From First Post to Last Post' is a story of many people. It is your story, it is my story and it is the story of others to be. It is a well-illustrated account of the regimental life of a dedicated officer in love with the Pakistan Army.
The army is a world in itself, a part of a culture, a social milieu, yet an entity in itself. Only a veteran soldier who has spent a lifetime in its unique and self-contained environment can describe it best. This is a journey through army culture spread over three decades of contemporary soldiering. The first half of the book - 'Commanding Officers, Rank and File and Army Culture' - evinces a purely national outlook, covering aspects like the fading romance of a soldier and gradual drift in values.
The last half 'Messes and Clubs, Customs and Traditions and Saluting' - reflects an international character encompassing paradigms whose roots are embedded in the British Indian Army. It also bears an appendix on the cultural history of the Regiment of Artillery, the proud guardians of 'Izat-o-Iqbal'. An army survives and exists by dint of its traditions and values that flow and develop over time, quite often in the forms of unwritten laws and a code of ethics called 'customs of the services'. In a rapidly changing society, the army too has had its share of afflictions which have brought about a radical change in its outlooks.
The author has attempted to identify certain milestones, alluding to issues that deserve attention. He calls us back to our 1965 standards.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retd.) Ashraf Faiz hails from Makhad, a village in Attock District of the Punjab. Born in Peshawar, he received his early education at Saint Mary’s High School and Edward College, Peshawar. He was commissioned in the army in 1968 in 50 Light Regiment after undergoing an abbreviated training course at the PMA Kakul. As a young captain he saw action during the 1971 Indo-Pak war on the western front in the Sulaimanki and Kanganpur sectors. Serving in 288 Independent Motor Battery he fought under the fold of 105 Independent Infantry Brigade Group.
He is the author of 'The Prachgan', a study in the ethnology and ethnography of the Paracha tribe of Afghanistan, NWFP and Punjab, which has also been translated into Urdu.