Port Qasim Authority PQA
I assumed the charge of executive engineer in Port Qasim Authority PQA on third January, 1979. Its head office was recently shifted from PNSC (Pakistan national shipping corporation) building to the port site at a distance of about forty kilometers from Karachi city.
First Day at Port Qasim
On my first day at Port Qasim Authority, this appeared to me as quite a long distance but as the time went by, we became used to this travelling. Rear Admiral S.M. Ahsan, a legendary figure, was the chairman and I had the honor of working under his dynamic leadership. Before the independence of Pakistan, S.M. Ahsan, the then Lieutenant in Pakistan navy, was ADC (Aide-de-camp) to Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy of undivided India. After partition, in one of his conversations with Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Lord Mountbatten told him:
“I am giving you two gifts. An independent state of Pakistan, and Lieutenant S.M. Ahsan, my ADC.”
Later on, Ahsan also served as ADC to Jinnah, the founder and first governor general of Pakistan.
Meeting with Port Qasim Authority PQA Chairman
I had heard a lot about him and I had perceived in my mind that it would be difficult for any officer to be able to meet him in consideration of protocol for such a highly dignified personality. But contrary to all this, I found him a down to earth simple person. And I was astonished when I was called by him for the first time regarding some information on port planning. As a new entrant he welcomed me and asked a little about me and my professional background and made me feel as if I was part of his family, a corporate family. And indeed, I felt as if I was a part of this family.
Friends at Port Qasim Authority
This was a new place for me and I was wondering whether I would be able to adjust in this new environment. I met many friends here whom I knew from the days of Petaro. A good number of engineers had studied with me in engineering college. I was happy to meet Khalid Hussain Makhdoom, Iqbal Ahmad Turk and Irshad Ahmad Shaikh, who were two years senior to me in cadet college Petaro. Similarly, there were some friends from engineering college Jamshoro, namely Allah Nawaz Qabulio, Rafiq Laghari, Hadi Bux Memon, Ejaz Kehar, Sajan Khan Baloch, Abdul Sattar Dero and Abdul Sattar Shaikh. I was excited to meet them all who had warmly welcomed me, and my early days were like reunion with old friends.
My immediate boss
Khalid Makhdoom was my housemate in Petaro. He was quite enthusiastic on my joining Port Qasim Authority PQA, and he took me to the general manager (planning & development), Chaudhry Nissar Ahmad, and asked him for my posting in his department of works planning & programming. Makhdoom was a lively person and besides being my immediate boss, he was more of a friend. Our equation turned out to be so good that we remained together for the rest of our days in port Qasim, until he retired two years ahead of me.