Wisdom Pearls – 22

  • There are four causes of infidelity and loss of belief in Allah: hankering after whims, a passion to dispute every argument, deviation from truth; and dissension, because whoever hankers after whims does not incline towards truth; whoever keeps on disputing every argument on account of his ignorance, will always remain blind to truth, whoever deviates from truth because of ignorance, will always take good for evil and evil for good and he will always remain intoxicated with misguidance. And whoever makes a breach (with Allah and His Messenger) his path becomes difficult, his affairs will become complicated and his way to salvation will be uncertain. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • The worst un-sociableness is that of vanity and self-glorification; and the best nobility of decency exhibits itself in politeness and in refinement of manner. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • The sin which makes you sad and repentant is more liked by Allah than the good deed which turns you arrogant. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • Be afraid of a gentleman when he is hungry, and of a mean person when his stomach is full. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • To refrain from unlawful and impious source of pleasures is an ornament to the poor and to be thankful for the riches granted is the adornment of wealth. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • An ignorant person will always overdo a thing or neglect it totally. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • He who is greedy is disgraced; he who discloses his hardship will always be humiliated; he who has no control over his tongue will often have to face discomfort. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • A conceited and self-admiring person is disliked by others; charity and alms are the best remedy for ailments and calamities; one has to account in the next world for the deeds that he has done in this world. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • Unfortunate is he who cannot gain a few sincere friends during his life and more unfortunate is the one who has gained them and then lost them (through his deeds). (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • Every person who is tempted to go astray, does not deserve punishment. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • Your society will pass through a period when cunning and crafty intriguers will be favoured by status, when profligates will be considered as well-bred, well-behaved and elegant elites of the society, when just and honest persons will be considered as weaklings, when charity will be considered as a loss to wealth and property, when support and help to each other will be considered as favour and benevolence and when prayers and worship to Allah will be taken up for the sake of show to gain popularity and higher status, at such times regimes will be run under the advice of women and the youngsters will be the rulers and counsellors of the State. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • Value of a man depends upon his courage; his veracity depends upon his self-respect and his chastity depends upon his sense of honour. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)
  • I appreciate an old man’s cautious opinion more than the valour of a young man. (Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talib RA)

A ‘masterpiece’ by man is a work of art…. Handcrafted with love, skilled with passion, designed with excellence and imperfected by its unique flaws… A Masterpiece by God is nothing but perfect…. [A dedication to Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Nayyara Noor]





Wisdom Pearls – 21


  • Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. (Dale Carnegie)
  • It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently. (Warren Buffett)
  • It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to be a man of value. (Albert Einstein)
  • Integrity is one of several paths, it distinguishes itself from the others because it is the right path, and the only one upon which you will never get lost. (M. H. McKee)
  • A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, ‘I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, violent one, the other wolf is the loving compassionate one.’ The grandson asked him, ‘Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?’ The grandfather answered, ‘The one I feed.’ (Blackhawk)
  • Toxic vocabulary words:
    • But: Negates any words that are stated before it.
    • Try: Presupposes failure.
    • If: Presupposes that you may not.
    • Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener.
    • Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen.
    • Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen implies guilt
    • Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn’t actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen.
    • Can’t / Don’t: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error.

Grand words by a Legend…

hemingway-quotes-above-earth (1).jpg


  • The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.
  • Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.
  • Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.
  • But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
  • The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.
  • There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
  • Courage is grace under pressure.
  • There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.
  • I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?


More here

How a Polish World War II fighter pilot became a national hero in Pakistan

Pakistan’s Polish Patriot

Air Commodore Władysław Turowicz -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Air Commodore Władysław Turowicz -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.

‘Our Man in Karachi’

Recently declassified files reveal how the Polish secret services tried to recruit a Pakistani hero as a spy

by Natalia Laskowska


Turowicz’s health was deteriorating. He knew he was a financial burden to his family. It would come as no surprise if he committed suicide, a Polish intelligence officer wrote in 1971.

Wadysaw Józef Marian Turowicz was one of the refugee pilots from Poland who joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and fought for Britain during the Second World War. No longer needed by the Allies after the war and unwelcome in their newly communist homeland, some of the pilots settled in Pakistan and helped to establish one of the most admired air forces in the world at the time.

An aeronautical and astrophysics engineer in addition to being an avid pilot, he would go on to rise to the rank of Air Commodore and also headed up its space and missile programmes. Pakistan would bestow numerous national and military honours on him, and also grant him and his family Pakistani citizenship.

He helped establish the Pakistan Air Force and was known as the godfather of Pakistan’s space and missile programme.But Air Commodore Władysław Turowicz (pronounced Vuadisuav Turovich) was a Pole who became a Pakistani hero.


