Major General (Retd) Hakeem Arshad Qureshi (SJ) was born in Gujrat in a prominent Kashmiri family on November 1, 1932. His father, Hakeem Chiragh Ali, was a well-known defence lawyer who had a brilliant mind, mastery over criminal law and a flourishing practice. Arshad had his father's dedication to his profession as a soldier. Having joined service when Ayub's martial law was into its third year (1962), I have interacted with generals frequently. But in ability, competence and professional knowledge, Arshad figured at the top. In retrospect, I am convinced he was COAS material; history of this country would have been different if that had happened. Arshad was a naturally good looking, charismatic man. My first memory of him as I write grieving his demise is from the early fifties in Murray College, Sialkot: a handsome, popular student who played an excellent game of hockey. After two years of college he went to the army, graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy in 1954. The next fragment is from the Services Club, Karachi in 1962 on a visit from Hyderabad. My late friend Abbas Hussain (we joined service the same year; he going to the CSP) and I were in town. Arshad was with his navy friends with whom he was doing training as a diver. Arshad and I remembered each other from Murray College but Abbas was meeting him for the first time. Many years later, in 1984 perhaps, when Arshad was DMLA Karachi; he instantly recognised Abbas from that evening together when Abbas came to his office. Another image is from Peshawar in 67 when I was posted in the Frontier Constabulary. Arshad was a Platoon Commander in PMA but came to do the parachute jumps at Peshawar. My younger brother, Shujaat, who was a Gentleman Cadet in PMA, had volunteered for the same training rather than go home on a term break I drove with my children to their landing area. We watched the two of them jump together. The children were thrilled as they saw commandos pour out of a C-130 shouting names of each other and crying with joy as their chutes opened, slowly descending to the ground. Soon afterwards Arshad was posted to Cherat with the SSG, a group he subsequently commanded (1977), and did many parachute jumps although he did not need to. Extending himself, he often did more than he needed to. When Arshad became a major general, his conduct remained impeccable. An honourable man of unimpeachable integrity and a decorated soldier [HI (M), SJ, S.Bt.] he was a hard task master in battle. But he demanded nothing of those in his command that he did not deliver himself. As the DG Pakistan Rangers, he made a presentation to Ms Benazir Bhutto, the prime minister, in the interior ministry where I was present too. Every inch a general, Arshad had his facts and figures at the tip of his fingers and there was no question (she asked many) that he dodged. He seemed to have worked out his argument to the end before he opened his mouth, reminding me of his eloquent father. Major General Hakeem Arshad Qureshi was one of the most intelligent generals I knew. He read extensively and was always aware of the issues facing us as a society, especially after the debacle of East Pakistan where he won the SJ while commanding 26th FF in Dinajpur. His brilliant book, a personal narrative, remains the best account of those difficult days. Many people believe the book should be compulsory reading in PMA. According to one general, the performance of 26 FF under Arshad's command was the finest lesson in military tactics. I know that Arshad's lasting regret in life was to lay down arms in East Pakistan under high command orders in the middle of a fight. He was convinced with good reason that they could have held on for several months. In later years Arshad and I used to have long discussions on politics. After Muhammad Ali Jinnah whom he nearly worshipped, he admired Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Their dashing field photograph together, Bhutto in a Mao cap and Arshad in working uniform, is on the dust jacket of Arshad's book. I know Arshad's considered view was that the army should stay away from politics. Last spring, when he had a brief respite from his wearing out disease that left him breathless, he said the politicians should be allowed to muddle through. Hakeem Arshad Qureshi fought many battles in his life and won most. He had been a remarkably fit person all his life. But unfortunately, and for me tragically, he lost in the end to a rare lung disease that he fought hard for nearly two years. On August 2, three months before his 76th birthday, the general died in a hospital in Lahore with his family around him. The writer is a former inspector general of police