Brigadier Farooq Ali has left us.

 FB Ali - 2 (2010)

"After the great and good fight, at the age of 92, Brig F.B.Ali has made his final graceful bow, and walked out into the sunset and beyond.

And in so doing, he has left the world a poorer place.

If one were to pick out the finest sons of the land, such a list would be incomplete without the Brigadier being included in it among the very top..

In him intellectual brilliance, moral rectitude, courage of conviction, and professional excellence came together in rare and felicitous harmony.

I first heard of him when an officer, some years my senior, with ill-concealed relief, thanked God for making the GHQ competitive essay "open" again.

Those were the days when there used to be an annual GHQ essay competition in which all officers could participate. For years on end FB won this competition, till at last GHQ decided to "open" the contest by withdrawing FB's right to participate!."


I will see you at the last jump, brother.  pl

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21 Responses to Brigadier Farooq Ali has left us.

  1. Scott Maurice Berry says:

    Just a moment to express a sincere and deep admiration for your taking the time and thought now and again to remember such men who have profoundly impacted you over the years; through your words and memories, even those of us who have neither met nor ever heard their names may offer our deep respect to them, and hope to let these glimpses of their stories shape our own lives in some small way.
    Aside/After your nod yesterday to serving in Central America in the ’60’s, mildly curious if you ever met LTC Thomas H Murray-? I have many fond memories of reading beside him in his vast foreign affairs library in the basement of his home in Arlington when I was a lad; those times instilled a life-long fascination of his field which continues in my admiration of your own good work here.
    Very Respectfully Yours,

  2. d74 says:

    The best always leave too soon.
    Thoughts to his family.

  3. Castellio says:

    My heartfelt condolences. FB Ali always said something worthwhile… He will be missed.

  4. Ali Mirza says:

    إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
    Very saddened to hear this
    I was by turn very surprised and gratified to discover Brig FB Ali through the posts at Turcopolier. His book was revelatory for me wrt to the history of that period in Pakistan.
    I remain grateful to you Col Lang for having introduced me to this great gentleman soldier.
    My Allah rest his soul

  5. David Habakkuk says:

    I have missed his erudite and dispassionate interventions.
    Ave atque vale!
    The history of how Bhutto had Brigadier Ali and his associates thrown out of the service brings back a memory.
    The only occasion on which I ever visited Pakistan was when I was working as a producer at BBC Radio, on a programme I had joined shortly after the death of then President Zia ul-Haq, in a mysterious plane crash, in August 1988.
    The presenter the programme on which I was working used regularly, on matters dealing with the subcontinent, was John Keay, a distinguished historian of the region, who had a very extensive network of contacts.
    In a fascinating discussion of Zia for a programme we made together, an Air Vice Marshal in the Pakistan Air Force told us that Bhutto had appointed him chief of Army staff because he was a toady, and in so doing so sealed his own fate.
    The man he had thought could be relied upon to do what he was told was actually the only person in the military who would have gone so far as to have Bhutto hanged.

  6. JM Gavin says:

    He was a class act, and a true gentleman.
    Rest easy, we’ll meet at the ORP.

  7. I agree with JM Gavin. Brigadier Ali was a class act and a true gentleman. His character shined brightly in his every post and comment at SST. He was the living embodiment of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to share words with him. Hail and farewell, dear sir.

  8. John Minnerath says:

    I always enjoyed his comments here. He’ll be missed.

  9. Barbara Ann says:

    Brigadier Ali had the opportunity to be true to his honor at at a pivotal time in his young nation’s history. It cost him his liberty and his country and yet I detected no bitterness in his writings. Clearly a gentleman through and through, his passing is a great loss to the SST Committee of Correspondence.

  10. Jose says:

    My condolences to his family, the loss will be felt beyond the family.

  11. Mark K Logan says:

    The world as become a poorer place. Grace under pressure personified, a scholar, a gifted writer.
    Fair winds.

  12. Hal says:

    I am sad to hear this. I shall miss him.

  13. Fred says:

    My condolences to his family. I enjoyed his insights here on the blog and enjoyed reading his biography.

  14. He always struck me as an intelligent and well thought out writer. I certainly found his comments and posts interesting and enlightening. The world will certainly be a poorer place without him.
    My condolences to all who knew him.

  15. johnf says:

    I will miss his calm dispassionate comments and wry sense of humour.

  16. Ingolf Eide says:

    It’s marvellous to see so many kind and generous comments.
    Brigadier Ali became a good friend after our paths first crossed here at SST back in 2007. We’ve corresponded ever since and based on my experience he deserves all these accolades.
    He will indeed be greatly missed.

  17. harry says:

    What a fine obituary! My commiserations for your loss and may he rest in peace and honor!

  18. FkDahl says:

    He was a true gentleman, always wrote things of interest with a grasp of language far surpassing my own, and a man I would be honored to sit down for tea with

  19. Valissa says:

    The tide recedes, but leaves behind bright seashells on the sand.
    The sun goes down, but gentle warmth still lingers in the land.
    The music stops, and yet it echoes on in sweet refrains.
    For every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.
    — unknown
    I have been missing FB Ali’s wise and insightful commentary here and wondering what had become of him. Thanks for letting us know. My condolences to you Col. Lang, to his family, and to all who appreciated him.

  20. Kodlu says:

    Allah rahmet eylesin (RIP). I was grateful to read his contributions.

  21. The Beaver says:

    Thank you for informing us about Brig Ali’s death.
    I missed his posts and insightful comments on SST.
    Condolences to you and his family.
    Another good and well versed soldier who has departed from this world.

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