·SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2017
From rocking the 1970s to reaching 70 years of age, this man, the legend, has
played an unimaginable serenading role in transforming the music scene in
Pakistan like no other in his brand of crooning. He is, without an iota of doubt, an
iconic person and the epitome of ‘western music’ phenomenon in Pakistan. He is
And the good thing is, he shares his glorious 70 years this year with
Norman’s contribution to the ‘popular’ variety of music and singing of the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s has been colossal; he is clearly one of the most popular
personalities of his era and continues to mesmerize audiences. As the lead
singer for some of Pakistan’s original live music bands, such as the Moon-Glows,
In-Crowd, Talismen, Keynotes etc; his voice alone could launch a thousand
people tapping their feet at discotheques, clubs and the party-scenes in Karachi.
When singing his favorite songs, his deep penetrating voice, powerful and soul-
searching, is familiar to the vocal chords of legendary artists such as Louie
Armstrong (What a Wonderful World); Frank Sinatra (My Way); Jim Reeves
(Put Your Sweet Lips); Billy Ocean (Caribbean Queen); Engelbert
Humperdinck (Please Release Me) and Tom Jones (Delilah).
Norman was among the first popular musicians to have been interviewed on
television’s mass-appeal ‘Zia Mohyuddin Show’ in the 1970s and also toured
Singapore with the Talismen, playing at the famed Merlin Hotel as the first pop-
band from Pakistan! One of his fans in the Far-East was none other than the
world boxing heavy-weight champion Joe Frazier! (See Picture)
Music and singing keeps him going. His 3-piece band today, including Gerard
Vanderlowen and Clifford Lucas is in great demand throughout Karachi at music
shows, club-evenings, weddings, family gatherings and special occasions. There
is no other group of musicians that can match this trio’s virtuosity in singing the
delightful songs of the golden era of music.
Above all, Norman has been a family man all through his life; his wife Nancy has
stood by him like a rock and his two girls Narissa and Nicole-Ann have made him
proud. I can recall the beautiful rendering of ‘But You Love Me Daddy’ which
Narissa sang as a 6-year old alongside Norman on the guitar. On the other hand,
the 70th birthday party surprise, aptly called “Vintage Dude” by Nicole-Ann was
indeed, very creative, thoughtful and stunning.
Though he is forever performing at some show or the other throughout Karachi,
he is always there in church lending his echoing voice at the daily morning Mass
at 6.30 a.m. and with his Sunday Morning Choir for the 8.00 a.m. service.
God bless you Norman. Keep going.
PTV KARACHI’S MOST POPULAR FROST SHOW WE PRESENTED AS “GAR TU BURA NA MANAY”
“Sach Khedoun Aie Barhamin…Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay
Tere Sanam Kadoun Ke Butth Ho Gaye Puranay”
This famous verse of Allama Iqbal had a whole meaning that one of its line was adopted by PTV-Karachi’s GM Aslam Azhar to create a comedy show—the Frost Report of David Frost kind—-in 1969 as “Gar Tu Bura Na Maanay” which had Mohsin Shirazi as it’s “David Frost” supported by a stock cast of four; Zafar Masood, Mohammad Yusuf, Zahoor Ahmed and Shahnaz Ghani (of “BAMBI” child wear outlet since 60’s).
“GAR TU BURA MAANAY” (GTBNM) was hilarious and a parody of many of our customs held during marriages. It was mostly a satire well presented in a formidable style with boxed laughters and sometimes generating a roar of laughter from the viewers of the only network in Pakistan then.
The ongoing golden jubilee year of television in Pakistan…essentially PTV….has many a tales to talk about and remember–from each of it’s several centres which all–produced some most remembered dramas, talk shows and events which remain as infectious as ever. When the private networks will celebrate their golden jubilee—if they reach that point—all people will remember will be advertisements and political battles with no results they were subjected with …every day but never never on Sunday:)
GTBNM…. ran for several weeks and took a break when Aslam Azhar, the Wizard of PTV left for Islamabad on a higher assignment..later becoming the only and ever MD of PTV and later Chairman of PTV and Radio Pakistan. No one has held such combined assignment at Ministry of Information..here in Pakistan. Hail Aslam Azhar! He should be awarded NISHAN e Imtiaz on 26th November, 2014 when (or if) the Ministry of information finds time to celebrate such an important event of this wonderful Nation Pakistan. I am certain to have a million “aye’s” on my recommendation above for Aslam Sahab.
GTBNM…..made a come back in 1970-71 with the same name and this time Neelofer Alim Abbasi, Zeenat Yasmine, Qazi Wajid, Shakeel Chughtai, Khurshid Talat and myself were stock artiste and after a few weeks—my friend the producer Ishrat Ansari told us or rather gave us a surprise that the name of GTBNM has been changed to “Sach Jama Jhoot Battaa Dou” (Truth+Lies/2) which was presented before a live audience at the open air stage of Hotel Metropole. The excitement of East and West separation had gripped the Nation and in order to suitably stage a media war against our neighbours…this stage show turned into a satirical one focusing on our enemy….and indeed it was a success that the live audience was jam packed and the regular telecast was keenly awaited or in today’s nomenclature…the “rating” was very good ( I can never understand this anomaly of the word RATING which appears to be too sacred and pious for some of the networks—:) ha ha ha ha ).
GTBNM….from PTV-Karachi will always remain in the minds and memories of those 50+ who saw that beauty of the sitcom and such sitcom can never ever be produced again…..unless it’s sponsored which is one good thing to mess up something great of the last without risk–:)
Thank you Aslam Azhar Sahab, Mohsin Shirazi (where is he? How is he?) and so fondly the late members of the stock cast; Zafar Masood, Zahoor Ahmed, Mohammad Yusuf remembered. RIP all of them. The then viewers who are around these days do thank you for giving them an entertainment worth every second of watching it.
PTV has carved its name so strongly that it needs to continue with its great deeds well mixed with the achievements of past and the new dawn of current era.
Nahid Iskander Mirza 6 February 1919 – 23 January 2019In 1951, Mohammad-Ebrahim Mirza Amirteymour Kalali was posted as Iran’s Military Attaché to Karachi. His daughter, Nahid Afghamy came with him. She was married to Colonel Mehdi Afghamy and had a daughter. It was then that she met Iskander Mirza, Secretary of Defence of Pakistan, at a reception in the Russian Embassy. He was married too, and had six children. Still he fell in love with her. The love blossomed, she divorced and married Iskander Mirza in September 1953.
