“The News” report by Murtaza Ali Shah
CAMBERLEY: A young Pakistani cadet won the prestigious “Sword of Honour” for overseas cadets at the annual Sovereign’s Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst here.Officer Cadet Muhammad Talha Zahid from Pakistan Army attended the academy during 2011/12 along with cadets from well over 30 countries.
“I am the 5th Pakistani cadet to have achieved this honour since Pakistan Military Academy started sending its graduates here. I am thankful to my trainers and my family for all the encouragement they have provided. I am honoured that I was able to win this for Pakistan,” he told Geo News in an interview.
Not only this, Talha Zahid also became the first ever cadet here for a single year to have also won awards in the categories of The Best Student (Best in Over all Academics), the Best in Defence Studies and the Best in International Affairs Studies.
The second Pakistani Officer Cadet was Waleed Bashir whose Regiment was declared the best. He told Geo News: “I am honoured that I was able to attend the prestigious Sandhurst Academy. The experience was brilliant and we were able to meet cadets from all over the world. Every cadet seemed very impressed with the professionalism Pakistan army exhibits. Pakistan’s recognition this year is testimony to the fact that Pakistan Army is one of the best armies in the world.”
His Royal Highness Filed Marshal the Duke of Kent, who was the chief guest for the annual parade said Talha excelled in every area of the training and proved that he was the best cadet for the honour. Addressing more than 300 cadets, the Duke of Kent told the young cadets that soon they will join duty at the front line, including in trouble spots such as Afghanistan, and they are always expected of delivering the best professional service. He told the cadets that their success was only a one stage forward to becoming effective officers and testing conditions awaited them. He said the course at the Sandhurst was deliberately designed to bring out the best amongst the cadets.
Wajid Shamsul Hasan, High Commissioner of Pakistan and Colonel Omer Ahmed Bokhari, Army and Air Adviser attended the commissioning ceremony.Wajid Shamsul Hasan commented: “The commissioned officer has shown how Pakistan has a premium army which is becoming ever more renowned for its high professional caliber and the ethos that it teaches to the young cadets like the ones who have made their country proud here today.”
Waleed Bashir’s parents travelled from Bagh Azad Kashmir especially for this occasion. “We are overjoyed that Pakistan has won the Sword of Honour this year,” they said.