Maj S M Rafi (Retd) breathed his last at PNS Shifa today at 98 years of age.
He was the senior most retired Army officer alive and a veteran of World War II (Burma campaign) and the tumultuous events of 1947 and 1965 war. However, his most crowning achievement was the military train he commanded in 1947. Loaded with tons of ammunition and hundreds of refugees aboard he virtually fought his way across a vast stretch of hostile Indian territory to safely reach Pakistan. The epic travel lasting days was marked by clashes with murderous Sikh hordes, damaged rail tracks and little food and water.
The Pakistan Army Museum still displays the keys of his Ordnance train.
Until dementia took his cognition away he was fond of narrating his horrendous experiences of 1947 in graphic detail. He lived a life of supreme honesty, humility, dignity and honour and was always full of praise for Pakistan Army. His lasting legacy should be a guiding light for us in the years to come.
“We are not giants on our own, but we appear as giants because we are standing on the shoulders of giants ‘.
As stated by many including Kamal Mustafa…. we salute you
Farewell to Maj SM Rafi (Retd); oldest and eldest Ordinance officer.
Born: 1 Jun 1919
Died: 16 Nov 2017 (Karachi)