Gen MacArthur while addressing the joint session of the houses of the USA, made a historical remark that , Old Soldiers never die they just fade away. Major general NK Baber, breathed his last in early hours of January 10 in Peshawar. He was a great leader of men, who infused confidence in his subordinates through his personal conduct. I first met him in 1970 as a captain, while Gen Baber was posted at Army Aviation Base Dhamial serving in the cpacity of Lt-Col. Once due to bad weather, he himself flew to air lift a seriously injured soldier and shifted him to the hospital. Gen Baber went to East Pakistan during the 1970 cyclones/elections, to organize the aviation effort. His mere presence there brought a very good name for the Army Aviation flying dangerous missions. During 1971 war Gen Baber was posted as commander artillery 23 Division in Chamb sector. Just a few days before the war, Army Aviation Flight was attached with HQ 23 division, and was placed directly under command of Brig Baber. This gave us an opportunity to observe him more closely. He went out of the way to expose himself to danger. He would always ask me to accompany him whenever he was going to Jhelum from the operational area. On our way from Padhar, he would give lift to any walking soldier/civilian, whom we met en route. Once an old lady insisted that she would also carry the firewood in the car. Gen Baber asked the old ladys fire wood to be carried in the following jeep and her clothing in the trunk of the staff car. All this delayed us by half an hour but Gen Baber sat quietly in the car all this time. This is how Gen Baber was, a caring senior officer and a great individual. Few months later Gen Baber was posted as IGFC, NWFP. This was a critical time, he was asked to reoccupy the western border in view of Dauds takeover in Afghanistan. He very ably, personally led the operation to reoccupy Razmak and other frontier posts with scouts. He was soon promoted as Major General and posted to newly raised infantry division. PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto seeing his potential wanted him back in NWFP told him to resign in order to be appointed as Governor to contain the aggressive designs of the new government in Afghanistan. He stayed as Governor from 1975 to July 1977. While as Governor NWFP, he got an ASI of police in Kohat, who committed a murder on Eid day arrested, tried and punished within three months of the murder. While he resigned and joined the Peoples Party, having refused to stay on as Governor on the desire of Zia-ul Haq, his old buddy Gen Fazal Haq now DMLA Peshawar let loose a reign of terror on him. He put him on trial for treason in a military court. But to the good luck of Gen Baber, the President of the Summary Military Court, a Lt Col was an old aviator, who did justice and released him. Gen N K Baber always remained a man of honour and remained loyal to PPP. He was the only force in NWFP opposing Zia-ul Haq. In 1988, he acted as senior advisor to Mohtrma Benazir Bhutto. He was a simple man. It was a common sight to see Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto along with Gen Baber, a security guard and the maid taking a walk with young Bilawal in the pram in the Rawalpindi Golf Club. In the same Golf Club, Gen Aslam Beg would be playing Golf with about thirty soldiers as security. Gen N K Baber was probably the only leader who spoke truth in public. He was steadfast in his struggle against Zia-ul Haq. He was brave and took bold actions while in the Army and after his retirement. He was the one who exposed the Mehran Bank scandal in the National Assembly. In the same case Air Marshal Asghar filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court, which is still pending for almost twenty years now. Gen NK Baber was fearless and took action in the best national interest, without ethnic or religious prejudice; whether it was operation in Karachi, Malakand, or Khyber agency. His daring action to get the hostage children in bus at Islamabad released without fear for his personal safety was highly acknowledged by the whole nation. It is unfortunate that no national leader from the PPP was at his funeral, though he had been Governor and Interior Minister. It is equally unfortunate that he was not given a burial he deserved. The Army Aviation Command also failed to give him the honour he deserved. LT COL MUHAMMAD SHAHBAZ (RETD), Lahore