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Pak army officer wins coveted honour at Sandhurst.

SANDHURST, South West England, 09 April ,2009 (Balochistan Times) --Junior Under officer Umair Imran Qazi won the coveted Overseas Sword at the prestigious British Military Academy on Tuesday beating 42 cadets from 26 other countries for the singular prize. The 21-year-old Abbotabad-born officer received the honour from the British Defence Secretary John Hutton at the Sovereigns Parade having completed his 11 months training at one of the worlds oldest military training institute. There were 453 cadets on parade including 42 cadets from 26 overseas countries. However, 199 cadets including 18 from 16 countries passed out and received their commissions. Among them was Kevin Heath the first US cadet ever

to attend Sandhurst who took the best prize in the Communications and Applied Behavioural Science. The Sword of Honour or the Queens medal went to officer cadet Christopher Judge. In addition to being judged the best overseas cadet, Umair who will joining an armoured corps regiment on his return to Pakistan, also won a clutch of other awards. He won Prince Saud Abdullah prize for obtaining the best aggregate mark in academic subjects, the Pakistan Defence and International Affairs prizes for producing the best performance in Defence and International Affairs and the Brunei War Studies prize. The Overseas Sword is presented by Kuwait Ministry of Defence in memory of Sheikh Ali Al Sabah, a former Defence Minister of the oil rich country. Cadets from Bahrain, Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Omar, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE, Uganda and USA also passed out at the impressive ceremony held on a cold and blustery day. Umairs father Lt.Col Muhammad Imran of the Army Education Corps and his mother were also present on the occasion and both looked with obvious joy at the passing out of their son. This is indeed a great honour not only for my family but also for the country as well, said the senior Army officer who travelled all the way from Gilgit to attend the event. Umair said: This was a great honour and privilege for me as well as for Pakistan that I have won this award from the prestigious academy. He said the credit also goes to the directing staff at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, for the efforts they put in his training. Umair further said the 11 months had been tough and hard but thanks to his initial training at Kakul he has been able to come out with flying colours at Sandhurst. The training at the PMA Kakul is one of the best in the world and so is here at Sandhurst although the focus at the two academies are quite different, said Umair adding that the experience he has gained at the UKs premier military institution will definitely assist him as his career progresses. Earlier, addressing the parade, the British Defence Secretary spoke of the challenges UK and the rest of the world faces in Afghanistan and said many of the British officers passing out this afternoon could be seeing action in the South West Asia soon.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 9, 2009
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