Command and Staff College,
Quetta, Pakistan

Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin
Adjutant General British Army Graduate of Staff Course 1980


b1 When I cast my mind back I see a wonderful country. I think of what we were doing here at the Staff College. All those events, Meena Bazar where the Canadian officer and I were in charge of the Beef Burger stall. I will always remember of making no fewer than 2000 beef burgers with my own hand".

`"At the Swimming Gala, in that great Olympic pool of yours up there, with its wonderful crystal clear water, you know that green colour, and bitterly cold, I remember nearly drowning there playing Water Polo in the swimming gala, simply because it was so cold".

"We had all these wonderful things to do and then of course it was all spoiled by the work. That very hard work starting in term one with those interminable appreciations. Indeed at the end of my first term I presented a bottle of red ink to my syndicate DS, because he had used so much on my paper".

"Of course, I remember those wonderful sub-syndicate discussions in the evenings. You would do great analysis of a problem, but first we would have our tea and cakes and that would take an hour and then some one would say that shall we put the maps together. There would be ten sheets of maps and we would pin them together and then there would be one sheet missing. But it didn't matter because the sheet had the objective on it and we were never going to reach there. Having exhausted ourselves placing these maps together, we then had more tea. By this stage, we the allied officers, we felt sleepy but we had to contribute and we made our plan. In the morning the DS would say that Major Alistair, would you give your sub-syndicate answer and I would launch forth with the answer and I would find that it wasn't the answer at all because after I had gone, a much better answer had been found. That I am afraid with my entire experience in Pakistan, my Pakistani brother officers always knew better than I do".

"Actually it's the people that I want to conclude my reminiscence because none of the country side, none of the great amusing events of the Staff College, indeed none of the work would have meant anything if it had not been for the people. I will always remember the warmth of your welcome when we arrived in Quetta in January 1980 and the affectionate farewell you gave us when we left in December 1980”.