Major General Syed Ali Hamid

  • When Lord Roberts became C-in-C India in 1885, he advocated that to defend north-west India, troops would have to be concentrated at two points—Peshawar and Quetta. He, therefore, formed two army commands one for each axis—Northern and Southern. Aligning with this strategic policy, the Scinde, ...

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  • On the way to Peshawar along the Grand Trunk Road, if you take a left after crossing the concrete bridge over the River Indus as Begum ki Sarai, two kilometres onwards, you will be rewarded by a magnificent view of a 460-meter-long steel road/rail bridge that is supported on three massive masonry ...

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  • The summer of 1943 was a bad time for the British Indian Army in Burma. Having surrendered the whole of the country to the Japanese the previous year, a limited counteroffensive (the First Arakan Campaign) launched by the 14 Indian Infantry Division to retake the port of Akayab had stalled. With ...

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  • 140 years ago, European arms traders established depots in Oman, Bahrain, Dubai, and elsewhere along the coast for gunrunning into Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Persia. However, the most lucrative market that emerged at the turn of the 20th century was the land bordering the Northwest Frontier Province ...

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  • Sixty-two years ago, in the month of February, and shortly after Air Marshal Asghar Khan was appointed C-in-C (Commander in Chief), the Pakistan Air Force performed a feat that had so far not been attempted by any other air force with jet aircraft.The affairs between Pakistan and Afghanistan were ...

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  • In 1880, a military legend was borne on the dusty plains east of Helmand by the rear-guard of the 66 Foot and the stand at Maiwand of its last eleven soldiers who perished in a final charge. The architect of the British defeat was Sardar Ayub, the Emir of Afghanistan who was subsequently deposed ...

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  • In the year 2000, an intriguing group of medals appeared for auction on the webpage of Christie, the auctioneers. The group included a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) as well as Hilal-e-Quaid-i-Azam. It also had impressive ...

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  • “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” -(George Berkeley)In the first part of this two series article, I lamented on the unchecked construction astride the Islamabad–Murree Expressway and extending on towards Nathiagali. This part ...

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  • I remember my seventh birthday in Changla Gali in 1956 when I was tossed up in a blanket and scared out of my wits. Changla was an insignificant little hamlet half way between Murree and Nathia Gali and at the highest point on the mountain range where the Galis are located. We were staying in the ...

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  • In 1963, after losing the governor’s race in California, Richard Nixon moved away from politics and his home state. He and his family relocated to New York City where he resumed his career in law. Few would be aware that during what would later be called Nixon’s ‘Wilderness ...

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  • In 1952-53, Pakistan sent its ‘A’ Team to England for training and acclimatisation. The team was called the Eaglets after the symbol of Pakistani sports which is the eagle. Who could have predicted that members of the Eaglets squad would dare to beard the English Lion in its den a year ...

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  • The 1950s were exciting times for mountaineers. The Second World War had ended and after tension had subsided on the ceasefire line in Kashmir, Pakistan opened its mountains to international mountaineering expeditions. One of the early ones was a German-Austrian Expedition that came in 1953. Prior ...

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  • Voting is an important part of our political landscape but while most people are galvanised to participate in elections, they don’t have faith in the voting system. The integrity of elections is questioned from voter registration to submission and everything in between, particularly by those ...

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  • While gathering information on the operations of the British India Army in the Northwest Frontier Province, I became aware of the Frontier Mail from a picture of it arriving at Rawalpindi Station. It was one of (if not) the most famous trains in the British Empire and was operated by the Bombay, ...

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  • Automation, along with efficiency has become the key to successfully execute any large venture. Automation allows machines to complete mundane, repetitive tasks better and more efficiently than humans.No one would dream of running a bank without the computers and software that are the central ...

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