Major Gen. Syed Sarfraz Hussain Hamdani HI (M)


 Obituary Note

Major Gen. Syed Sarfraz Hussain Hamdani HI (M)


Prof. Emeritus Lt. General Mahmud Ahmad Akhtar
Former Surgeon General Army/ DGMS (IS)

Major General (Prof) Syed Sarfraz Hussain Hamdani former Director – General (Chief Surgeon) of the Armed Forces Medical Services, passed away on the 10th of March 2018. The cause of his death was effects of a Transient Ischemic Attack. He was 87. He was born at Gujrat. He had his early education at Gujranwala and Faisalabad. He passed FSc Medical from the Government College, Fort Sund-e-man Baluchistan, where his father was posted serving in the Army Medical Corps. No wonder Maj General Hamdani had deep interest in the medical profession and the Army Medical Corps.

Major Gen. Syed Sarfraz Hussain Hamdani

In 1950, he joined the King Edward Medical College. In his first professional examination he stood first in Anatomy – won the Bali Ram gold medal. This revealed his passion for the discipline of surgery which he pursued later. Maj General Hamdani was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps in January 1956. After a few postings at the Field Medical units he was selected for training in Surgery.

He was trained at Rawalpindi under the supervision of Col. Saleem Ahmad Mian (later Lt. General Head of the Armed Forces Medical service) Chief Surgeon Pakistan Armed Forces and the legendary surgeon Lt. Col Shaukat Hassan (later Lt. Gen Chief Surgeon Armed Forces).

As a young surgeon he showed his prowess immense proficiency in surgery – his passion. Maj Gen. Hamdani was hard working, courageous and bold surgeon, meticulous, even-tempered and humane. He was married to Ms. Parveen, a charming, charismatic lady. She is the daughter of a senior Army Officer. They formed a good social couple. Maj Gen. Hamdani was very devoted to his family.

In 1962, Captain Hamdani was seconded to Ghanaian Armed Forces as a graded specialist in Surgery. He was posted to Military Hospital Accra, the Capital of Ghana where he earned laurels in performing surgical operation. There was an incident depicting his prowess in surgery. The senior surgeons were on leave visiting their countries – Captain Hamdani was holding the Fort. A British Major brought his wife with rupture of spleen while surfing on the Sea. The British Major declined his wife to be operated by a young Asian Surgeon. He wanted to fly his wife to U.K. Captain Hamdani informed him that his wife would not be able to survive the flight to UK. Captain Hamdani successfully operated upon her making a name for himself and his country. The British Major and the community of expatriates were extremely grateful to Captain Hamdani. Later the senior Surgeon returned from leave – the surgical unit celebrated the event and awarded him the title “The Gallant Major.” On completion of his deputation tenure Captain Hamdani took study leave and left for UK to obtain Fellowship in Surgery. On their way, he along with his family (wife and a few months old daughter) visited us at Lagos Nigeria where I was seconded to Nigerian Armed Forces Medical Service.

In the UK he earned his fellowship in surgery and joined his parent service in Pakistan. After a few postings at the Military hospitals, he was posted as a senior surgeon at the Pak Naval Hospital Shifa at Karachi. PNS Shifa at the time was being commanded by Naval Commodore Mohsin Pal (later Major General) Hamdani’s class fellow at the KEMC. General Hamdani was promoted Professor of Army Medical College Rawalpindi and Surgeon at CMH Rawalpindi and to the rank of Brigadier. At Karachi, he became well known Surgeon in the military as well as in the civil circles. During this long period, Lt General Shaukat Hussain Malik was the Director General of Surgery (Chief Surgeon Armed Forces) succeeded by Lt. General Mahmood-ul-Hassan who also remained at the Helm for long. During that period CMH Rawalpindi enjoyed immense reputation in the discipline of Surgery and MH Rawalpindi in Medicine.

In 1988, Brigadier Hamdani was promoted to the rank of Major General and became the D.G. Surgery (i.e. Chief Surgeon). He was awarded HI (M) in 1990. He was Head of the Department of Surgery at the Armed Forces Medical College (new AFPGMI) and the Army Medical College. He retired in 1991 on reaching the age of super-maturation. General Hamdani is survived by his wife Parveen, elder daughter a Consultant Pathologist in UK, a son working as a surgeon in UK, a daughter in USA and the younger daughter, a banker by profession at Rawalpindi.

It is interesting to note that 1950 KEMC entry, all the doctors who joined the Army Medical Corps and stayed in service attained the rank of General – Major General Mohsin Pal, DMS Navy/Commandant AFM college /DG Health Federal , Major General Nisar Mohammad Khan Neurosurgeon (established Neurosurgical unit at CMH LRC) – later advisor in Neurosurgery, Major General Mian Badar-ud-Din Neuro-physician/ DGMS Medicine, Major General Syed Sarfraz Hamdani, Major General Akhtar Ali Khan, Head of Community Medicine Department Army Medical College, Lt. General Jaffar (DMS Navy later Surgeon General Army), myself (DGMS Medicine/Principal Army Medical College/Surgeon General).

In 1950’s KEMC entry batch, those who stayed in AMC in service. From (L to R) are
Maj Gen Badar ud Din, Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmad Akhtar, Maj Gen Mohsin Pal,
Maj Gen Sarfraz Hamdani, Lt Gen S. Jaffari.

Likewise in the Civil Prof. Naeem Jaffari (V/C Liaquat University), Prof. Nazir Ahmad Chaudhry Principal Dow Medical College/Gastroenterologist, Prof Malik Ali Sheikh Prof/HOD Medicine Dow Medical College, Prof Waheed Surgery KEMC, Prof Chisti Medicine KEMC, Prof Rafi Surgeon Nishtar Medical College Multan, Prof Khalid Usman Surgeon Khyber Medical College, Prof Ali Qazil-Bash Khyber Medical College, Surgeon Dr. Naeem Ghani Royal Surgeon Saudi Arabia now Chairman Sultana Foundation ISB running a huge foundation imparting education. One GP at LHR became Minister in the Punjab cabinet. Prof Nisar Ahmad Pathologist Montreal University, International authority in cytology. Many others who made name in foreign countries. One of our class fellows had joined the Royal Army Medical Corps UK- In 1970s he had attained the rank of Colonel.

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