By Sardar Khan Niazi
Deriving its military virtue from the true spirit of an Islamic ideology, the Pakistan armed forces have always sacrificed their best of brave sons in keeping intact and protect the sovereignty of the Motherland.Pakistani soil contains a prestigious and unforgettable primary constituent of the blood which its martyrs showered fearlessly while confronting the enemy at diversified war fronts and crushed their nefarious designs by giving them befitting reply while guarding their every inch of land with their high value and most precious possessions, their lives. To celebrate the memory of those sons of the soil who laid their lives so that we may live protected, and through this piece of writing a tribute is being submitted to Maj Gen (Retd) Hidayatullah Khan Niazi, SJ for his stoic courage and an overwhelming love of the nation which he displayed through his brave skills and that resonates in his heart while determining to lead to a secure and peaceful Pakistan for all of us to dwell in.
Among other sons of the soil the Pakistani military history witnesses the services of Maj Gen (Retd) Hidayatullah KhanNJ Niazi, SJ who has risen to his towering heights to defend the borders of motherland, its fertile and lush green plains, deserts and mountains. It is the historical chivalry of Pakistan Army that in the war of 1963, the Indian pseudo pride knelt down and submerged into the ditches of permanent ignominy and shame. On the border of Akhnoor, India attacked Pakistan with hundreds of tanks and announced to conquer Lahore and Sialkot. But its boastful bragging made India to lick the dust. Our brave Air Force officer M. M. Alam destroyed five Indian air craft’s in five minutes. In the world war history, such a miraculous event cannot be found except this chivalrous event. We must keep in mind that India is ten times bigger in size from Pakistan and also in population and its army is seven times more in number compared to Pakistan army but is afraid to face our committed and patriotic soldiers who are ever ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their beloved homeland.
Maj Gen (Retd) Hidayatullah Khan Niazi, SJ. He is born in Mianwali on 6 Feb 1937. They were a family of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. He was the 3rd in the order of seniority. His father Yar Muhammad Khan Niazi, a police official, was a symbol of honesty and devotion to duty. A good sportsman who excelled in Hockey. Before partition, he was a member of the indian police hockey team. To quote just one instance about his honesty, when he was posted at Jhelum at the times of partition, one of his Hindu friends offered him to get his palatial four storied house along with his moveable and immovable property. He had high moral character and strong will. He retired in 1960 as deputy supertandent in the West Pakistan Police. His father -in -law was also his elder uncle. He was from the education department just like his father (His grandfather) and rose to rank of Divisional Inspector of School. He was again an embodiment of honesty, dedication and wedded
to his noble profession. He had inherited all those qualities from his father khan Ahmad G,who was a well known religious man in Mianwali Town and died at the age of 105 years while his grandmother died at the age of 110 years. In his School days the teacher who impressed and influenced him much was this person. His early education was spread over number of schools in different towns of Punjab. It started from Mianwali where he joined the primary as a school follow and then was transferred to Jalalopur, Gujrat Dhinga Jehlum and again back to Mianwali, where he studied in 8th class and finally doing matriculation from ML high school , Impress road Lahore in which he stood first in his school and won a Government scholarship. The Only Place where he spent more than two years was in school at Lahore. There he had a very close friend named Bashir Jehangir. He was extremely decent, polite and intelligent person. He also excelled in academics and he was a self-made man. So, he was very proud of his friendship. Later on, he met him at DI Khan where he was the session judge during President Bhutto visit to DI Khan. He later rose to the appointment of Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and ombudsman. The teacher who deeply impressed him at college, during his stay at FC College Lahore as an intermediate student was Mr. Abbas Khan who was his Chemistry professor. He was extremely polite and helpful to the students.