POSTED BY MR. NASSAR SHEIKH:
Naheed: The Mysterious First Lady of Pakistan
By Waseem Altaf
She was the wife of Iranian military attaché to Pakistan namely Lieutenant Colonel Afghamy in 1951. It is conjectured that since the Colonel had close dealings with the Ministry of Defense, Naheed met Pakistan’s Secretary Defense Sikander Mirza in some social gathering at Karachi. Perhaps they got involved much earlier, however, It was much later that the family of Sikander Mirza came to know of the close relationship.The Secretary Defense’ elder son Hamayun Mirza was studying in London and every summer Sikander Mirza and his wife Rifat Mirza would visit their son in UK. In early 1952 Hamayun Mirza, received a letter and some money telling him that the wife of Iranian defense attaché would be visiting London and he was to take care of her during her visit. Later that year, Sikander Mirza asked his son Hamayun to look for a suitable school for the younger daughter of Mrs. Afghamy. In the spring of 1953, Mrs. Afghamy herself took her daughter to a school in England for enrollment.On June 4, 1953, the younger son of Sikander Mirza got killed in a plane crash. Sikander Mirza came to Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon, Surrey for a private grieving. It was here that Hamayun witnessed Naheed coming to the hotel and comforting Sikander Mirza in a very intimate way. The son got infuriated by Naheed’s behavior but some guests cooled him down. A few days later Sikander Mirza sent his son Hamayun to Karachi to join his mother and four sisters while Sikander and Naheed stayed behind. A month later Sikander returned to his family in Karachi.In April, 1954 Sikander Mirza was appointed governor of East Pakistan as the ruling Muslim League lost elections in the province and governor rule was imposed. Sikander Mirza left for Dhaka but chose not to take his family along.It is not known when Naheed got divorce from Colonel Afghamy but she admitted that she and Sikander Mirza got married by proxy on July 7, 1953.However, the actual marriage ceremony took place on September 5, 1953. But there is no public record of her account.In November 1954,Hamayun was getting married with the daughter of US ambassador in Pakistan Horace. A. Hildreth yet none of his family was present at the occasion. His mother Rifat was in China with a women delegation while Sikander Mirza was in Karachi with his four daughters. It was then that Naheed informed him that she could no longer be his secret wife and the relationship must be disclosed to the public. Sikander disappeared for one week and on his return informed his four daughters that he had married the ex-wife of Colonel Afghamy. The son Hamayun came to know of his father’s secret marriage on his wedding day while the first wife Rifat became aware of her husband’s second marriage after she returned from China. Sikander Mirza left his family for good and from then onward Naheed was to play a pivotal role in his life.On October 6, 1955 Sikander Mirza took the oath of Governor- General and a week later all four provinces of West Pakistan were merged into a single West Pakistan Province to create parity with East Pakistan. On March 6 Sikander Mirza was elected as President and the constitution was promulgated on March 23, 1956. Three days later, on March 26, 1956 with Nahid on his side Sikander Mirza took the oath as President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Thus, in a passage of two years, mostly through palace intrigues and backroom dealings, an ex-soldier and a career bureaucrat rose from the level of a department head to the position of the Head of the State. And the Iranian born Nahid Afghamy, the wife of a Military Attaché lifted by a government Secretary of the host country, became the First Lady of Pakistan. For the next two and a half years Nahid Mirza as wife of the President was to play a significant role in the national and international affairs of Pakistan. (Pervez Munir Alvi,2013)Mirjaveh, which is the main crossing point between Iran and Pakistan, was ceded to Iran under the presidency of Iskander Mirza. Nahid Mirza played an instrumental role in the deal, Ahmed Yar Khan writes in Inside Balochistan.Exiled by General Ayub Khan in 1959, who took over power in a military coup, Mirza lived remainder of his life in exile in London, England where he financially struggled running a small Pakistan cuisine hotel until his death. He died of a heart attack on 13 November 1969, his 70th birthday. President Yahya Khan denied him a burial in Pakistan. The Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi sent his personal plane to London to bring President Mirza’s body to Tehran, where he was given a state funeral. Hundreds of Iranians, including Prime Minister Abbas Hoveyda, and Pakistani expatriates in Iran bade farewell and offered their prayers.The funeral ceremony was marred by the absence of Sikander Mirza’s relatives living in Pakistan. The military government barred them from leaving Pakistan in time despite the best efforts by Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran’s foreign minister, and President Sikander Mirza’s friends in Pakistan and Iran. There are unfounded rumors that after the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979), his grave was desecrated.Naheed spent rest of her life in London in anonymity. Shepassed away in London on 25th January 2019.
30Yasmeen Kazi, Ghulam Nabi Kazi and 28 others11 CommentsLikeComment
As published in the DAWN today:ON Dec 12, 1949, a DC-3C Dakota of Pak Air Services flying from Lahore to Karachi crashed at Karo Jabal near Jungshahi. All 26 on board perished. Among them was Maj-Gen Muhammad Iftikhar Khan, who was a strong contender for the appointment of the first Pakistani Commander-in-Chief, pegged to succeed Gen Douglas Gracey. Another on board the plane was Brig Sher Khan, Director of Military Operations.Their funeral prayers were held on the grounds of the Frere Hall in Karachi, and the burial was at the Armed Forces Cemetery. There were speculations at the time that the path was cleared for one of the other officers.Regardless of the merit of the speculations, what did happen was that Ayub Khan took over. Was the air crash an act of sabotage? Did that change the course of history? It certainly led to a ban on the airline, following a series of air accidents; four of them. The probable cause was said to be the pilot’s error in terms of navigation and not following the standard procedures
.Dr Sohail AnsariEssex, United Kingdom
12Saad Bashir, Shah Muhammad Vaquas and 10 others3 CommentsLikeComment
I recently acquired the attached undated, large sized & paper thin, photograph pertaining to Karachi. It is about always easier to judge the age / date of a vintage postcard if it is postally used. If not, even then in this day & age of internet, one can “find” the age through Google et al search. However, in the case of this photograph of Ladies Gymkhana (now Karachi Gymkhan), it was a wee bit challenging. I am dating this photograph to circa “turn of the 20th century” (early 1900s, perhaps even pre-1900 to 1905) based on the following premise: Firstly, such thin paper photographs (stuck on cardboard pages of an album) are indicative of an older vintage (pre-1900). After ~1910 or thereabouts, paper used for photography printing was much thicker. Secondly, on the left-ish corner of the photograph, one can see the tall Holy Trinity Church (build in ~ 1855) with its upper floors, built to serve as a lighthouse too for ships arriving at Karachi Harbor, still intact. They were partly removed, about 40 ft in total, in 1905, “owing to the foundations’ showing signs of weakness” (Reference: Karachi Handbook & Directory 1928-29). Based on this, it is inferred that the photograph is atleast taken in 1905, if not earlier.This note is a bit longish. However, I alway see if I can provide some context to the picture and hence add value, as I see it, instead of simply sharing them, which again is not bad at all. Hope this help a bit. After this post, I will share 2 additional vintage postcards of the Holy Trinity Church – one with the tall tower and the other with the shorter one – but both are classified as vintage.
66You, Tariq Aslam, Tahir Shamsi and 63 others19 CommentsLikeComment
Karachi’s first liquor tavern MOKHI AND MATARA – A folk tale
By Dr. Sohail Ansari
The story of a tavern in Karachi dates back to around 400 years.
