Command and Staff College,
Quetta, Pakistan

Address by Sahabzada Muhammad Yaqub Khan

b1I thought hard on what to say on an epoch making occasion such as this, which we have the good fortune to participate, where memories have been stirred, where a century of historical developments have taken place. Only one thought that I would mention is that within this half a square mile of territory where we are sitting for over a century, there have been the highness of military minds that have confabulated together, that have discussed, and that have lived those vibrations. The buildings abound with echoes of those past personalities who have made their history imprinted on us. All this we know, which has inspired us and we love to be under the enchantment of these thoughts because they are present with us here. The epic of this meeting is that the ghosts of those people metaphorically come and are supposed to be our companions. This feeling does not occur often. They have enveloped us rather than we enveloping them and it is good that such a spirit is there.

If you have to ask a question from a student from among all our generations that have gone through these courses, ask him, "What did you learn?" He may think that it is a phony question for which he cannot give a phony answer. He may not know from where to start and where to end. "I learned to think", that is a pearl of the highest price. All the rest, you must assimilate, you must internalize, and make your own because that is the strength of your profession. There is no greater joy than the joy of comprehension. I do not think this has been mentioned in any book. We know the joy of conversation, the joy of music or the art but the purest joy is the joy of comprehension. If, at the end of every exercise or study period etcetera, you take 15 minutes for yourself and ask yourself the question, "What did I learn from this exercise, discussion or exchange of views?"

I learned to think". I leave it to you as a pleasure gift that this capacity to learn to think will stand by you and this is what distinguishes the men from the boys
In all the human actions and organisations, there is something that you gather which is well beyond the subject under discussion and begins to contribute to that question that, "I learned to think". I leave it to you as a pleasure gift that this capacity to learn to think will stand by you and this is what distinguishes the men from the boys. This is not the product of some inspiration but is acquired by gradual and steady thought. It is not so much that you know something but you must think about what you know. If after every exercise, you make it a private promise to yourself to think as to what did the speaker say? What was the essence of all this? Who did he think? Was his thinking false or otherwise? Carry out a critique of yourself. Then the answer from all this will emerge for you; the answer of what I learned was how to think. This is a tough undertaking but worthy of pursuit. There is a stress on this because we are moving into a world of transformation, the like of which almost the mankind had not known. The Newtonian and Cartesian sciences on which the greatness of mankind rests and which it is proud of, are passing. Something new is coming. The five senses will not work; the sixth sense has to be developed. The mind that has learned to inquire to be conscious and be conscious of the consciousness and at the end can say yes, he learned something at this institution "learned to think", will be successful. Without this weapon he will be disoriented and bewildered and moving in the world without a compass.

I would die with the satisfaction that I passed on the pearl of the highest price that I gained through a lifetime.