Motivation for joining the army
He had a great passion for flying so he initially applied for the 24 GD (Pilot) Course and started his flying training in university AIR SQUARDON located in Lahore. His initial training was on a ti twinning single engine air card which had no breaks.Finally, he had to stop his air craft by colliding it with the main hunger door in order to bring it to a complete half. As a result air headquarter decided to transfer him to the army .As he was hurt by their decision, he did not join the PMA, instead he rejoined FC College and cleared his FCA examination. It dawn upon him that the army also had a flying wing. So he joined the PMA. GHQ informed him that two years had lapsed his earlier clearance of the ISSE, therefore he would be required to clear the ISSB again. He reappeared before the ISS B and landed in P.M.A life. At PMA was Spartan. He enjoyed playing hockey and was a member of the PMA Hockey Team. He won various prestigious tournaments. After commissioned, he continued with hockey was capital of the E.I.N.C Team. He also joined the army hockey camp. However, he regretted that his hockey career was cut shot because of long term effects of a high in which he had suffered in PMA. He gave his first choice of army. Artillery in order to join the air OP. however, keeping in view his academic performance as science students selected him for the crops of the engineer. They were doing there B.S.C engineering when General Muhammad Musa CINC Army visited Rasalpur. At lunch he requested Gen. Musa Khan that engineer crops officer should be allowed to join air OP and that the age limit should be relaxed. It may be noted that the age limit for air OP was twenty four years at the since by the time SAPPER officers.
Cleared there BSC civil engineering they were approximately 25 or 26 year old. And thus above the limit the 24 years. Gen Musa promised that he would look into the matter. After few weeks, they received new instruction -I.e., age limit for O.P had been raised from 24 to 29 years. Thus he was able to realized him flying ambition by applying for the aviation crops after completing his B.S.C engineering. His platoon commander 19th PMA long course Salahudeen Company. Major Habib Akhtar , an armored crops officers was a highly dedicated and upright officer. A man of few words who was caring and fatherly in attitude and outlook. A tall man with a fine military appearance was every inch a soldier and gentleman. He had really made us gentleman cadets
EXPERIENCES OF 1971 WAR
In 1971 I flew mostly in AK and Upper Punjab area flying senior officers in Alouette-111 to the front line. We were told that it would be a long drawn battle and that the senior pilots would get the opportunity of flying along the frontline later. We were all severely demoralized because of the surrender in East Pakistan. It was a traumatic period and we wept many times because of the historic situation in which God had placed us.Lt Gen. Gul Hassan was an extremely frank and approachable person. I had seen him since 1965. Anyone who saw him instantly liked him. He inspired great confidence.In addition; I was deeply impressed by Major General Eftikhar Janjua who embraced Shahadat in 1971. I had earlier seen him in 1965 in Rann of Katch where he had commanded his brigade with great distinction. I remember an incident in 1965 after the Rann fight. Tikka Khan had been preparing to brief the foreign correspondents. Janjua used to speak very well and knew French too.
Pakistan Army of 1965 with that of 1971 and 2001 and words of our Hero
Outwardly the army is more educated, more technically sound. However, qualitatively it is on the decline since 1965. Primarily because of relaxed selection standards as well as massive expansion after 1965. The war courses run between 1965 and 1971 brought sub-standard material in the officer corps. The deterioration accelerated after 1971. The political setup after 1971 wanted to degrade the army to a level where it cannot interfere in the political government’s affairs.
LIFE AS A PILOT OR AN ENGINEER
The Golden words of Hidayatullah Khan Niazi I have a firm belief that wherever you are you must see the good points of a place and then you start enjoying. I enjoyed my stay with engineers, aviation and in the DHA. In all places I tried to improve things, as much as was humanly possible. I was a willing worker and never turned down a casualty relief operation. I derived great satisfaction in evacuating casualties and the worst weather conditions could never weaken my resolve to do so.It used to give me great pleasure to see things mature and improve and to see my plans being executed or translated into action. I enjoyed my stay in the Engineer Center, in DHA, in NHA and in all these places I worked with maximum zeal and dedication. Flying was my life’s greatest passion from school days. That is why I first joined the Air force and later the Army Aviation. In my flying career I got the opportunity to visit places which are normally inaccessible to an average citizen.
Message of Maj Gen (Retd) Hidayatullah Khan Niazi to young generation of Pakistan
Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. You never know how strong you are until. Being strong is the only choice you have. The strongest people make time to help others. Even when they are struggling themselves