Flashback: Parvaaz

I learned what partition was like from my nana, what was sad was that he was forgetting, some stories were just lost

Mariam Bilgrami August 01, 2014

My nana, Group Captain (Retired) Muhammad Waseem Khan (R), was in the Indian Air Force at the time of Partition. I grew up listening to his stories of dogfights (aerial combat between fighter aircraft), winning the Clarkson Trophy for Aerobatics and other exciting tales of my country at the time it was being separated into little pieces. I remember sitting by his feet in the garden, playing with his twelve cats and hanging onto his every word. From him, I learned what Partition was like. He spoke about how torn people felt when told to leave everything they had and move away. When I moved back to Karachi after spending nearly ten years in Canada, I had a chance to spend more time with nana. During this time, he regaled me with the same stories I had grown up listening to. What was really sad was that he was forgetting; some very crucial details and stories were just… lost.




This August, The Express Tribune will feature photographs from contributions to an open call for images from the struggle for independence and Pakistan’s formative years.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2014.


Khalid waheed | 8 years ago | Reply

Ik both are power hungery,one got his mudrass students andthe other got his cricket fans behind him.they can do nothing for pakistan ibet.

Queen | 8 years ago | Reply

There is Mr Saiful Azam as well. Saiful Azam remains the only fighter pilot who has flown for four air forces (Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq and Pakistan) at war, along with the unique distinction of having skills against two different air forces (India and Israel). According to the Pakistan government, he holds the record for shooting down more Israeli aircraft than any other pilot. The United States Air Force honored Azam in 2000 and Azam is "One of the twenty two 'Living Eagles' of the world".

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