Archive for March, 2011

Gen Nasir Ullah Khan Babar – A Legend Forever

March 6th, 2011

This article was written in memory of Late Major General Nasir Ullah Khan Babar and was printed in the March issue of the Defence Journal which is as yet not online….

People like late Major General Nasir Ullah Khan Babar are not born every day. He was twice awarded Sitara-e-Juraat in his military career i.e. in the 1965 and 1971 war and once a Hilal e Shujaat in his civilian career i.e. when he was the Interior Minister and had got released, single handedly, a bus load of students who had been hijacked by some Afghans.
Hailing from a modest village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa called Pir Pai he went on to hold appointments like Inspector General Frontier Corps, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 14 Division, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then NWFP), Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, directly elected Member of the National Assembly and Interior Minister(1993-96). While writing this I suddenly realized how unfortunate this beautiful country of ours is that it did not have any reason to utilize a man like Major General Nasir Ullah Khan Babar in his last useful years of life i.e. all the way from 1996 to 2008 when he fell sick and was disabled due to a serious stroke that paralysed him. Any other country ruled by true patriots would have been looking for die hard patriots like Gen Babar. Alas this cannot be said about Pakistan where all the rulers only look for court jesters.
Thinking about Gen Babar’s nerves I am reminded of a time when I and my wife Farzana, whom he always took as a daughter, were with Gen Babar and his wife in his hospital room at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology, Rawalpindi. Begum Nasir Ullah Khan Babar was telling my wife that he cannot now move his arm and some other details about his illness thinking the grand old man was asleep and not listening. The General opened his eyes and true to his reputation lifted his left arm to a reasonable height and mumbled the words “see I can lift my arm and what she is saying is not true”. At this point I was standing by his side and I was so moved I could not help kiss his hand with the affection of a son. It is for the reader to assess from this happening how determined and strong nerved a man must Gen Babar have been in his life time when he acted like this lying listless in his hospital bed after having suffered a massive stroke of paralysis. » More: Gen Nasir Ullah Khan Babar – A Legend Forever