Perhaps this is the oldest recorded tavern of the city. Natar, a maid of Moomal, came to a village called Konkar (modern day Gadap) and settled here. She established a brewery and tavern which became popular locally as well as in far flung areas attracting customers. Her beautiful daughter, Mokhi, served as a barmaid. The delicacy of wine and the charms of Mokhi rapidly gained fame which brought revellers from all over. Among the admirers were eight Matara (which in Sindhi mean strong) warriors: two each from the Samma, Soomra, Channa and Chauhan clans. Having enjoyed multiple drinks form pots of old wine and seduced by the attractive barmaid, these brave visitors left tranquil but decided to return. On one of their returning trips, Mokhi had run out of old wine. Perturbed, she discovered an old wine jar which was years old long abandoned in the depot. The wine appeared very colourful and had a fragrance. The Mataras were delighted with the wine and commented “Never did we taste such a wine”. Heavily intoxicated, they left the tavern dancing in tranquility. Once they had gone, Mokhi discovered a long dead snake in the pot of wine that she had served them. She thought the Mataras would have perished but to her surprise they returned some time later. She happily served them the best old wine from her stock. Consuming glass after glass, they demanded the wine that they were served on the last visit. Reluctantly, Mokhi had to tell them the truth that the wine they drank on last visit was poisoned with cobra venom. The very thought of venom and its effect shocked them and they all fell dead on the spot and were buried there. The graves are still there in the old graveyard on the hillock, to be found at the foothill of Narathar in Gadap tehsil of Karachi! Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, narrated this folk tale in Sur Yaman Kalyan.
(Photo courtesy: Friday Times, Umer Soomro, and Khurram Saeed Khan)
A man sprung from poverty and in 1890’s was said to have owned half of Karachi. He built a house, the Dinshaw House in 1890, on Ingle Road. It once became the residence of Pakistan’s President, Iskandar Mirza. Decades later, Pakistan’s first press club, Karachi Press Club, was established in Karachi. The Club acquired that bungalow as its home, commencing its journey in 1958. The first election was held then, and yearly thereafter. It has since been democratic. It not only arose in the face of National Press Trust but also survived the tough times of censorship, raising its voice. Some equate it to the Hyde Park.In the 1970s during the military rule, a senior military official who walked into the club to have a cup of tea, was forced to leave.Half a century ago, around this time of the year, the house that is now over 130 years old, was buzzing with democratic activity. Results for its elections for the year were announced on 5th July 1971 and those elected faced the media on 7th July. Dawn group clearly dominated the scene. Anwar Husain of Dawn was elected President of the KPC, S.M. Fazal of Daily News, Vice-President, Mirza Ismail of Dawn, Secretary and Hasan Shahriar of Dawn was elected Joint Secretary.
Sister Gertrude Lemmens, founder of Darul Sukun: She was the Angel of Karachi and ‘mama’ to the residents of Darul Sukun.Born on 14 July 1914 in Venray, Netherlands, she departed on 30 October 2000 in Karachi.She was the daughter of a Dutch factory manager and was engaged to be married to a university professor in the Netherlands. She arrived to Karachi in October 1939 at the age of 25 to visit her brother, Fr. Salesius Lemmens. He was the Apostolic Prefect of the Catholic Church in Karachi and died in 1942 at the age of 39 in a drowning accident. Having seen the plight of the poor and following her brother’s death she decided to stay back to continue her brother´s mission for special children and broke off her engagement. She joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Christ the King.
She was a nun, a midwife and a teacher of English at Christ the King School.She first returned to her native country in 1957, some 18 years after she left it.In 1969, when Archbishop Joseph Cordeiro of Karachi bought single-storey property on Kashmir Road for setting up a school, she convinced him to turn over the property to her so that she could start a home for children with special needs. Darul Sukun was, thus, founded on 17th February 1969.In 1970 she again travelled back to Holland and made TV appearances and newspaper appeals for aid for the struggling home. She successfully obtained help from philanthropists and Dutch companies like KLM. The home was supported by the Dutch people with approximately half a million euro raised to finance the project between 2004 and 2008.
The queen of the Netherlands presented an award to Sister Lemmens in 1975. The government of Pakistan awarded its own Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam to her in 1989.
A Jewish Cricketer from Pakistan – Autobiography of Isaac Solson (Soloman)
By Menin Rodrigues (Excerpts from the book)
TORONTO: 6 July 2021 – Isaac Soloman (as he was known then) was born to Jewish parents in 1949 in Karachi, Pakistan. His grandparents came from Pune in Maharashtra state, India, and had moved to Karachi prior to Partition along with several other Jewish families who were seeking better employment opportunities.
He writes in his book, “Our community is known as Bene-Israel, which means ‘the Sons of Israel’, and is said to be made up of descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel, who settled in India. Since my forefathers lived in Maharashtra, we spoke Marathi, which is still our home language.”
Isaac was a promising cricketer who studied and played for St. Patrick’s College and was coached by the great Jacob Harris – who also coached several Test cricketers like Wallis Mathais, Antao D’Souza, Wasim Bari, Khalid Wazir, and others like Rashid Israr, Feroze Dada, Muzamil Hussain, Zohair Karimi etc. Isaac also played in the Karachi cricket leagues and was selected to play for Karachi in the Ayub Trophy.
He says in the second chapter “I discovered cricket and life in Nazimabad – it is only after we moved here that I have any vivid memories. Until seventh grade, I and two of my older sisters studied at Happy Dale School…as a child I participated in many school plays and shows. Our life was quiet and simple, and my dad and mom used to work for a living.”
Isaac made many life-long friends in Karachi, from his days living in Nazimabad and from his cricket playing days at St. Pat’s College and the city’s top cricket clubs. He remembers his friends and several other people who helped him grow into a fine gentleman, a caring family man and a successful individual, now happily retired and living in the USA.
His college-mate Feroze Dada FCA, CTA writes from London, “We played cricket from 1969,70 and 71 and parted when I left for London in the summer of 1971. I remember Isaac as a decent and well brought up young man that made a lasting impression on me…”
The book is a fascinating recount of his years in Karachi, his vibrant community, his and other Jewish families, their religious customs and living a happy and peaceful life in the city before leaving the country in 1971. He moved to Israel, pursued his passion for cricket and represented Israel in the inaugural Cricket World Cup in 1979 and again in 1983.
His is an endearing story to read, a must for every Karachiite who can recall the peaceful coexistence of communities in the city.
Protection and preservation of the city’s heritage
– now or never!
By Menin Rodrigues
KARACHI: 5 July 2021 – Social media pages, groups and other digital platforms are perpetually posting images of historical buildings of Karachi; some vanished, many defaced, others surviving the vagaries of time. Unfortunately, it is simply a shared memory, vestiges of a glorious past for the city’s original settlers.
Do these bouts of nostalgia mean anything to its current citizens and future inhabitants of this beleaguered city? Can we relive or revive the past? How can we permanently protect these edifices by ‘enforceable’ law after all these years of neglect and irrelevance? These are some questions to ponder upon and find answers.
