind
was as alert and sharp as it was in 1969 - and so was
his typical sarcastic wit, which most of us loved. It is
so unfortunate that it was the only occasion when I did
meet him after all those years, and he was called back
by His Lord to eternal life soon thereafter. The news of
his death came as a thunderbolt to all of us.
Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him a place in
In Memory of Prof. Ahad Khan
Sohail Malik, Kit no.
During a frosty Texas evening, I sat down with an
agnostic friend of mine with a warm brew of Java at the
local coffee shop. This evening, as it had become
customary of our friendship, the conversation turned
from mundane things to a heated debate about faith.
Andy, my agnostic friend and I are on opposite ends of
the spectrum about role of religion and its impact on
human evolution. During this discussion I asked how he
could define the purpose of our lives without borrowing
from religion and his answer was something I will never
forget. According to Andy, the purpose of human life is
simple. We are born into this world to touch other
human beings. If we have a positive impact, we are good
human beings and if we affect others around us
negatively, then we are evil. While I do not buy into
this simple philosophy, this criterion provides an
interesting insight when I reflect upon the lives of
people I have come across.
Khan Sahib was a complex individual shouldering a great
responsibility of touching the lives of many impressionable
youths that were entrusted under his supervision. His
profession demanded that he play a role of a teacher, a
friend, a guardian, a mentor, a father, a disciplinarian all
the while juggling the challenges of raising his own family.
His legacy without doubt is profound; his influence the
catalyst that transformed so many of cadets that were
fortunate to be his students. Judging by an agnostic’s
criteria Ahad Sahib more than fulfilled his purpose on this
earth by molding so many of us into honorable men.
When I was
asked to write a short essay to be published in the Petarians
Golden Jubilee Souvenir writing about Ahad Sahib
was an easy selection. Nevertheless, I found it extremely
difficult to find words that would do justice to his legacy.
Ahad Sahib was an indulgent person with contrasting capricious
temper. He woke up every morning to make sure we became
better human beings by each passing day. He was man unequaled
in his commitment to the cadets and his commitment to his
profession was unparalleled. Drunk with the inanities of
teenage years we made fun of him, mocked him, tried to defy
and disobey him. Yet, his unyielding desire and efforts to
mold us into honorable human beings demands that we respect
and honor him. He may have left us but his legacy thrives in
the souls and personalities of all those who passed through
the gates of Petaro. His memory is alive in our psyche, his
principles guide us in our daily lives, his teachings define
our personality, and his love and compassion serves as the
beacon of humility, selflessness and sacrifice.
The sad and
sudden news of Ahad Sahib’s death
hit me on a personal level. My association with Ahad Sahib
was a personal one (he was our house master for 5 years at
Qasim House). Our days began with him yanking covers off us
for Fajr Namaz and ended when we whisked pass him at
the gates of Qasim House after night muster. In between were
surprise visits during evening “prep” times, occasional
yelling for untidy beds and dirty shoe racks. The teenage
rebellion in us found his dictatorial demeanor galling at
times and we complained endlessly about his strict adherence
to the rules. But there were the times when you were in a real
bind and had no hope left, he would surprise you with his
compassion. Whether it was trouble with college
administration or personal family crises, he would go out of
his way to help you like you’re his own son. Today I can
rarely recount personal caning, scolding or beatings he gave
me in my 5 years at Petaro. However, I can vividly describe
how he defended me when I almost got expelled or when he
unleashed his wrath on college doctor when he did not render
proper medical care.
cared to no end for all his students. His honesty is
legendary, his hard work exemplifying, his teaching
methodology unconventional but highly effective. He was an
accomplished academician and excelled at making a dry subject
like chemistry interesting. He did not have an ego, admitted
when he was wrong, and defended his position like a warrior
when he was right. Ahad Sahib was human, with his own faults
and shortcomings. Nevertheless, he was more than perfect as a
teacher and undeniably one of the few individuals who gave
their lives to make Petaro the great institution it is today.
He touched every person that came in contact with him
positively and that alone should define his legacy.
almost 24 years when I walked into those gates of Petaro for
the first time. At times I sit down and reminisce about my
personal journey through this maze of life. With all my
shortcomings and failures, my victories and accomplishments, I
realize what a profound effect he has had on my life. I never
take anything for its word; I have a craving to dig into
details. From issues relating to religion to purely academic
pursuits, I cannot help but question what, when, why and how.
This has worked wonders for me. It has made me a better
person and most definitely a better academician. Ahad Sahib
was the one who (along with few other great teachers at
Petaro) lit that fire and nurtured it and to this day it
burns. What a fool I was to think I would have been better
off being in another house with more lenient teachers. For
whatever I am today I thank God for giving me the privilege to
be under Ahad Sahib’s tutelage.
you will not be forgotten and will surely be missed. May
Allah rest his soul in peace….
Prof. Ahad Khan
Kashif Iqbal, Kit no. 91133, Jinnah
sahab had a unique personality, I think no Petarian can
ever forget Ahad Sahab. What a simple and attractive
personality he had. He was so full of life,
ready-witted, selfless and devoted person. I can never
forget him throughout my life.
I still remember my first conversation with Ahad sahab
when I was in 8th Class in 1991. Upon my query, I came
to know that he only teaches the 2nd year students.
It was from
that very day that I prayed to Almighty Allah that may I be
honoured to get into that section of 2nd
year where Ahad Sahab would teach. He was the only teacher
through out my student life for whom I prayed as such.
moments which I spend with Ahad Sahab are amongst the most
precious treasures of my life.
few people who live for some cause, and he is the person who
spent his entire life for Petaro. In that sense, he is
amongst the pioneers of Petaro. Whatever fame the college has
today is just because of teachers like Ahad Sahab.
his words, and his personality are unforgettable. The only
thing we can do for our great teacher is pray for him. Dear
colleagues, do remember him in your prayers forever.