PAF Chasma to Karachi & repatriation
Syed mohd. Saleh uddin
The authority of the camp to keep us busy arranged Cricket, Football etc games. A group named Pancha Pandab played cricket and under the leadership of Sgt. Muso (thus named as the Sgt kept thick Mustachio) gathered under a tree to discuss about communism. Most probably the name of the Sgt was Akbor (not sure). I have forgotten the name of the Pandabs. However they were satisfied about what they were doing. Sgt. Alamgir with few of his friends used to play tennis. There was a very good tennis ground. Since after publishing a Wall magazine Cpl Baki bhai had find no other important job he was seen walking with his met Ansar. Intelligentsias Samad, Anis, Sulaiman etc had their own way to pass time. They all had also some kind of life related socialistic idea but I doubt literally they had any idea about that ideology. Now Baki bhai is not among us. May Allah bless him! His dismissal from life is my sorrow specially. After retirement from the BAF he was serving in the Bangladesh Biman where he had natural death. In other stories I told you about Commando Cpl. Sadiq, Sgt. Rashid, Kobi Ahsan. I did not mention the names of Aftab who was my entry fellow and class mate in the Tejgaon Poly technique High School, Dhaka (SSC 1968). They and few others were the prey of a misshapen in BAF and were sentenced to death probably in 1978. May Allah forgive them and bless them in the next life! Such deaths are always sorrowful for individual and family.
In Chasma camp when we heard that we are going to be repatriated soon, we burst into joy. In due date in December 1973 we started moving again by train to Karachi for repatriation. Party by party we were moving. It was joyous day for the party. From Mianwali to Karachi cantt was a long journey. In Karachi the shade of big round shape mosque of DOHS made reflection in my mind. It was in the way of our first journey to PAF Korangi Creek. It was an eye pleasing mosque. Such mosque is now we have in Dhaka cantonment. In my old age when I go there for any purpose I look at that and go back in my youth of 1970. I said my prayer in that mosque of Karachi for few waqt (times). Now also the mosque of Dhaka cantonment attracts me.
Few days we were in the PAF base Drigh road, Karachi. It was December 18, 1973 we all who were living in one room took our lunch together. For weight and balance problem of the aircraft we had to leave in the room our trunk and extra goods. PAF trucks were waiting for us to carry us to Karachi airport. We came out of the room. I pulled the door and closed that as if it was closed for us forever. Our aircraft took off. It was moment of great joy for us. The aircraft was Royal Air force Military passenger aircraft. Its name was Britannia. After taken off its cabin crew a Cpl of Royal Air Force came forward to help us. He did his duty politely.The aircraft reached at its required height. Then that went to its level flight. It was moving towards Bangladesh. Under its wing was Karachi. The people of Bengali Bastis were leading their uncertain life. In my memory a family of Piara chacha came. He had a wife and 2 or 3 three children; they all lived in a Basti of Korangi. Now we know till today their heirs are living there. Very less out of them could be repatriated. Their numbers day by day were increasing. By the news paper we come to know their number now is not less than 16 lacs. Their fate now is like non Bengali in Bangladesh. Who knows will they able to return to Bangladesh or not! Wish their best of life. Let them be happy where ever they are.
Our aircraft crossed the Pakistani sky border. Flew over Delhi, Calcutta and then entered Bangladesh crossing Indian sky border. Duly we landed in the Tejgaon Airport, Dhaka. We joined the BAF. Tears of joy were in the eyes of everybody. Though we were given leave the BAF authority followed all the procedure to send us leave. After leave I joined the no-3 squadron of BAF. There I had to work in the VIP Kite of Bango Bandu named Balaka. There other kites were a DHC-3 otter which fought in the liberation war against enemy and Antonov -26 Military transport aircraft. In December 1976 I joined in the Army Education (AEC). There I served in the Army School of Education and Administration for few years. It was also a joy for me. There I had a chance to work under officer like Commandant Col. Ain uddin, CI Maj. Anwar and Maj Nuruzzaman. Then Director AEC was Col. Shamsul Islam. Col. Ain uddin or most probably Col. Shawkot (if my memory is not weak) were very cultural minded. Once on conclusion of a RTOC course in 1980 or 1981 there was arrangement of ‘Moshaira’. Where RT i.e. trainee religious teachers of the Bangladesh Army had to recite four lines poetry or rhymes. In Pakistan such Moshaira was very popular. There culture loving people gathered together in a place that might be under a tree. Small poetry after poetry was recited of the famous poets or written by some one of the gatherings. They had to recite any poetry under given conditions. I am citing an example: “ Koncor chun chun kar mohal banaka, / chosing good stones (brick) and making home, Koha log Ghor Hamara / people say our house, Nehi ghor tera / not your house, Nehi ghor mera / not my house, Ratko kora chria basera/ there live birds at night.” Etc. I am giving another example without giving its meanings: “ Deenki Baghini; Raatki Mohini; Pol pol kor loho chosa; Fer vi dunia Pagol ho kar;Baghini posha.” It was written by a Hindi poet and the former one is written by an Urdo poet. Names of none is now not in my memory. Now by four lines poetry written by Nurjahan the daughter of Moghul emperor Shahjahan in her deathbed I like to conclude this Moshaira chapter: “Ber mazara/ in my grave, Ma garima/ I am poor woman, Nai Cheraga/ no light, Nai gola/ no flower, Nai pora/ will not burn, Porwana sujat/ wings of flying ant, Nai sada a bulbula/ Bulbul (a kind of bird of Robin species) will not sing.
Above officers were great men. I do not know now where they are. I came to know on retirement the rank of Col. Ain uddin was Major General and other three officers were Brigadier General. My heartfelt respect for them and I expect their Dua. In my instructor life in ASEA I had many inspirations from them. During my period there I remember one trainee officer Major Nurun Nabi. He has retired as a colonel. Now he is serving the nation with his Mile Stone School and College. He now also is my source of inspiration. Whenever I go to him with my publication, he never hesitates to purchase my book for the college library. He is great for his present work as Mile Stone is actually a mile stone in the education sector in Bangladesh.