Villagers and kin of Lt. Gen. Hariz euphoric over his elevation

Villagers and kin of Lt. Gen. Hariz euphoric over his elevation

September 24, 2016

By Hassan Cheruppa
Saudi Gazette

An entire village and members of a family in the southern Indian state of Kerala are euphoric over the assumption of duty by Lt. Gen. P.M. Hariz as General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command of the Indian Army. Banners congratulating the ‘great son of the village’ were raised in the village of Kuttikadavu, Cheruppa, 16 km from the city of Kozhikode, after news about Hariz assuming command of the largest geographical formation of the Indian Army recently. Lt. Gen. Hariz took over the post from Lt. Gen. Bipin Rawat, who has proceeded to Delhi to assume duties of Vice Chief of Army Staff.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, many family members and neighbors of Lt. Gen. Hariz said that his new position gave them big joy and excitement, and they are proud of his dedicated service at such a senior level in one of the largest armies in the world.

Lt. Gen. Hariz is the eldest son of Pattiarimmal Mohamed Ali, who died in 2009 after retiring from service as Communications Officer of Trichy airport in the state of Tamil Nadu. His mother Amina, daughter of late Mammumaster of Poolakkadavu, Kozhikode, was a teacher who expired early in 1962. His father Mohammed Ali later married Fathima, who hails from Mathilakam of Trichur District. Late Fathima Mohammed Ali had served as Superintendent of Women Vigilance Homes in Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Department.

Zarina Hariz, daughter of Late Col. E.P.M. Rahman from Wandoor in the Malappuram district, is his wife. Zarina is closely associated with activities of Army Welfare Association and is actively involved in empowerment of women with special emphasis on education and healthcare. The couple have one son and daughter — Zoheb and Shaistha. Zoheb is a commissioned officer in a Mechanized Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army, while Shaistha is a special educator in the British Council School, New Delhi. She will be going to UK for her Master’s degree in special education at University College of London.

[caption id="attachment_86792" align="aligncenter" width="700"]One of the banners congratulating Lt. Gen. Hariz being raised in his native village. — SG photos One of the banners congratulating Lt. Gen. Hariz being raised in his native village. — SG photos[/caption]

Hariz has two siblings; his sister Adv. Shameem has been practicing for more than 30 years and is currently a senior lawyer at Bandra Family Court in Mumbai. Younger brother Arif had served in the Indian Navy as a Commander and after taking voluntary retirement now works with Crimson Energy Experts Pvt. Ltd as Senior Engineering Consultant while his wife Sahana Arif from Kodungallur is the principal of Vidyashilp Public School Pune.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette over phone from Mumbai, Shameem said that the entire family was extremely excited and jubilant over the new appointment of her elder brother. She said, “He is a role model for our family. His best quality is his down-to-earth character and maintaining close association with family members. His qualities of professionalism, hard work, dedication, honesty, perseverance, and high spirit of patriotism have enabled him to scale the ladder of success. In spite of his success he is humble and empathetic to one and all, and has maintained very good rapport with his kith and kin.” She added that her entire family feels honored having presented a great son to serve the army of this great nation.

Shameem lives in Mumbai along with her husband Dr. Syed Ismail, who is an engineer and is now engaged in business. The couple have a daughter Jennifer who is doing her MBA at the University of San Diego. “My brother has a residential apartment in Kozhikode where he stays whenever he comes on leave. During all his visits, he and his wife Zarina always visit their family members and relatives. Last year, during his visit in Ramadan, he organized an iftar party for family members with whom he always maintains close contacts,” she added.

Nelluli Subair, additional sub inspector of Police at Kozhikode Medical College station, and cousin of Hariz, says that the new appointment is a matter of immense pride and delight to the entire family and to his native village of Kuttikadavu, Cheruppa. “Almost on a daily basis, he keeps in touch and sends messages with inspiring and motivational quotes. He used to call daily to know the condition of my mother Fatima, who is his paternal aunt, since her condition had worsened over the last few days. Fatima passed away on Sunday.”

