On November 12th, 2023, an event was unfolded at the exquisite Wasena Wedding Hall, located near Anchorage in Islamabad. This event was nothing short of a heartwarming Farewell , a tribute orchestrated by Commodore Naseem Ghafoor, to bid adieu as Vice President of Pakistan Navy League Islamabad Chapter to the venerable Admiral Saleem Akhtar and his unwaveringly dedicated team.
FAREWELL TO ADMIRAL SALEEM AKHTAR AND HIS VERY DEVOTED AND DILIGENT TEAM
Admiral Saleem Akhtar has won the hearts and souls of all the retired officers residing in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi over the past five and a half years. Before he arrived on the scene numerous efforts were made to gather the retired officers into an organization but it never went beyond the first dinner. It was Vice Admiral Syed Kawar Shah and before him Rear Admiral M Z Shah who threw in the dice. When Captain Sharif Lillah moved to Islamabad, with his experience of organizing the Navy League at Karachi, he initially made some efforts but the response was not encouraging. There had to be a dashing Flag Officer who could make the dream come true and who could be better than Admiral Saleem.
In April 2018 Admiral Saleem Akhtar took over the mantle and has never looked back. Not only he had, well-motivated and devoted team members but above all had the experience and wisdom of Captain Sharif Lillah by his side..
The team progressed gradually but steadily overcoming all hurdles coming in their path. Who can forget that Grand dinner at the ARC Mess at the foot of Margalla Hills. The selection of the venue and we still remember how Sharif Lillah, Jang Sher, Iqtadar Khanzada, and Habib Tariq pooled their efforts to make a success of the occasion. They went to the Sabzi Mandi and bought all the items required to prepare the menu, they supervised the chefs and motivated them to show that naval chefs are second to none.
Khalid Owais prepared the seating arrangement so very meticulously, ensuring that there were Flag officers, with an assortment of all ranks seated on the big round tables from Commodores down to Lieutenants. Khalid also ensured the address system was tested well before the guests gathered for dinner. Admiral Saleem and his team were always present at the reception to welcome the guests. These were the details that made him and his team so very loveable and different from the rest of us.
Admiral Saleem Akhtar, you and your team will always be remembered for your awesome qualities. You have set the NLI on an even keel, In Sha Allah it is there to remain. But we will always remember you with respect for your very affectionate and well-mannered nature. Your moving from table to table and enquiring about one and all, will hang around us for years. Yes, Admiral Saleem Akhtar we will miss you a lot.
We wish you and your team the very best of luck. Wherever you go you will excel. Stay Blessed.