A Polish man who became the national hero of Pakistan. His name does not exist on the pages of Polish history, but he figures in the records of Służba Bezpieczestwa, or SB, the security service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the People’s Republic of Poland, which allocated a big budget and a group of its best men to recruit Air Commodore Turowicz into its structures.

“Did he spy against Pakistan?” I asked the employee of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw who guided me through the microfilms on Turowicz and his family.


The institute has recently opened to the public thousands of files from the notorious agency which was the main intelligence organisation in communist Poland from 1956 until the end of the People’s Republic in 1989.

“It is not clear, there’s been no research on the Polish pilots in the Pakistan Air Force, so you must go through all these files to find out. But I hope he didn’t, those pilots were people of better sort, of much higher standards,” he said leaving me with SB reports, intercepted letters to family members, photographs, bills, medical checks, conversation transcripts, and handwritten notes of several agents involved in recruiting Turowicz.

Turowicz with other officers (Chaklala, 1954) -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Turowicz with other officers (Chaklala, 1954) -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.


The SB’s preliminary note says Turowicz, with his high rank in the Pakistani military, huge respect and knowledge, would be a valuable asset for the organisation. It seems they became interested in recruiting him when he joined the national space agency after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and further reinforced their efforts when Pakistan was about to launch its nuclear program.

According to the biographical file, Turowicz was born in 1909, in Wadziejewsko village, Siberia, to an aristocratic family. The very Polish name of the village might suggest it was colony for Poles imprisoned or exiled by the Tsar; it is also unlikely that Polish aristocrats would live far in the Amur valley, on the border of Russia and China, for reasons other than political.

In 1920, with his parents and siblings, Turowicz began the journey to Poland which finally was a sovereign republic again after 150 years when Russia, Prussia and Austria annexed its lands.

They reached Poland in 1922, and settled down in Warsaw. After matriculation, Turowicz was enrolled at the Faculty of Aviation of the Warsaw University of Technology. A brilliant aeronautical engineer, he graduated with honours.

He liked air racing. In 1936, at the Warsaw Aero Club, he met his future wife Zofia who, at the age of 20, was already a famous glider pilot. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Turowicz — then a Polish Air Force lieutenant — was stationed in south-western Poland. He received the order to retreat to Romania and was soon locked up in an internment camp. Zofia found him there in 1940, and somehow managed to receive permission for them to marry.

In autumn 1940, they began the journey to the West. Through Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland and France, they reached England. Turowicz joined the Royal Air Force as a flying instructor and a test pilot.

Turowicz being decorated by President Ayub Khan in 1966 for meritorious service to the Pakistan Air Force -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Turowicz being decorated by President Ayub Khan in 1966 for meritorious service to the Pakistan Air Force -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.


The first SB officer in charge of recruiting Turowicz reported he could not get accustomed to life in England and left when an opportunity arose in 1948. That opportunity was in the newly formed state of Pakistan and he moved with 30-odd other Polish pilots to RAF’s base in Karachi.

The statement is unconvincing. Unfortunately, documents on the group of Polish pilots who helped establish the Pakistan Air Force remain classified in Great Britain, which had seen over 8,000 Polish air personnel arriving on its shores in 1940. Many of them, who could no longer fight in their country which had been torn to pieces by the Nazis and Soviets, believed they could strive against the German Luftwaffe from the sceptred isle.

Polish Squadron 303 was considered the best unit in the Battle of Britain.

But the RAF no longer needed them after the war. Neither did Poland. Many pilots who returned after the war were imprisoned by the new communist regime. The government of Pakistan chose 30 Polish officers from the RAF, offering them three-year contracts and a home when they could not return to their land of original belonging.

A beautiful documentary film directed by Anna Pietraszek, Polish Eaglets Over Pakistan (2008), has thus far been the only attempt to bring them back — or at least their names — to Poland.

A monument in honour of Turowicz at the Pakistan Air Force Museum -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.
A monument in honour of Turowicz at the Pakistan Air Force Museum -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.


Group Captain (retd) S. Ahtesham A. Naqvi of PAF spoke to Pietraszek about how, even after 60 years, he remembered the Polish pilots as his teachers, instructors at the Pakistan Air Force Academy in Risalpur, and friends.

“Poles came to help us when we were abandoned by everyone else,” he says in the documentary.

The Poles might have felt the same.

Plaque at PAF Museum Karachi
Plaque at PAF Museum Karachi



Air Vice Marshal M. Akhtar, Air Commodore Kamal Ahmad and Squadron Leader Ahmad Rafi remember them as kind, noble and soft-spoken. They were not “foreigners” they say; Turowicz was “like an elder brother.”

Akhtar says that the first thing that impressed him and which he found endearing was that Turowicz, as a senior officer, had the privilege to be served food in his own room but would always come to eat at the canteen with the younger pilots.