Subair said he got inspired from his cousin and hence he also had a passion to join the Indian Army. “Even though I was selected to the Madras Regiment, being the only son, my mother was against me joining the Army. However, I later joined the Kerala police service.”

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, other family members of Lt. Gen. Hariz expressed their happiness over the remarkable achievements made by him. “Coming from a humble background, his grandfather Pattiarimmal Abdurahman was a farmer and participated in the freedom struggle. His father, Mohamed Ali was a self-educated man, who initially worked as a teacher and later joined the Royal Indian Airforce. After partition, he along with many others were demobilized and laterally inducted into the Civil Aviation Ministry, where he worked in the Communication Department, and retired as an Assistant Communications Officer,” said M.M. Mohammed Abdul Razaq, who married Asia, sister of Mohamed Ali. “Mohamed Ali worked hard to educate his three children,” said Abdul Razaq who retired from the Kerala police force after serving for about 35 years.

Aminakutty and Mariyakkutty teacher, other sisters of Mohammed Ali, also expressed their happiness over the great successes made by their nephew. Mariyakkutty, who retired from service as headmistress of an elementary school in the nearby village of Kuttikkattur, said that Hariz maintains close contact with his relatives. “He is fond of maintaining intimate contacts with us and finds time to meet his relatives frequently. It is a matter of great pride and honor to our family and village that one of our family members has attained such an important appointment and responsibility,” she said while praising and applauding the efforts of Hariz. Mariyakutty’s son Ashraf is an engineer in Kerala State Electricity board and Aminakutty’s son Abdulsalam is the senior inspector of RPF, who were also highly elated about their cousin’s elevation.

[caption id="attachment_86793" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Lt. Gen. Hariz dpays homage to martyrs at the National War Memorial in Pune. Lt. Gen. Hariz dpays homage to martyrs at the National War Memorial in Pune.

The family members of Zarina Hariz, including her mother Khadeeja, brother Asif Elat, and sister Farida were extremely ecstatic over the elevation of Lt. Gen. Hariz while M.M. Hajarah, a cousin of Hariz, spoke of his affectionate and innocent nature, and pleasing character even while holding key army posts. “He showed keen interest to visit us at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands even in the midst of a hectic schedule,” said Hajarah, who has been working as a teacher of biology at the Government Model Senior Secondary School in Port Blair for nearly 30 years. Ashraf Kakkodi, a footballer turned industrialist, said that Hariz has become a big source of inspiration for their family members. Hariz’s son, Zoheb is married to Farah, daughter of Ashraf Kakkodi, a former player of Kerala state football team.

After assuming command on Thursday, Lt. Gen. Hariz laid a wreath at the National War Memorial in Pune and paid homage to the martyrs. Thereafter, he was given a Guard of Honor. Prior to the current appointment, he was general officer commanding in chief at Army Training Command in Shimla.

Hariz did his schooling from Sainik School, Amravati Nagar in Tamil Nadu. He is an alumnus of the National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla. On completion of basic military training from Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun in 1978, he was commissioned into 12 Mechanized Infantry Battalion, and later commanded 19 Mechanized Infantry Battalion (Recce and Support). Later, he attended all the mandatory army courses, including the prestigious Staff Course at Camberly (UK), Higher Command Course at Mhow and National Defense College at Delhi.

Lt. Gen. Hariz has a vast experience of serving on prestigious staff and command appointments. He also has the unique distinction of holding various United Nations appointments, including a combined tenure as Military Observer, Chief Personnel Officer, and Regional Commander in Angola.

He served as instructor at Infantry School in Mhow and also at the prestigious Defense Services Staff College in Wellington. He has commanded a Battalion, Brigade, Division and Corps in the Western Sector. He also commanded an operational sub-area and has been on staff appointments at various levels at the Integrated Headquarters (Army) in New Delhi. The officer was decorated with Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal, and Vishisht Seva Medal.

September 24, 2016