There are numerous stone structures in the older parts of the city, residential, commercial, and governmental, all ‘once’ privately owned and envisioned by the multi-faith communities of Karachi in British India – Muslim, Hindu, Parsi, Goan-Christian and Jew. Most of these buildings and landmarks are about hundred years old or older and the designs and motifs on many of these structures are believed to have been hand-carved by the ingenious Marvari craftsmen.
Realistically, there would be about 100 iconic structures built over a period of 100 years, from 1845 to 1947 that are crying for preservation and protection. These magnificent edifices have stood the test of time, they are a part of our heritage, culture and above all, history of this city. Therefore, it is now our collective responsibility to preserve and protect each one of them – it is now or never!
These edifices have been left behind by a people who had the dream to see Karachi develop into one of the finest metropolises in the East, and therefore, they built landmarks to last! But unfortunately, all through the 1950s, 60s, and 70s we forgot all about the treasures of home! The awakening about the existence of these masterpieces came in the 1980s among those who realized that it was about time, we saved these structures from destruction; but by then, the beauty of Karachi had already started to vanish!
Now that we have access to social media to highlight and talk about the unprecedented decay and destruction of these places, how can we save whatever remains of the city’s legacy? Many heritage sites and beautiful single-family homes have disappeared in the past fifty years; unfortunately, the future citizens of the city (today’s children and young adults) will never know or be able to trace their existence. Who is responsible for this destruction? While on one hand there are ‘citizen journalists’ on the digital landscape who try to bask in the glory of Karachi’s magnificent buildings, we must not forget they are a part of a city which was another country! We did not build them; we inherited the treasures of the city. I find it pertinent to use the term, “the past was another country” because this is how the highly acclaimed, the late Omar Kureishi would describe the city in his columns.
On the other hand, we do have some like-minded organizations such as the department of culture and heritage, government of Sindh; the department of architecture and planning at the NED University, the Heritage Foundation and others who are doing their best to restore and protect. All these efforts fall within the ambit of the Sindh Cultural Heritage (Protection) Act promulgated in 1994 which is, “an Act to preserve and protect ancient places and objects of architectural, historical, archaeological, artistic, ethnological, anthropological and national interest in the Province of Sind.”
While everything looks good on paper and there are visible interventions of protection and preserving heritage sites, it is also important to note that unless, such sites and its history are included in the curriculums of educational institutions and students and the youth are encouraged to participate in relevant workshops, debates and interactive dialogues with historians and authorities, the stalemate on this issue shall prevail. Therefore, the time is now!
Terence Andrade deserved a place in the national hockey team.
Terry Andrade who now lives in California is a fine example of the caliber of former Karachi sportsmen who excelled through their lives, given their nurturing, education, and sporting prowess. Throughout his twelve years at St. Patrick’s High School & College, Karachi, from 1956 to 1968, he was an outstanding student, securing first or second positions and then graduating in Electrical Engineering from the NED College/University in 1973.
The school gave ample opportunities for all students to shine, and Terry was no exception. He took part enthusiastically in the annual track & field meets, winning several races as a toddler, junior and senior athlete. In field-hockey, Terry was among the best players in Karachi representing the school (1965-66), college (1967-68), university (1969-72) and provincial teams. He was also a Patrol Leader in the scouts’ troop, enjoying his camping days in the wilderness of the northern areas of Pakistan where he says, “I learnt my first lessons to lead, excel and ‘be prepared’ for all sorts of eventualities and opportunities in life.”
Hockey was his forte, as soon as he joined the NED College (now a university) he was selected to represent the team, which he later led to win several college/university championships. Another outstanding hockey player in the NED squad was Wilfred Castellino who was a brilliant right half-back. In 1971, Terry was selected for the Karachi University Degree Colleges Team for the All-Pakistan Inter-University Hockey Championships. Provincial selectors kept a close watch on Terry’s goal-scoring skills which led him to play for the Karachi Port Trust (KPT), one of the top national teams at that time.
He played and scored goals for KPT against teams like PIA, Pakistan Customs, Habib Bank, Karachi Police who all had many Olympians and national players in their line-up. Several of his contemporaries, such as Islahuddin Siddiqui, former Pakistan captain would agree that Terry was one of best left wingers and deserved a call for national duty which regrettably eluded him. He continued to play for KPT in the national championships before leaving for the USA in 1974 for further studies.
Another hockey ace, Victor D’Lima was the goalkeeper for KPT and according to Terry and his teammates, “Victor was among the top goalies in Pakistan during the period 1969-74 and could have walked into any national team!”
After completing his MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the Oregon State University and upon receiving job offers from Silicon Valley companies in California such as AMD, Intel, and National Semiconductor; he decided to join AMD in 1979. Terry worked in Product and Test Engineering for four years and later managed the Test Operations, Production & Engineering teams worldwide in Asia & Europe. He was also a Key Team Member for AMD’s 8 Generations of Microprocessor Products (the 80186 to the Opteron) as well as the 29000 Processor Family, ramping up the Hi Volume Production Operations Worldwide for ATE Testing.
The sports enthusiast that he was, since coming to the Bay Area in California, he continued to play for the Northern California (NorCal) Field Hockey Team based at the University of California, Berkeley from 1979 onwards. They played against many Division 1 Teams from other countries like Canada, Mexico, Germany, England, Australia. and India. He continued to play hockey before retiring in 1990.
Terry Andrade, the Patrician from Karachi, retired from AMD in 2007, but took up work at a Startup Company and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) for brief stints and then joined KLA Tencor in 2011 to 2016 before finally retiring from the Hi-Tech field. Since retirement he has been active in Social Work with Seniors and the American Red Cross in Silicon Valley where he has lived for the past 42 years. Terry is married to Deanna and has three children, Tamara, Sophia, and Marisa, and two adorable grandchildren Sadie Rose and Joel Junior. Terry is the son of Willam B. Andrade (who at 107 years of age is the oldest member of the community), the Late Zena Andrade (teacher at St. Joseph’s Convent School) and the eldest of his siblings, Clarence, Lawrence, Christopher, Jennifer, Nilofer and Zenwill. They are all settled a
From L to R: Roshan Khan, Jonah Barrington, Azam Khan, Jahangir Khan, Geoff Hunt, Hashim Khan and Qamar Zaman.
Pakistan Squash Federation Handbook 1993-1994
PAKISTAN’S MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN
By Adil Ahmad
I feel greatly honoured at having been asked to contribute to the first ever Pakistan squash handbook. Squash has a special place in every Pakistani’s heart. It is not just a mere game for us here in the land of the Indus and Karakorum. Squash has provided for us a vital straw to hold onto at a critical time of our development as a society and nation.
Threatened by the prospect of being consigned to the ranks of mediocrity associated with third world countries Pakistan’s squash players have rallied to the rescue and with their superb performances have lifted the hearts of Pakistanis the world over. Hashim, Azam, Roshan, Mohibullah senior, Qamar Zaman, Jahangir and Jansher have blazoned their country’s name around the globe for almost three and a half decades. Squash has enabled Pakistan to demonstrate to the world its combative, competitive spirit, and the indignities inflicted upon us by the ‘resource gap’ have been compensated in great measure by the euphoria of victory over the ‘resource rich’.