In SB files, the agent described him as “a Pakistan enthusiast.” He interpreted Turowicz’s enthusiasm as “a debt of gratitude.”


Turowicz was interested in everything related to Poland. All of the SB agents involved in the operation to enlist him — diplomats, representatives of a foreign trade agency or engineers — observed that Turowicz was a “pre-war kind of patriot.” They were convinced this deep, idealistic patriotism only needed a proper material incentive to have him recruited, especially as his health and the family’s financial situation were not good; Zofia had to become a physics and mathematics teacher to support them.

‘Pre-war’ in the Polish language is charged with meaning other than chronological. Years ago, when it could still be used for people, my grandmother would recommend a doctor as “a good pre-war physician.” My mother, who had not witnessed the war, often mentions ‘pre-war’ manners or gallantry if a man has to be described as courteous. We all know the pre-war intelligentsia was of better quality, higher moral standards. In this term there is a lot of what Pakistanis call lehaaz — good upbringing, graciousness.

Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz (Second from right), Mrs Zofia Turowicz (Third from left) with other officers and cadets (1954, Chaklala)
Air Commodore Wladyslaw Turowicz (Second from right), Mrs Zofia Turowicz (Third from left) with other officers and cadets (1954, Chaklala)


Between 1918 and 1939, Poland saw remarkable economic and scientific developments, the flourishing of mathematics, philosophy and psychology. The famous Lwów-Warsaw school of thought was then at the height of its international recognition. The Second World War, followed by nearly half a century behind the iron curtain, cut this legacy off in every possible sense.

It was surprising, at the very least, to see the ‘pre-war’ attribute used by SB functionaries; to many Poles now their agency remains the most despicable manifestation of Poland’s post-war reality.

Turowicz is buried at the Karachi Christian Cemetery -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.
Turowicz is buried at the Karachi Christian Cemetery -Photos by Tahir Jamal/White Star. Courtesy Pakistan Air Force Museum.


While reading the letters of Turowicz family members or persons who posed as their friends, I could not contain the feeling of guilt. Going through personal correspondence and reports of those who intercepted it, feels like two-fold eavesdropping. At some point the agents seemed to be close with Turowicz. Maybe a real friendship was established — if anything meaningful can flourish from an unequal relationship based on a betrayal of intimacy.

Through the archive files I entered Turowicz’s private life without invitation and with helplessness. In films, when our heroes are in danger, sometimes we want to warn them and change the course of what has already happened — it was the same kind of futile desire to intervene.

Statue of Turowicz at PAF Museum Karachi.
Statue of Turowicz at PAF Museum Karachi.


In 1966, the SB approached Turowicz’s eldest daughter who was visiting her aunt and grandmother in Warsaw. A handsome officer was put in charge of courting her to gain an entry point to her father. He could have been successful, as even the aunt and grandmother saw in him a potential husband for the young lady. But the story ended soon, as another agent stationed in Pakistan had already begun to establish a cordial relationship with Turowicz himself.

It seems the first attempt at recruitment was unsuccessful. During a reception hosted by a Polish diplomat, one of the guests who allegedly represented the Polish Air Force, insisted on a one-to-one conversation Turowicz. After a while Turowicz left the party.

In 1970, Turowicz visited Poland for the first time after the war, to receive treatment at a well-known orthopaedic clinic near Warsaw. A doctoral student in engineering was placed at the same clinic to seek Turowicz’s help in translating English technical terms. On the last day, the student asked whether Turowicz loved Poland enough to do something for its benefit.

AOC SAC receiving Consul General, Republic of Poland at the PAF Museum-14 August 2006.
AOC SAC receiving Consul General, Republic of Poland at the PAF Museum-14 August 2006.

Turowicz certainly loved Poland, but that Poland was already owned by the past, or maybe it never existed. His Poland was a collection of nostalgias — inherited from parents in Siberia and later his own, and informed by pre-war nobility and honour.

A few days after the incident with the agent in student garb, the Polish diplomat who had befriended Turowicz’s family in Karachi invited him and his sister for a dinner in Warsaw. Discussion focused on a rumour that the Polish Communist Party’s secretary’s translator was a spy and had escaped to Germany. After a long silence, Turowicz confessed he had met many spies, especially during the Indo-Pakistani war. He said they were slimy, worthless people, men without qualities, whom he would never let close.

He then raised his voice: “I will never become one of them.”

The file ends with signatures, stamps of senior officers and a note that the operation was aborted since all further attempts to recruit Turowicz would be to no avail.

The writer is a Jakarta-based Polish translator and doctoral candidate in Southeast Asian studies at Leiden University. She tweets @cukiereczki.

