Monday, November 30, 2015

Visit to Pakistan Army Museum, Rawalpindi

Museums all around the world attract a large number of visitors and tourists for here in the museums one can see history compressed and preserved in a few halls and galleries. But unlike ordinary museums, army museums always attract visitors to see weapons from very close quarters otherwise only seen in movies and war documentaries and documents.

Rawalpindi in Pakistan has always been a military city and a garrison - or I would say it because of the the Rawalpindi garrison that the city thrived and became one of the important cities of Pakistan - located next to its capital Islamabad. 

And it is here, just a few hundred meters from the main entrance of Pakistan Army General Headquarters, is the Army Museum situated. Although the museum in its present location was established in 1961, but it is only recently that it has become one of the largest museums of Pakistan equipped with tons of military equipments and weapons dating back to centuries after centuries. 

Very recently, a friend of mine Major Imran along with his children visited the museum and I am sharing his photos after seeking his consent to present to my readers with a pictorial tour of his visit.

Depicting the address by Jinnah, founder of Pakistan, at a colour presentation ceremony of an army unit

The staff car used by General Muhammad Ayub Khan (later president of Pakistan) as first native commander in chief of the armed forces

Posing in front of the gallery of Chiefs of the Army Staff of Pakistan Army

The bows and arrows and armour of soldiers

The people of Pakitan - the Pakistan Army defends
A depiction of life of soldiers  at Siachen fighting at the highest battle of the world

Motorcyclists or the despatch riders (DR) play an important role in taking messages in the battlefield. With the passage of time, their role has somewhat been restricted due to more secure and speedier electronic means. Nevertheless, these still continue to play their important role even today. 

Motorcycles also give faster mobility to the military police personnel for traffic control and supervision of convoys and coordination of moves of large bodies of troops using the same axis or roads. 

My friend being from the air defence branch of the army seems to have spent more time in the army air defence pavilion - and his children too seem to interested in weapons and other pieces of information and historical value.

Imran's son posing in front of a painting depicting the Dacca airfield at Kurmitola, where one of the air defence regiments of Pakistan shot down 23 enemy aircraft and created a world record - the unit is known as The Glorious for its extraordinary performance

The junior crew of the artillery gun

Amid the arsenal

Imran's younger daughter posing in front of the uniforms of cadets of Pakistan Military Academy, specially that of a female cadet - may be one day she too gets the honour to wear the complete uniform, peak-cap already worn. 

It may be added that recently Pakistan Army, and Air Force and Navy as well, have opened doors for the females to join the forces and defend the country along with their brethren. Previously females were inducted only as doctors - now females are serving even fighter pilots. Recently, a brave daughter of the soil Flying Officer Mukhtiar perished in an air crash while on a training mission in a F-7P fighter aircraft.

Playing the trumpet

The artillery and armoured corps pavilion also include the Muzzle Loader Gun of Sher Shah Suri dated 16th century which was used by Sher Shah Suri against Ghakars of Punjab

Mules are very important means of transportation in the mountains and hilly areas. Despite the advancement in mobility means, mules continue to play an important part in supplying rations and ammunition to posts otherwise inaccessible by all mechanical means. Mules have the capability to hold ground and once they put their feet on ground, they stick to it and thus play as a very reliable means of transportation.

Outside the museum, a large number tanks, self propelled artillery, anti aircraft guns, vehicles and helicopters are displayed. Besides, emergency bridges for river crossing of tanks and statues of some warriors are displayed - prominent among these is the statue of Subedar Khuda Dad Khan: the first Indian, South Asian who got Victoria Cross at Holay Becks Belgium in 1914. The tanks also include Sherman Tank captured in Indo-Pak war of 1965 at Chamb Jaurian.

Imran with his daughter - could not select any of the three motorcycles/scooter 
The clock of the Khem Karan Railway station captured by Pakistan Army during 1965 Indo-Pakistan war

Should you want to visit the army Museum, here are the essential details:
Address: Iftikhar Khan Janjua Road , Rawalpindi, Pakistan , Rawalpindi , 46000 , Pakistan
(Located next to the Army Library - behind the Pearl Continental Hotel) 
Hours: 09:00-15:00 Wed-Mon, 09:00-12:00 Tue
Phone: 00-92-51-56132608, 00-92-51-56131449

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