These magnificent seven have prevailed over intimidating odds to acquire membership of Pakistan’s ultra exclusive club – the Tamers of the British Open and the Champions of the World of Squash. Pakistan squash has provided for the nation a window to the world, a window through which Pakistani youths have had a breathtaking view of success and glory which has motivated them to shed their doubts and fears and believe in themselves and their ability to excel at the highest levels. A profound change has developed in the Pakistani sports psyche because of its experience in the game of squash. From crow eaters to world beaters has been one exhilarating journey.
The journey began, as same would have it, in preparation colonial prisons. The close confines of a prison cell and monotony of everyday life inspired some prisoner, or prison official, to introduce a ball into their scheme of things. They had a ball alright! Every day of the week! It became immensely popular, and a new game was born. One aspect which became immediately clear to the establishment was the activity’s phenomenal utility as a sapper of tension and surplus energy, two areas of dread for every prison official. Also, since it was played within the confines of a small cell, the anticipation, reflexes, and general muscular agility which it developed in the inmates was quite starling. The keenly intelligent English mind latched upon these attributes and built upon them a game which has produced some of the world’s finest athletes.
The tradition responsible for this heritage in Pakistan reaches back to 1901, when the Peshawar Club built two roofless, cement floored squash courts. Although, meant for the British Officers’ Crops, these courts provided for the Khans of Nawa Killi an opportunity to establish a different kind of pathan domination. The racket achieved for them that which the rifle never could have. It was the spirit of ‘badla’ or vengeance, or ‘nanwati’, the giving of protection, and melmastia., or hospitality combined with the pahtans’ natural tenacity and ferocity which produced a phenomenon from which the world has yet to recover.
Hashim Khan provided the curtain raiser to Pakistan’s advent to the world stage with his staggering seven British Open wins. But in 1916, when Abdullah Khan, the chief steward at the Peshawar Club, a competent player of both squash and tennis, fathered Hashim.
Hashim, started playing squash when he was eight years old, taking advantage of his father’s presence at the Peshawar Club. Because he was so small, he had to hold the racket halfway up the shaft – a grip which he never discarded, and which became his trademark. He was much faster tan other boys of his age and quickly developed a reputation for retrieving from what appeared impossible positions. He was appointed a professional at the RAF base in Peshawar in 1942.
In 1944 Hashim won the All-India Professional Championship beating Abdul Bari in the final. He continued to dominate Pakistan squash and in 1950, Hashim was sent to London to try and wrest the British Open title from Egypt’s Mahmoud Karim who was regarded as the world’s best player at the time. Not only did Hashim win the British Open, but he demolished Karim in the final for the loss of just five points to notch-up the first of an incredible run of successes. Although it has never been possible to ascertain his exact date of birth, Hashim was somewhere between thirty-five and thirty-seven when he recorded his first victory – an age when most players have ceased to be involved in serious competition.
For the next five years Hashim was virtually unbeatable, and he held the British Open title throughout this period, twice beating his brother Azam in the final. In 1956 Hashim surrendered his British Open mantle to another clansman, Roshan, but bounced back in 1957 to win the title, again beating Azam in the final. The following year he lost in the semifinals to Azam, and this proved to be his last British Open Championship.
Hashim moved to America where his name and legendary achievements provided him with rich pickings, and he has lived there ever since. He adapted easily to the American game and recorded a string of US Open wins. Hashim has made the trek back to Britain each year since 1977 to win the British Open Vintage Championship. In April 1981 he watched Geoff Hunt beat his record of seven British Open victories but, by then he himself had won four Vintage titles, a record, and even more remarkable when one considers that he was about sixty-eight years of age at the time.
Hashim’s great run in the fifties may finally have been eclipsed by Hunt and Jahangir, but no one will ever again be called the father of squash or the founder of the modern game. Hashim Khan has earned the right to regard those titles as his own personal property.
Although fame and fortune seemed to have slipped easily into Hashim’s lap, it was an uphill battle for the second of Pakistan’s magnificent seven, Roshan Khan.
His victory against Hashim in the final of the British Open in March 1956 was the culmination of a long struggle against poverty and intense clan rivalry. When Hashim, a relative by marriage from the same village, won the first of his British Open titles in 1951, Roshan was working as assistant squash professional to his father at the Rawalpindi Club.
That year Roshan won the Pakistan Professional Championship and, somewhat impulsively, gave up his job at Rawalpindi to join his elder brother Nasrullah in Karachi. For the next two years, despite being the national champion, Roshan’s efforts at playing in the British Open were frustrated. Lack of sponsorship forced him to remain in Karachi while Hashim and his brother Azam were funded to travel to England for the world’s premier event. As he explained to Rex Bellamy in the Story of Squash, this period in his life was immensely depressing. “I was lying on the street with no house, no job, no racket, no shoes. All day I helped Naz with tennis to get some money. they would not allow me to play squash. At nigh I used to go o to an open ground to run. I could not afford to buy a racket to practice and, even if I could, I could not play. There was much politics against me.”
Roshan seriously considered giving up the game, but just as this seemed inevitable, the Pakistan Navy came to his rescue. He was offered a job and promised a trip to England if he won the Pakistan Professional Championship for the third time. Roshan won the title and was sent to Britain. What transpired next was at once cruel and comical. He arrived in London with the minimum of clothing, no squash gear and just five pounds sterling in his pocket, most of which went on a taxi to the Pakistan Embassy. Generously, an official of the British SRA bought a playing kit for Roshan and, when Cousin Abdul Bari invited him to play at the Junior Carlton Club, life was looking considerably brighter. He won his first tournament and a hundred and five guineas by beating Azam and Mahmoud Karim.
Despite this victory and a subsequent upturn in his fortunes, the brothers Hashim and Azam frustrated his attempts to win the British Open for three years. First, he lost in the semi-final to Azam, then to Hashim in the next year’s semi-final, and then again to Hashim in the final of the year after that. Finally, in 1957, he defeated another member of the clan, Mohibullah senior, in the semi-final before going on to beat Hashim 6-9, 9-5, 9-2, 9-1 to win the coveted British O-pen trophy for himself.
Tragedy struck immediately after Roshan’s triumph as first his right and then left knee began to cause him pain, and he was never again able to reproduce his very best form. He did not compete in the next two British Opens, took just one point from Azam in the final in 196, and lost in the semi-finals of the next three competitions to Azam, Mohibullah senior and Abu Talib. Roshan’s last overseas tournament win was win 1961 when he lifted the Canadian Open title.
Roshan, despite being offered many lucrative assignments overseas, remained in Pakistan where he coached two of his sons in his beloved squash. Torsam, the eldest, reached the top ten in the world before he died tragically of a heart attack during a tournament in Australia in late 1979. Roshan’s third son, Jahangir, went on to establish the sort of world domination which sealed the fate of record breakers for a long time to come. Torsam once described his father’s game in the following words. “Classy, and characterised by fantastic ball control, his strokes, particularly his backhand volley drop and the delayed short shots on the backhand were his unforgettable weapons. His game might have looked straightforward, but he always moved his opponents around the court. He always had you chasing the ball.”