Air Commodore Turowicz

A retired group captain from PAF recalls the most unlikely Pakistani soldier

by S. M Hali

Of the many post-Second World War episodes, one which merits attention is that of a group of Polish officers and men, who had sought refuge in Britain after their homeland was invaded by Germany. Most volunteered for the armed forces; a considerable number joined the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Air Commodore Władysław Turowicz
Air Commodore Władysław Turowicz


When Pakistan offered them three-year contracts with high salaries, 30 Polish officers choose to join the Royal Pakistan Air Force (RPAF) as it was known then. (‘Royal’ was dropped in 1956 when Pakistan became a Republic). They were led by Squadron Leader Wadysaw Józef Marian Turowicz, a pilot and engineer. He was commissioned in the Polish Air Force as an aeronautical engineer and fighter pilot, but later immigrated to the United Kingdom to join the RAF.

During the Second World War, he flew the British-built Handley Page Halifax Bomber and also served in the RAF Aeronautics Division as a technical inspector, overseeing aircraft electrical and system information for organising, testing, and evaluating aircraft.

When Turowicz joined the Royal Pakistan Air Force in 1948, he brought his tremendous skills and knowledge with him. He set up technical institutes in Karachi, and taught at and revitalised the Pakistan Air Force Academy where he also worked as chief scientist. In 1952, Turowicz was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, in 1959, to the rank of Group Captain, and in 1960 he became an Air Commodore and an Assistant Chief of Air Staff in charge of PAF’s Maintenance Branch.

Air HQ staff circa 1961-Turowicz seated extreme right.
Air HQ staff circa 1961-Turowicz seated extreme right.


In 1966, the Government of Pakistan transferred Turowicz to the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), Pakistan’s national space agency, as its chief scientist. After the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, he and Nobel laureate Dr. Abdus Salam successfully convinced the then president, Ayub Khan, of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like Pakistan. The duo also persuaded the US Government to invest and train Pakistan’s scientists in the field of rocket technology.

Turowicz was appointed head of Suparco in 1967 where he initiated the space programme, upgraded the Sonmiani Satellite Launch Centre, installed the Flight-Test Control Command, the Launch Pad Control System and System Engineering Division. Turowicz embarked upon a project for the fabrication and launch of a Pakistani satellite which enabled Pakistan to master the field of rocket technology. Few people are aware that the renowned engineer designed ballistic missiles of short and medium range and also participated in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program.

Mrs Zofia Turowicz (third from left) with other instructors and cadets (Chaklala,1954)
Mrs Zofia Turowicz (third from left) with other instructors and cadets (Chaklala,1954)


Turowicz was killed in a car crash on January 8, 1980. He was buried with full military honours. For his meritorious service, Turowicz was honoured with many awards including the Sitara-i-Pakistan, the Tamgha-i-Pakistan, the Sitara-i-Khidmat, the Sitara-i-Quaid-i-Azam, the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the Abdus Salam Award in Aeronautical Engineering and the ICTP Award in Space Physics. The Pakistan Air Force placed a memorial in honour of Air Commodore Turowicz at the PAF Museum while Suparco established the Wadysaw Turowicz Space Complex in Lahore.

A side note: Zofia, Turowicz’s wife also contributed to the Pakistan Air Force in her own way. She taught gliding to Shaheen Air Cadets in Karachi and Rawalpindi, and applied mathematics and particle physics at Karachi University. She too was honoured by Pakistan’s government for her achievements and was awarded the Pride of Performance and Sitara-i-Imtiaz.

Life sketch at PAF Museum Karachi
Life sketch at PAF Museum Karachi


Source: www.dawn.com/news/1287122/pakistans-polish-patriot

Wisdom Pearls – 20

  • Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
  • The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you. (Lewis Smedes)
  • Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. (G.K. Chesterton)
  • The more you extend kindness to yourself, the more it will become your automatic response to others. (Wayne Dyer)
  • The natural state of a human being is dignity. (Robert F. Kennedy)
  • The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. (Ann Landers)
  • The greatest advantage of speaking the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said. (Anonymous)
  • Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. (Anonymous)
  • If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it. (William James)
  • The secret of my success is a two word answer: Know people. (Harvey S. Firestone)
  • Look for the good in every person and every situation. You’ll almost always find it. (Brian Tracy)


Wisdom Pearls – 19

  • When something weighs on your conscience, give it up. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH).
  • Speak to people according to the development of their consciousness, for if you speak all things to all people, some cannot understand you and so fall into errors! (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)
  • The proud will not enter Paradise, nor a violent speaker. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)
  • A Muslim who mixes with people and puts up with their inconveniences, is better than one who does not mix with them, and bear with patience. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)
  • Verily God instructs me to be humble and lowly and not proud and that no one should oppress another. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)
  • Humility and courtesy are acts of piety. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)
  • The man who is most hateful to God is the one who quarrels and disputes most. (Prophet Muhammad PBUH)