As young officers in the army we were taught that salutes were not to be acknowledged but to be returned. It is a sign of mutual respect for each other. However, I noticed that during the recent visits of the Prime Minister to Quetta and two days later to China some of the air crew of the PM’s special plane stood at attention, at the foot of the stair, as per protocol and dutifully saluted him smartly as he alighted from the plane. But sadly, what to talk of even acknowledging the salutes with a wave of his hand or a nod of his head, the PM just walked past entirely ignoring them and their salutes! No, Sir, Mr PM, the courtesy demands that you should at least acknowledge their salutes and thank them for making your flight safe and pleasant before proceeding to shake hands of the lined up dignitary. Please allow me to say here that most of us are not aware of such small matters of protocol and I do not blame them for it, but it is the duty of the Protocol Officer or the PM’s Military Secretary to apprise him of such small protocol customs and rituals beforehand.COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD), Rawalpindi, July 3.