The third of the magnificent seven in line for the British Open mantle was Azam Khan.
The younger brother of Hashim, Azam lived in the shadow of his illustrious brother for six years before emerging to win four consecutive British Open titles between 1958 and 1961. He was rescued from a relatively unimportant tennis coaching job and taught squash by his elder brother before travelling to England in December 1952. At first, he showed little indication of the talent that would make him such an accomplished player in later years. “I was hopeless to begin with,” he says, “but Hashim kept pushing me, and finally I could stay on court longer and longer without getting exhausted, and my strokes improved also.”
Early in 1953 he played his first genuine competitive match against England’s Roy Wilson and lost in five games. Less than three months later he reached the semi-finals of the British Open where he was beaten in five games by Hashim who went on to defeat Wilson in the final. For the next five years Hashim stopped his younger brother’s progress in the British Open, beating him twice more in the semi-finals and three times in the finals. Azam finally got his reward in 1958when he beat his nephew Mohibullah senior to win the title. He retained it in 1959 by beating Roshan Khan in the final and notched up two further final victories against Mohibullah senior in 1960 and 1961.
Azam’s career was tragically cut short in 1962 when an irreparably damaged Achilles-tendon forced him to abandon tournament play. It is still a matter for heated debate as to how may British Open titles Azam could have won had it not been for Pakistani family politics. Many people believed that Azam capable of beating Hashim towards the end of the great man’s run of victories, but either chose, or was encouraged, not to. On the other hand, there are those who would suggest that the young Mohibullah senior had been capable of winning the title in 1960 and 1961 – he lost to Azam in five game on both occasions. Still more experts deny both these arguments but feel that had it not been for the tendon injury, Azam might well have gone on the beat Hashim’s record of seven successive victories. the whole truth is unlikely to ever be revolved, but there is no doubt that Azam fully deserves to be ranked amongst the absolute best to have played the game.
Mohibullah Khan Senior
The last member of the magnificent quarter who held sway in the late fifties and early sixties was Mohibullah Khan senior. He went simply by the name Mohibullah, until the emergence of the latter day Mohibullah, the elder brother of Jansher. Mohibullah senior started playing squash at the tender age of ten, under the supervision of his father Safirullah who was a professional at Karachi’s Sindh Club. When he won the Pakistan Junior title in 1956, without dropping a game, Hashim took charge of his training. In 1958 he won the Pakistan Open, admittedly in the absence of Hashim, Roshan and Azam and in the same season reached the final of the British Open where he lost to Azam. In the previous two years he had reached the last four of the British Open where he lost to Hashim and Roshan in straight game. In 1959 he was defeated in the quarter-final by Mike Oddy, who again beat him, in the semi-finals this time, the year after his only title win.
Having finished runner-up on three occasions to his uncle Azam, Mohibullah senior finally won the British Open Championship in 1962 to complete a remarkable run of thirteen successive victories by the amazing Khan clan. After his 1962 triumph Mohibullah senior emigrated to the USA where he became a professional at the Harvard Club in Boston on the recommendation of John F. Kennedy. He was not seen on the international squash circuit after 1963 but transferred his allegiance very successfully to the hardball game. reaching three US Open finals in succession, losing to Hashim in 1963, and defeating Hashim in the following two years.
Pakistan squash took a back seat on the international stage for twelve years after Mohibullah senior’s British Open win in 1962. England and Australia ruled the roost during this period, with the legendary John Barrington and Geoffrey Hun holding at bay the steady stream of Pakistani talent who nevertheless launched their annual assault on the British Open title. Aftab Jawaid, Mohammad Yasin, Mohibullah junior, Hiddy Jehan, Gogi Allaudin, Torsam Khan, Sajjad Munir and Rehamt Khan all played in the top sixteen of the World, giving first Barrington, and then Hunt a solid run for their money. It was Qamar Zaman, the fifth of Pakistan’s squash stalwarts, who was destined to recapture the British Open title for Pakistan, which he did in his usual, breath-taking style in 1975.
Qamar Zaman has often been dubbed the magician of the court, the undisciplined artist, the player who breathed humour and creativity into squash. All those descriptions are accurate and well deserved and squash can be thankful that in an era which produced sportsmen whose forte was clinical precision, there were exceptions such as Zaman. Qamar Zaman’s armoury was diverse. Opponents were astonished by the drop shot played from the back of the court with stunning accuracy. audiences were won over by the raising of an eyebrow, the soulful shrug of the shoulders, or the casual dry remark. True entertainers were and are still rare in squash for the sport is too punishing, too exhausting for players to have the time, leave alone the inclination, to view the proceedings with anything more than a desperate eye on the score and a mental check on stamina levels. Zaman, the showman, had used the squash court as his own special stage. His sense of humour is as devastating as his court craft, and his impeccable timing enabled him to deliver his one-liners in such a way as to make an audience dissolve into laughter.
Qamar Zaman’s unpredictability made him a nightmare opponent for all but his close Pakistani colleagues, who could read his game better than most, through the familiarity of practice sessions and many years of match-play. Geoff Hunt only managed to beat Qamar Zaman by his phenomenal retrieving ability and extreme physical prowess. Gawain Briars had fine racket ability and provided for remarkably interesting, sometimes hilarious encounters with Qamar Zaman, trading shot for shot, wit for wit. Zaman would enjoy such matches, even running the risk of losing if he could play in his own unfettered style, going for shots with a high percentage chance of error and succeeding more often than not.
Qamar Zaman entered the international scene in 1972, having initially preferred tennis. His father, Mohammad Ayub, was a tennis and squash coach. The Zaman family came from Peshawar, but Qamar was born in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan. It was in Peshawar, however, that the began his squash preparation, joining his contemporary and future rival, Mohibullah junior, under the watchful eye of Mohammad Yasin. The emphasis was always upon court training, practicing shots and routines, a philosophy incorporated by Zaman’s father. Mohibullah junior was the perfect sparring partner for Zaman, possessing many of the qualities of skill, speed, and stamina that Zaman was to meet later against Hunt. He came to Britain in 1972 to contest the British Amateur Championship, and reached the semi-finals, failing only by one point to beat the Australian Billy Reedman. A month later he reached the last sixteen of the British Open, losing in five games to his uncle, Aftab Jawaid. In both these appearances it was clear that Zaman was destined for greater things.
The experience gained in Britain made Zaman a better player, improving his method and stamina. When he returned to Britain the following year he progressed to the final of British Amateur, losing to Mohibullah junior. In the British Open of the same year Zaman made the semi-finals, going down to Mohammad Yasin. Mohibullah junior again beat him in the 1974 British Amateur, although this disappointment for Zaman was soon to be allayed by a famous victory in the 1975 British Open.
It was not an easy draw for Zaman. He had to beat Britain’s Phil Ayton in the third round, holder Geoff Hunt in the quarterfinals, Hiddy Jehan in the semis, and the great touch player, Gogi Allauddin, in the final. Predictably, the match which drew the most attention was the quarter-final with Hunt, the reigning champion. It was one of the few occasions that Hunt allowed Zaman to gain control. Zaman matched Hunt rally for rally, stamina level stamina lever for stamina level. In the fifth game, with the score at 7-5 and Hunt in the lead, the battle seemed to be almost over for Zaman. What followed was utterly amazing. In spectacular fashion Zaman responded with on onslaught of devastating winners, a tremendous risk to take at such a stage, but underlining the Zaman approach of always going for his strokes.
For a few heady weeks Zaman was on top of the world. He beat Hunt again, and if forced the Australian to re-think his game. Many people made snap decisions that Zaman was destined for a long reign as British Open champion. His game at times seemed unplayable, and to the orthodox western eye it seemed inconceivable that such stroke play could be subdued. What happened is well known. Hunt did come back, and Qamar Zaman was destined to stand for the most part in his shadow. To him, gifted artist that he was, two hours of slugging up and down sidewalls was not squash. His instinct to play shots often gained him initiatives, even commanding leads. But Qamar Zaman could not combine this with the killer instinct. Had his game been more clinical, had laziness, born of intelligence, not prevented him from achieving greater heights of physical fitness, Qamar Zaman would no doubt have added further British Open titles to his list of triumphs. After a while Hunt’s dominance seemed to get him down, although, to be fair, the Australian did learn from Zaman and introduced a greater variety of strokes to his repertoire.
Qamar Zaman won the World Masters in 1979 and the International Squash Players’ Championship in 1977 and 1979. He has four times been runner-up in the British Open and three times in the World Open. In the 1983 ISRF World Individual Championship he was again runner-up. With the emergence of Jahangir Khan, Qamar Zaman was once more relegated to a supporting role, losing the 1984 British final, to the young conqueror. It is rumoured that Zaman deliberately set his sights on the number two slot, which he successfully held for over a decade.
In 1980 Qamar Zaman appeared in the world rankings as number one. He had made his point. Being runner-up in the great matches was no bar to being number one. QZ, as his friends fondly call him, has made the transition from champion player to sport administrator remarkably well. As deputy station manager for Pakistan International Airlines in Peshawar, Qamar Zaman has continued his love affair with the sponsor of his playing days, displaying his uncanny ability to adopt to brain, rather than brawn, intensive situations! His post playing assignment has enabled him to contribute to the development of fresh talent in his home province, and as the Sarhad Squash Association’s honorary secretary, Zaman is fully involved in the coaching and training of future champions for Pakistan.
Then came Jahangir Khan, perhaps the most magnificent of the magnificent seven. Jahangir Khan, the youngest son of Roshan, and the younger brother of Torsam, was born in Karachi on December 10, 1963. He was a sickly child, the youngest, smallest, and weakest in the family, with a double hernia. Were it not for father Roshan’s employment in Pakistan Navy and consequent access to the Naval Hospital, It is unlikely that Jahangir’s double hernia would have been cured. But it was cured, and Jahangir set about taking the world by storm.
Jahangir’s introduction to the international set was dramatic. He was the proverbial dark horse which flashed past the finish line ahead of the pack, leaving all and sundry, gasping with amazement. That Jahangir should achieve so much in such a short time and at such a tender age was stunning. When he travelled to the World Amateur Championships in September 1979, he was not yet sixteen and was virtually unknown outside Pakistan. During the trials for the national tea, Jahangir did not make the grade, and it was the perceptiveness of Air Marshal Nur Khan which enabled the young lad to participate in the individual event, where he was required to proceed through the qualifying rounds. Within a few days he had astounded everyone by beating four seeded players to become the youngest ever World Amateur champion.
That win prompted Jonah Barrington to make a technical assessment. “He really is a revelation. He has a very athletic heart which can only improve and has mot un-Pakistani feeling for running and other general training. His length and width hitting are of a remarkably high order already, and he has an obvious talent for the short game which within five years will provide his unfortunate opponents with a great deal of misery. I have no doubt that by the time he is twenty-one he will have won the World Open.” A bold prediction and accurate in every respect expect for the length of time that Jahangir needed to win the Open.
Jahangir’s first period of glory was marred by a tragedy when, just a few weeks later, his elder brother Torsam, an exceptionally talented player who was ranked in the world’s top ten, collapsed and died during a game in Adelaide. At that time Jahangir’s father looked in doubt, but his cousin Rehmat stepped in, virtually sacrificing his own playing career, and took the new champion under his wing at his home in London. Jahangir’s grief was compounded by frustration when he was robbed of the opportunity to add the British Amateur title to his world crown when an injury sustained in training forced him to withdraw from the championship. He made his professional debut in the ISPA Championship in February 1980, and immediately served notice that his victory in Australia was no fluke by leading world number four Hiddy Jehan two game to one before going down in five. That match prompted Jehan to add hi name to the growing list of Jahangir’s admires by announcing that the youngster would be a champion within two years. That assessment still seemed somewhat extravagant when Jahangir finished the season ranke4d equal twenty-sixth alongside Australian Frank Donnelly. However his improvement in the next twelve months was the most dramatic in the history of the game and confounded even his most optimistic supporters.
Jahangir Khan beat Maqsood Ahmed to reach the last eight of the 1980 World Open before losing 2-3 to Qamar Zaman. The same year he won the New Zealand Open beating Bruce Brownlee in the final. The 1980 Pakistan Open was memorable indeed, as the capacity home crowd gave Jahangir a standing ovation after a highly competitive five setter with Qamar Zaman. Jahangir’s first win over Geoff Hunt came in the Canadian Club tournament in Germany the same year. In England he added to his list of victims by beating Gamal Awad in the Prodorite Invitation final, Ross Norman in the British Under Twenty-Three Open, and again Zaman in the Durham and Cleveland Opens. Hunt avenged his earlier defeat in Germany by beating Jahangir 3-0in the 1981 ISPA final, and so the scene was set for an enthralling climax to the British season.
What transpired was more than anyone could have hoped for as Hunt and Jahangir fought out two of the most dramatic, competitive, and brutal battles ever waged on a squash court. The ultra fit Australian was reduced to immobility as Jahangir emerged victorious from the 1981 Chichester Festival final which lasted two hours and eleven minutes. Many pundits felt that Jahangir would end Hunt’s run of British Open victories by repeating the win in Bromley two weeks later. It looked as if they would be proved correct as Jahangir recovered from 0-2 to take the third game and lead 6-2 in the fourth, Hunt was thoroughly exhausted but somehow, he discovered a fresh reservoir of strength to recover and win 3-1 after two hours and fourteen minutes. Although his season had finished on a relatively disappointing note, Jahangir was now ranked number two in the world, and twenty-seven places above Donnelly with whom he had been bracketed just a year before. All the earlier predictions about his future were made to look like understatements.
Jahangir’s achieved his number one ranking by beating Hunt in the World Open final in December 1981, and he was still eleven days short of his eighteenth birthday! He took the coveted British Open title in April 1982 without dropping a game, even though five of his six opponents were ranked in the worlds top twenty. He retained the world title later in the year when he beat Dean Williams of Australia in the final. Both these victories were achieved without having to do battle with Geoff Hunt, who had been forced into premature retirement through injury. Anyone who witnessed either of their 1980-81 season will forever regret that these two great athletes were not to share the same court more often.
During the 1983 Chichester Festival the Egyptian, Gamal Awad, attempted to run Jahangir into submission. The result was a final lasting two hours and forty-six minutes, the longest match on record, and another win for Jahangir by 3-1. It proved beyond doubt that his physical fitness could hold up to such test. Awad, psychologically dispirited after losing, could not raise the same enthusiasm two weeks later in the final of the British Open, and submitted in straight games for the loss of eight points.
The 1983 ISRF World Individual title fell to Jahangir and two month later he collected his third World Open crown in Munich, winning the championship without dropping a single game in all his matches. Jahangir continued virtually unchallenged on the world squash circuit collecting every title and going unbeaten for five phenomenal years.
However, in November 1986, he lost to Ross Norman in the final of the UAP World Open in France at the Toulouse Plas des Sprot, 5-9, 7-9, 9-7, 1-9. There was talk of an injury sustained in the Malaysian Open a few weeks before. But the myth had been broken. Jahangir was beatable after all.
The new breed of Pakistan players comprised Umar Hayat and Sohail Qaiser, Mir Zaman Gul and Zarak Khan. They made the first benchmarks and played in the world’s top sixteen, but never made any serious assaults on the number one position. Jahangir’s game was head and shoulders above the rest of the field. But there was a serious conspiracy afoot downunder, and the Aussie brigade were in training under the able leadership of legendary Geoff Hunt. The equally legendary Jonah Barrington was marshalling his English charges and finalising the strategy to retake the top slots in a blaze of glory.
Jahangir acknowledged that the competition had stiffened visibly. The marauder, the demolisher of all and sundry, began to pace himself. He reduced his commitments on the international circuit and tailored his training to achieve optimum results in the British Open.
In his ten-year reign as British Open champion, the most consistent challenge to his throne came from the Australians. n 1985 Chirs Dittmar was dismissed for the loss of ten points, 9-3, 9-2, 9-5. In 1988, ’89 and ’90 Rodney Martin was a consistent finalist with hi most creditable performance in 1989 when he took Jahangir the full distance, losing in five games 2-9, 9-3, 5-9, 9-0, 2-9. In the other six British Open finals Jahangir Khan came up against his own countrymen thrice. Hiddy Jehan in 1982 (2-9, 9-10, 3-9), Qamar Zaman in 1984 (0-9, 3-9, 5-9), and the current champion Jansher Khan in 1992 (9-2, 4-9, 4-9, 0-9). In 1983 the Egyptian Gamal Awad reached the final to bow out to Jahangir 2-9, 5-9, 1-9. In 1986 the Newzealander Ross Norman made the grade, adding to the list of distinguished runners-up 6-9, 4-9, 6-9.
There are insufficient superlatives to describe this young man’s accomplishments. The perseverance and sustainability of one man demonstrating the seemingly superhuman and the miraculous. Jahangir made most competition look very mediocre most of the time. Such has been his dominance of sport that when the ‘greatest ever’ argument is aired in future the discussion may be short and amicable and may well revolve around just one name – Jahangir Khan.
The youngest, and currently the most awesome of the magnificent seven is Jansher Khan. With two British Open crowns under his belt, Jansher, whose name means “lionhearted”, is already on the middle rungs of the magnificent seven hierarchy. Lean and lanky, totally relaxed, and easy going in style, his performance on court is, paradoxically, completely electrifying. At twenty-three years of age Jansher Khan is the very picture of confidence as he maintains the lead ahead of the pack, baton firmly in hand after a successful baton change with Jahangir.
The extent and totality of Jahangir’s shadow had relegated to a supporting role a performance which was phenomenal. Jansher Khan first made headlines in 1987 when he won the World Open and made the final of the British Open where he put up a spirited resistance to Jahangir not reflected in the shoreline of 6-9, 0-9, 5-9. Jansher won the World Open again in 1989, ’90, and ’92. As a member of the Pakistan squad, Jansher represented his country in the World Team championships in Cairo in 1986, in Birmingham in 1987, in Singapore in 1989, and in Helsinki in 1991. Jansher made his international debut in 1986 when he won the World junior Championship, beating Rodney Eyles in the final. In 1988 Jansher was declared world number one for the first time. He lost that slot back to Jahangir for a while, regaining it once more in May 1992.
Jansher’s first assault on the British Open was in 1987 when he was beaten by Jahangir in the final 6-9, 0-9, 5-9. For the next three years he was hampered in his aspirations by Rodney Martin. In 1991 Jansher again made the final, losing once more to Jahangir 9-2, 4-9, 4-9, 0-9.
But by now it was evident that Jansher was here to stay and was far from just a flash in the pan. 1992 saw Jansher acquire full fledged, life membership of the ultra exclusive Tamers of the British Open Club. Chris Robertson was there to make him look good as Jansher made off with the Hi-tech trophy 9-7, 10-9, 9-5. The new champion, though not quite as unchallenged as his predecessor, was nevertheless wearing his mantle nicely.
On Monday, April 19, 1993 Jansher returned to the Wembley Conference Center to prove to all and sundry that 1992 had been no fluke. Jansher made his point in great style as he made short work of Julien Bonetat, Paul Lord, Ross Norman and Zarak Khan to reach the final of the British Open, setting up another encounter with his old rival, Chris Dittmar.
Jansher’s euphoria at reaching the final was tempered by anxiety over his mother’s illness which had earlier thrown in doubt his participation in the first place. There were a few minutes in the third game, and again early in the fourth when it appeared that lack of training might be troubling him. After winning the first two games 9-6, 9-5, Jansher dropped the third 6-9. Chris Dittmar later said “When I won the third game and the first two rallies of the fourth, I felt I had him. He seemed to slow down, and I scored more often in the front of the court.” But Jansher came back with a vengeance in the fourth game and showed his unassailable class by winning it 9-3. “It was awful,” said Dittmar, “I just capitulated. There was no excuse.”
With his second British Open title Jansher had managed a successful emergence from Jahangir’s shadow. His transition to fame and fortune has been traumatic at times, and his recent demotion to world number two has displayed the relentlessness of the field in trying wrest the initiative from Pakistan any way it can. The newly crowned number one, Chris Dittmar, has publicly proclaimed himself to be the pretender to the throne, the inadvertent beneficiary of a technical snafu. Jansher is the real king, and he is eager to reclaim his number one position as he prepared for the new season.
Pakistan squash has come a long way since the day when the hat did the rounds at the Pakistan Air Force officers’ mess. That hat and the personal belief of a few gallant gentlemen officers made possible the most dramatic turnaround in the fortunes of the pathans from Nawa Killi. In moments of sadness and despair the achievements of the magnificent seven will always serve to inspire and to remind us of what can be achieved in the face of seemingly hopeless odds.